‘The Exorcist’ brings fright to Friday nights

‘The Exorcist’ brings fright to Friday nights

“The Exorcist,” which premieres tonight (Sept. 23), is FOX’s second new TV series this fall to be adapted from a movie franchise — “Lethal Weapon” premiered Wednesday. The show follows the same basic plot of Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel and the subsequent 1973 horror classic starring Linda Blair as the preteen girl suffering from demonic possession. Also, the show and the original film exist in the same universe as evidence in newspaper clippings referencing Regan MacNeil’s possession four decades ago.

In this updated version, Angela Rance (Geena Davis) comes to her priest Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera) with concerns about her daughter Katherine’s (Brianne Howey) behavior. Katherine has become reclusive since being forced to return home from college after a car accident killed her best friend.

Angela, however, is convinced that Katherine isn’t just suffering from depression, she thinks something more sinister is the culprit. She claims she hears demons within the walls of her house and that they want to take over her daughter. As she’s talking to Ortega, a raven crashes through the window, an ominous sign of things to come. Angela asks Ortega to come to dinner and give his professional opinion.

Geena Davis and Alfonso Herrera in a scene from FOX's "The Exorcist."

Geena Davis and Alfonso Herrera in a scene from FOX’s “The Exorcist.”

As in the original, Ortega later partners with an older, more experienced clergy who has experience with the paranormal — Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels). Ortega had visions of Keane attempting to exorcise demons from a boy in Mexico City shortly before Angela came to see him.

With such dedicated fanbase, many people will be tuning in to see how this reboot pays homage to the original while at the same time telling its own story. It will definitely be interesting to see how the show will continue to put a fresh spin on a tale that was brilliantly told before in 2 hours.

Alan Ruck also stars as Angela’s husband, Henry, and Hannah Kasulka plays the Rances’ younger daughter, Casey.

The Exorcist airs at 9 p.m. Friday on FOX.