‘The Exorcist’ Chapter Nine: 162 – Take Me Instead (Review)

 Exorcist Season 1 109

The Exorcist “162” takes the entire episode to give up what the cryptic number means. Last week’s episode “The Griefbearers” saw Chris MacNeil die at hands of Angela, aka Pazuzu who is now back where he started; in the body of Regan MacNeil.

Episode 8 was a riff on the main film’s set piece where Father Karras invites the demon to enter him. Although in that film, the good father leaps to his death from the window shortly after having the demon enter his body.

In this small screen version of Blatty’s novel, Angela/Regan has no plans to self destruct and release the demon’s hold on her. She relinquishes control to Pazuzu who starts a bloody vendetta in motion.  On top of Marcus’ short list of helpers, the demon exacts revenge on the entire Rance family.

Meanwhile Father Tomas is wooed by the Friars of Ascension who want him to close down his parish church and take over the more impressive St. Bridget’s.  He is told that he must deal with Jessica in order to take over the church.

Angela goes after Sister Bernadette and her nuns while Brother Simon kills the two tour guides who helped Marcus. The Rance family undergo their own form of punishment as Pazuzu treats each person to an upsetting experience.

Kat is fondled while she sleeps, Henry is invited to have sex with Angela who then strangles him and Casey figures out immediately that the demon is controlling her mother.

Show creator Jeremy Slater has left the original source behind with this conspiracy laden tale of demons going after the head of the Catholic church. The Friars, who all hold places of great importance, are orchestrating what they perceive to be a harsh blow to the church. 

Marcus, who tortures Brother Simon to learn what the group are up to, learns that they expect the Pope to die at the hands of a “deviant” priest. Sounds like a pretty accurate description of either Tomas or Marcus.

Simon is saved from the defrocked Marcus who is then tied up and threatened with the ashes of the sacrificed neighbors of the Rance family. Unfortunately, there is no follow up to the death by deviate priest plan. No explanation of what will transpire next seems to exist.

While this could mean that those nefarious and evil friars are “winging it,” there may be much more to the plot and Simon opted not to tell Marcus about the rest of the plan.

There is an interesting interlude where Pazuzu, in the guise of Angela, comes to visit the Friars of Ascension.  All the acolytes are forced to grovel at the demon’s feet except for the Superintendent of Police and the needy Maria Walters.

She is taunted by the demon who tells the societal devil worshipper that her smell, a mixture of desperation and mediocrity, has kept her from ever being chosen.

Geena Davis manages to be cheerfully evil whilst chewing up and spitting out great chunks of scenery one moment and then gleefully underplaying the next.  The last time Davis was this deadly in anything was the 1996 film The Long Kiss Goodbye where she played an assassin with amnesia.

Even without Kat’s bloody nose and the near suffocation of Casey, Davis is terrifying. She is all teeth and deadly looks while her family suffer near death experiences. This makes her character something that could give grownups nightmares.

On a sidenote: While Ben Daniels and Geena Davis spar for an Emmy award, the rest of the cast have been delivering in spades. Hannah Kasulka, Brianne Howey and Alan Ruck have all been beyond convincing as the family caught up in a decades long revenge mission from a pissed off demon.

Tomas does, incidentally, discover the relevance of “162.” At the end of the episode, he confronts Angela/Pazuzu and tells the demon, in essence, to get the hell out of Dodge…

This penultimate episode of The Exorcist has simultaneously cranked up the volume in terms of plot threads while confusing the audience with the rather simplistic “kill the pope” plot. Presumably the real plan will be uncovered next week in the season finale.

The Exorcist airs Fridays on FOX.  Be sure to tune in and catch the season one conclusion.


The Exorcist: Season One, Ep One – Scary but Different (Review)


Show creator Jeremy Slater has delivered a small screen version of The Exorcist that is damned scary but different from the 1973 iconic horror hit. This time around the younger priest does not have a crisis of faith and the older one is suffering a sort of PTSD after a Mexican exorcism goes bad. 

We learn that Father Tomas had (Has?) an eye for the ladies and is a more modern priest. One that believes the dogma that teaches demons are not real but metaphors.

Father Marcus, on the other hand, is old school, albeit a bit on the rough side of it. A priest who is willing to shoot a superior who attempts to stop an exorcism.

Tomas seems to be a nice parochial priest who cares about his flock. He can get stressed but tries to overcome his shortcomings.  Parishioner Angela Rance comes to him and explains she believes a demon is in her house.

The woman has heard noises in the walls and things are being moved about in the house. At first it seems that the eldest daughter Kat may be the focus of this entity. Later it is revealed to be Kat’s kid sister Casey.

Angela’s  father Henry has either Alzheimers or dementia but seems to be in the early stages of the disease.

Father Tomas begins to have dreams, or visions, about Father Marcus performing an exorcism on a young Mexican lad.  The scenes are disturbing. The youngster is covered in boils and spews his teeth out at one point.

Tomas witnesses the battle between Marcus and the demon inside the boy until it reaches a deadly conclusion. The entity twists the child’s head around until his neck snaps. Marcus is beside himself with grief at the boy’s death and his failure.

The two men are obviously meant to work together.  Tomas is given directions on where to find the recovering priest by Henry. The older man enters a trancelike state and tells Ortega the address where Marcus is staying.

Geena Davis as Angela Rance

Angela Rance urges Father Tomas to visit her home and address the issue of the demon. While he is there he and Angela hear noises from upstairs. Tomas goes to investigate and the ladder door leading to the attic falls open.

The priest goes up into the attic to see who is there. Predictably, the light bulb breaks when he turns it on. Tomas then uses his cell phone light to search the attic. The first thing he sees is a silhouette of a young girl.

He calls out Casey’s name and then trips, falling down and dropping his cell phone. He looks up and the shadow is gone.  A rat moving a pile of clothing goes to run off and is killed by something invisible.

A hand shoots out and grabs the dead rodent and Casey then appears. She is pale and floating  and her body acts like a marionette with tangled strings.

The sequence is close to terrifying.

Father Tomas

Angela climbs up into the attic and Casey returns to normal.  When Tomas leaves he house, the girl is watching him from her room.

English director Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Escapist) and show creator Slater deliver some creepy and truly frightening moments in that attic.  They also do a fine job building up the story and creating a feeling of dread.

Daniels and Herrera are perfect in their respective roles and Kasulka, with her morphed facial features and odd movements is scary as hell.

The Exorcist delivers some intense scenes. The sequence where Father Marcus battles the demon is horrific. It is clear that the room reeks of blood and sweat and fear.

Later, in the attic, Casey’s appearance and actions are so disturbing that if the scene had gone on any longer, viewers would be having nightmares afterward.

FOX are to be congratulated for creating a series that is guaranteed to scare the dickens out of anyone. Believing in God or demons is not necessary as the creep factor works on the viewers imaginations brilliantly.

It was interesting, and a nice touch,  having the tubular bells play at the end of the episode.

The Exorcist airs Fridays on FOX. Stop by and check it out, but leave the lights on while watching it.


Jimmy Kimmel Mean Tweets: Back and Viral

Jimmy Kimmel Mean Tweets: Back and Viral

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel knows what people like and he has brought back those celebrity mean tweets and it should come as no surprise that the video uploaded on November 20, 2014 – a mere two days ago – has gone insanely viral. With over 10 million views, and rising this latest group of performers run the gamut from A listers to “not-so” A listers. Hollywood comedy legend Bob Newhart, Chloe Grace Moretz and Gwyneth Paltrow were among the celebrities who read their nasty tweets out loud and it has to be said, that despite some pretty hurtful comments, this segment is still wildly popular and painfully funny.

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