ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

While some were instantly possessed by the trailer for Fox's atmospheric new The Exorcist TV show, a lot of diehard Exorcist fans weren't convinced that it is worthy enough to take on the mantle of arguably the most culturally relevant horror movie of all time.

Although (thankfully) the show doesn't strive to be a remake of the William Friedkin archetype, the writers have clearly tried to pay homage to the original, with plenty of visual references, plot points and music that only real fans of the '70s cult classic will notice straight away.

Below I have broken down moments of note that, along with the general tonal similarity, bring the original and remake together. But first check out the new trailer below.

A Mother's Intuition

Both Exorcist trailers revolve around a mother-figure who is the only person that knows the extent of the changes their child has undergone. Although others are skeptical that the troubled teens are possessed, both Angela Rance (Geena Davis) and Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) know that their respective children have been taken over by something impossibly sinister, and they will do anything it takes to free them.

The Eeriest Of Attics

The spookiest attic scene in The Exorcist, where Chris almost has her face burnt off by a temperamental candle, ends relatively mildly when Karl (Chris's handyman) tells her that she doesn't have any rats. The new Exorcist trailer pays homage to this moment.

While Father Marcus Lang (Ben Daniels) is looking in the attic of Angela's home, he nearly caves his skull in on the rafters after seeing a rat, before we encounter the really big scare of Charlotte (Brianne Howey) inexplicably scuttling and hissing in the darkness. Nope.

The Big Daddy Of The Priesthood

Both movies also center around the premise that exorcism is a facet of the Catholic Church that is cloaked in shadowy mystery and not something for any mere priest to mess with.

When Father Marcus meets the Rance family, he is drawn to Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera) by a prophetic dream that shows him that this is the demonic possession expert who understands all too well the threat he is facing.

In the original movie, Father Karras knows Father Merrin through his reputation alone, but both plots seem to center around a key character who has seen the damage that demons can do and is reluctantly dragged into a spiritual battle once more.

The Greasy Face Of Possession

Both trailers show us quick teases of the possessed girls, and they are showcased in similar ways. The quick flash of the inexplicably greasy and frightening faces is utilized to show us a shocking second of what the priests will be facing. And there is no doubt that these aren't regular teenage hormones they're messing with.

Unexplained Flying Objects

Pazuzu (or whoever this new demonic fiend is) really loves to throw things around for kicks, and in the Father Tomas flashback scene we see one of his past exorcisms as a maelstrom of unexplained floating objects.

This technique was key to showing Pazuzu's presence in the original Exorcist and it looks like this visual homage will continue through Fox's new TV series.

If you need to revise the atmospheric original Exorcist trailer to check out the similarities in tone, beats and creepy imagery, you can see it below:

While the original looks a little dated thanks to its relatively slow pacing, there is no denying that it still makes the skin crawl with its eerie soundtrack and unseen, disruptive forces.

With a beast this big to look up to, who know if the new TV show will be able to hold its own against the forces of comparison? But it seems like homage is being paid in all the right places in an attempt to recreate something fiendishly frightening.

If there are more jump scares like the one below, I'm almost sold...

Do you think that the new Exorcist TV series will do the original horror classic justice?


Latest from our Creators