As a fan of both the 1973 movie and the book by William Peter Blatty which inspired the film, I was slightly worried this series would prove to be an unnecessary addition to the hugely popular and well-known story. However, after watching the first episode with relish and being so excited for the next one I can safely say that, for me this was not the case.
It focuses on the Rance family. The mother Angela played by Geena Davis is convinced there is something demonic in her home. One of her daughters – Kat - has become reclusive since losing her friend in a car accident and neither Angela, nor her other daughter can seem to bring her out of her strange mood. The father Henry seems to be suffering from some form of dementia which just adds to the pressure the family is under and Kat resents his illness to the point of being spiteful towards him.
Not knowing what to do Angela turns to her local parish priest Father Tomas and tells him of her concerns about her daughter and what she is experiencing in the house; whispering coming from the walls and things being moved around her home. Father Tomas at first puts it down to the fact that Kat lost her friend and to Henry’s illness. When he begins having the same recurring dream in which he witnesses a harrowing exorcism of a young boy performed by a priest he doesn’t know, he begins to wonder if God is speaking to him. When Henry says something chilling about where to find the priest from his dreams, Father Tomas goes in search of him in the hopes of finding his way in life. What he does find is a terrified shell of the man from his dreams who is haunted by the exorcism he had to perform on the young boy.
Will the disgraced Father Marcus help Tomas and the Rance family before it is too late?
There are some truly chilling moments in the first episode that stand it in good stead for the remainder of the series. Hearing the original theme tune from the movie was a great addition and only added to the subtle intensity of it. After having my (high) hopes dashed with Outcast this is a welcome return to the supernatural genre that I have been waiting for.