Pilot Perception: The Exorcist

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show —¬†here The Exorcist — in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: The Exorcist, FOX in the U.S. and CTV in Canada, Fridays at 9/8c

The Pedigree: The show was created by Jeremy Slater (Fantastic Four), who executive produces with Rolin Jones (Friday Night Lights), Roy Lee (Hidden), James Robinson (Dream House), David Robinson (The Good Shepherd), Barbara Wall (Boss), and Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). The pilot was directed by Wyatt.

The Cast & How You Know Them: The Exorcist stars Alfonso Herrera (Sense8), Ben Daniels (Flesh and Bone), Kurt Egyiawan (Beasts of No Nation), Alan Ruck (Spin City), Brianne Howey (Scream Queens), Hannah Kasulka (The Fosters), and Geena Davis (Commander in Chief).

The Premise: This reboot of the classic horror movie follows two priests dealing with a family’s case of demonic possession.

A Taste:


What Works: Alfonso Herrera’s Father Tomas was an interesting, compelling main character who, to be honest, made me wish this were just a drama about a priest and his parish. I’m always happy to see Ben Daniels in things, too, and his character’s suggestions of some larger conspiracy made me curious to find out what’s actually going on.

What Doesn’t: I really dislike horror, so this show is probably just not for me, and I don’t have a good sense of how well those aspects worked as I was concentrating on not getting too scared. However, I am pretty comfortable saying that the pacing was weird and at times it was hard to figure out what was going on (and not in a deliberately mysterious way) and if/how the threads intersected. The writing was not great.

Our Favorite Line: “God, for future reference, isn’t the one who works in mysterious ways.”

You Might Like This if you like horror shows that aren’t so scary that they can’t be shown on network TV.

If You’re Interested: Watch the pilot on demand or on the FOX or CTV sites, then set your DVR for Friday at 9/8c.

(Photo courtesy of FOX.)

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