A new TV series based on William Peter Blatty’s acclaimed novel The Exorcist begins on SyFy tonight as the film version gets voted the scariest film ever made…
A recent poll by SyFy ahead of its premiere of The Exorcist TV series found that the 1973 film version remains the public’s scariest movie. It received 24% of the vote and was followed by The Shining (8.5%), Silence of the Lambs (7%), The Blair Witch Project (6.5%) and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (6%).
It comes as little surprise that William Friedkin’s scary movie is the UK’s most feared piece of horror cinema. After all, it deals with subject matter many believe could come true in their own homes. In fact, the poll revealed that 26% of people claim to have felt a paranormal presence after watching a scary movie, with 44% believing in the existence of paranormal activity and a further 17% saying they’ve seen it first hand. Furthermore, out of everyone who’s played with a Ouija board, a third of people have experienced paranormal activity of some kind, either during or after taking part in a séance! Scary stuff!
The poll is timed to coincide with The Exorcist TV series beginning on SyFy. This 10-episode television series is not a remake of the 1973 film, but a new chapter which takes place in Chicago, 40 years after the events depicted in the film, starring Academy Award® and Golden Globe®-winner Geena Davis.
The ten-part series follows two very different priests tackling one family’s case of horrifying demonic possession. Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera) is the new face of the Catholic Church; progressive, ambitious and compassionate. He runs a small but loyal parish in the suburbs of Chicago. He has no idea that his quiet life is about to change forever. Meanwhile, another priest finds himself locked in a life-and-death struggle with evil. Father Marcus Brennan (Ben Daniels) is a modern-day Templar Knight, an orphan raised since childhood by the Vatican to wage war against its enemies.
Father Marcus is everything Father Tomas is not; relentless, abrasive and utterly consumed by his sacred mission. Caught in the middle is the Rance family, members of Tomas’ parish. On the surface, they’re a normal, suburban family, but all is not as it seems in this household. The patriarch, Henry Rance (Alan Ruck), is slowly but surely losing his mind. Eldest daughter Katherine (Brianne Howey) has become a recluse who refuses to leave her room. Her younger sister, Casey (Hannah Kasulka) thinks she’s hearing strange noises coming from inside the walls. And mother Angela (Geena Davis) has been plagued by recurring nightmares, each more frightening than the last.
Angela believes there is something in the house, a demonic presence, growing stronger by the day. Desperate, she begs Father Tomas for help, unwittingly setting the naïve young priest on a collision course with Father Marcus. Separately, each faces an insurmountable task, but together they become the only hope against an evil force that has been mobilising for centuries.
The Exorcist premieres on the Syfy channel on Wednesday October 19 at 9pm.