[TV Review] The Exorcist Season 1 (2016) ★★★★★

Father Marcus Keane in The Exorcist season 1

The Exorcist is a powerful gripping horror drama beautifully executed.

The Exorcist is a supernatural occult horror series that brings an ode to the original book and film but has some surprises up its sleeve. It mixes powerful horror with heavy family drama. With beautiful cinematography, crafty storytelling and well-developed characters, this series creates a strong terrifying atmosphere and an emotionally sincere gripping story.

While the actual storyline is an intimate look at a troubled family and maybe even more troubled priests, a second storyline is woven through it and beneath the surface it stirs up a sinister plan. 

The first season consists of 10 episodes each with a duration of 42 minutes. It has one big story arc about the haunted family, but a continuing bigger storyline about a sinister plot and about the personal stories of both priests.


Father Marcus Keane is a troubled retired exorcist but is called by Father Tomas Ortega, when a family is plagued by a demonic entity. The Rance family is still recovering from recent misfortunes. The oldest daughter Kat recently has been in a car accident and father Henry suffered from a stroke. But when Kat is beginning to act really strangely and even stranger things start to happen in the house, mother Angela calls in the help of Father Tomas. She suspects a demonic possession, that unfortunately is all too true, only not in the way she thinks. 

Why you should watch it

The story is excellently told. It has a strong story arc of both the family and Father Marcus. While Marcus is trying to help the Rance family he himself is still struggling with his own demons. Although Tomas doesn’t really believe in demonic possession, he is a great help and support for both the family and Marcus, while he has his own problems of faith. 

The cinematography and editing are great and add to the foreboding and ominous atmosphere. The horror is real and isn’t afraid to show what it looks like in the flesh. It brings in some terrifying moments, gruesome exorcism scenes and intense moments. The buildup is superb. The story of the possession is very well intertwined with both Marcus’ background as with the sinister plans of the catholic church. 

It starts out with big mysteries slowly unfolding and revealing startling truths and twists. It subtly sneaks into the storyline and gets you off guard. There are some small threads that slowly are woven together, like the ritualistic murders, possessions, secretive nuns, a mysterious kick-ass Father Bennet, a secret order within the church and a very big secret Angela herself is keeping. 

The acting is wonderful and the powerful characters drive on love and inner strength, that is paid off in the last episodes, that take place in a very harsh reality and in a surreal environment as well. The characters really come to life and their stories are gripping and emotionally charged. 

It’s a series that is enthralling, gripping and highly addictive. It is an epic battle between good and evil on many levels. It takes place on a high level scale, but also on a very intimate scale, making it intriguing and thrilling, and personal. 

Although this series doesn’t include humor or comic relief, but is composed only of heavy drama, it is not a sombre, dark or bleak series. Quite the opposite actually, because in spite of all the tribulations, it’s about hope, faith and love, that overcomes true evil. 

My favorite part

That actually is a spoiler, so I can’t go into details but it has something to do with the original story. And you won’t see it coming. But what I can tell is that the scene from the original film The Exorcist (1973) in the basement when Regan is playing with an ouija board and meets Captain Howdy is now shown in another perspective and so cleverly done. Actually we see much more of Captain Howdy and his shape is perfectly creepy. 

But there are more subtle references to the original film, for the fans to spot. It doesn’t interfere with this new story, but makes it even stronger. 

I really liked the emphasis on the power of love and devotion, not per se in a higher power but in those whom you love. The Rance family is a seemingly normal family who rises above themselves to save each other. And Father Marcus is an epic figure. He is tangible and his struggles are painful to see. His part brings in realistic emotional drama and his charismatic character is powerful and despite all odds relentless and persistent.


Rating: ★★★★★

Epic factor: ★★★★☆

Drama factor: ★★★★★

Gruesome factor: ★★★★★

Read more about The Exorcist:

Cast and crew

The Exorcist is based on the novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty and the 1973 film by William Friedkin. The series is created by Jeremy Slater. It stars Ben Daniels (Father Marcus), Alfonso Herrera (Father Tomas), Geena Davis (Angela), Alan Ruck (Henry), Hannah Kasulka (Casey), Brianne Howey (Kat) and Kurt Egyiawan (Father Bennet).

Music: Daniel Hart. Cinematography: Alex Disenhof. Production companies: Morgan Creek Entertainment Group, New Neighborhood, 20th Century Fox Television. Original network: FX.

Check the trailer below

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