When it was announced that FOX would create a television spinoff of THE EXORCIST last year, the news was met with the typical backlash from fans. Considering the first film is widely considered amongst one of THE best horror films in history, following up the story has been no easy feat. In contrast to the first film’s reception, the sequel, EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC, is widely condemned as being one of the worst films ever made. Another follow-up, EXORCIST III: THE LEGION, came in 1990 and is mostly loved by fans and is listed on many “Underrated Sequels” lists. Fourth entry’s biggest distinction is that there are two separate versions of the film. What is a prequel to the first film is split into DOMINION: THE PREQUEL TO THE EXORCIST and EXORCIST: THE BEGINNING. These films tell the same story except the former feature more gore and violence and is directed by Renny Harlin, while the latter is based more on suspense and is directed by Paul Schrader. Neither is very good.
It was to my surprise that the first season of THE EXORCIST series did the first film’s spirit (get it?) proud. It kept the central themes of faith, or the lack of, and the individual characters’ relationship with God and the Devil. With stellar acting, led by Geena Davis, and shocking special effects that I was surprised made it to network tv, I was surprised there wasn’t more buzz around the first season from the horror community.
The upcoming season introduces a new title, EXORCIST: THE NEXT Chapter and a new cast. Ben Daniels and Alfonso Herrera from the first season return with a brand new ensemble led by John Cho. The setting moves from Chicago to a farmhouse just outside of Seattle where Johnson and Herrera must battle a new demon terrorizing a foster family
Exorcist: The Next Chapter starts Friday, September 29th on FOX.