SDCC Pilot Screening – The Exorcist

by Stephanie Shamblin Gray

I was fortunate enough to be one of the first people to see the full-length pilot for the upcoming FOX show “The Exorcist.” Star Geena Davis remarked at the SDCC panel where it was shown that she was scarred by her first viewing of the movie and that very appropriately sums up most of our first experiences with that amazing film. So how does this TV show pilot stack up to the movie? For starters, it is not nearly as frightening as the film. With that said, there are several genuinely frightening moments in the pilot which is rare for a TV show. The other obvious difference is that to sustain the series, this is set up with much more drama to give the characters a chance to grow and develop and allow the plot to unfold.

Both the pilot and the panel discussion made clear that this is not just a remake of the film. The characters and events are more inspired by the original novel than trying to recreate it. When you are watching in the fall, expect a nod to the exorcism that you are familiar with and not much more. You can also expect a great cast that includes Geena Davis, Alfonso Herrera, and Ben Daniels.

I’m certain that this show is eagerly awaited by horror fans and that the scrutiny will be high. When the series starts, take a breath, relax, and enjoy the show for what it is. “The Exorcist” has all the makings of a highly-addictive drama with the added potential of becoming the most terrifying show on TV. What more could a horror fan ask for?

SDCC Panel Synopsis: See a special preview screening of the full first episode with stars Alfonso Herrera (Sense8, The Chosen), Ben Daniels (Flesh and Bone, House of Cards), Hannah Kasulka (Filthy, Preppy, Teen$, The Fosters), Brianne Howey (Scream Queens, Revenge) and and Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Geena Davis (Commander in Chief, Beetlejuice, The Fly) and writer/producer Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four). Widely regarded as the greatest horror movie ever made, Academy Award-nominated The Exorcist terrified audiences around the world. Now, more than four decades later, The Exorcist returns as a contemporary psychological TV thriller on FOX this fall, following the story of two very different priests tackling one family’s case of terrifying demonic possession.


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