SO THE EXORCIST TV series finally reached Australian shores and a plethora of excitement had been brewing from the Surgeons of Horror camp in anticipation of where this series would take us.
As usual, there were skeptics and believers among our team of professionals, but as Lead Surgeon, it was my duty to take on board the dissection of the Season.
And what better way to do this, than by dissecting one episode at a time.
Right for the set-off, this series would focus on the priests, as they will play the centrepiece for the show, which I highly support.
Character is such an important aspect of any movie or TV series. In order to keep our interest they must be strong and filled with plenty of depth, especially as what we hope will transpire is the breakdown or assassination of these characters when they come face to face with the demon.
“You gotta build them up before you can pull them down.”
First up is Father Marcus, played the magnificent Ben Daniels, who can convey depth with a single look.
He’s the hardened veteran of Exorcism. A man that has already witnessed the extent of The Devil’s work and danced in His playground.
But to what extent has he gone too in order to challenge and rid people’s souls of evil?
We get the chance to witness a doomed exorcism take place, where Marcus will stop at nothing to try and outfox the demon, to the point of pulling a gun on a fellow priest.
We’re also given our first twist in the tale, albeit via a painful twist of the neck – a nod to the original – but as was duly pointed out by fellow Surgeon Antony Yee, “That would kill yer”, and in this case, it did, and Marcus would lose this battle.
So, Marcus is a hard-boiled guy from the heart of humanity, shaken to the core, but lived to see the next day. Is he now about to meet his match in the Rance household?
At the other end of the spectrum, we have Father Tomas, a young pioneer in the priesthood, destined for great things. His parish is in a rundown part of town, but he has restored faith in the community with his energy and spirit. And his sermons reflect this.
But what ails him? There are whispers of his relationship with a woman. Has he truly buried these feelings?
And do you get the feeling that he’s had it too good so far? That his life has been a little too easy up to this point?
Will his quest for greater things lead him to darker places? We certainly hope so.
It’s certainly going to be interesting when he comes face to face with the demon.
Or has the demon already got his hooks into Father Tomas?
Are these nightmares that he is having, the perfect vessel for the demon to manipulate with Father Tomas’ mind, before the game even begins? It would be pretty cool, if this was the case, and the journey all the more rewarding when he does do battle.
All is not well in the Rance household
It would appear from the beginning, that certain things are off kilter with the Rance’s. We’re led to believe at first that the trouble centres on the daughter, Katherine, who was recently involved in a car crash, where one of her friends died.
However, ironically enough, it seems that she is probably the least of our concerns at this stage.
In the “twist” reveal, we are shown that it’s her sister, Casey that is under the devil’s thumb. The sweet and innocent are much more corruptible and mold like putty in the devil’s hands.
Unfortunately this reveal, was pretty obvious and didn’t blind-side me at all. There is promise of more twists to come, and I hope that they bring on the shock factor, as this was a little underwhelming in its delivery of plot.
Having said that though, I do take my hat off to the character development involved in this episode, as it certainly holds potential for further developments down the line.
Interestingly though was Casey’s comment, whilst possessed in the attic, about there being more than one rat to contend with. Are their more people already under the demon’s control?
There are certainly hints that the father, Henry (Alan Ruck) is not all together there and hasn’t been for some time.
And let’s not forget Angela (Geena Davis) the hypersensitive mother of the family who suspects the devil’s hand at every corner. Is there more to her than meets the eye? She seems very quick to shout “Demon” when it comes to Katherine.
What has made her so on edge?
Has she had dealings with the Devil before?
The last word I have on this episode is the homage to the original movie.
Whilst every fan loves to see the nod of reflection to cinema’s finest moments, in this case when Marcus arrives at the possessed abode and lifts his head to the heavens to gaze upon the lit window of an apartment above, whilst silhouetted by it’s haloed glow, we can only wish that these are few and far between if the series is to make it’s own mark in the franchise and stand on it’s own feet.
Time will tell if indeed the series will be able to stand out of it’s predecessor’s shadow and become an entity in it’s own right.