Sunday, June 5, 2016

Outcast ~ Pilot Review

I'll admit that Cinemax's new series, Outcast snuck up on me. I knew it was based on a comic book from Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead, but did not realize that it was a bonafied horror show. The story is set in a small town in West Virginia under attack by demonic forces. At the center is a loner (Patrick Fugit) who seems to be connected to the mysterious possessions, and a reverend (Philip Glenister) who helped him as a child.

The casting is spot on to the comic book, and the pilot which follows the source material almost frame by frame is genuinely creepy, dark, and expertly directed by Adam Wingard (the up-and-coming horror director who helmed You're Next, The Guest, and the upcoming The Woods). And even though the protagonist is brooding and the surroundings are bleak, the pilot moves along swiftly and is action-packed. Being on paid cable, they definitely aren't holding back on the gore, supernatural elements, or the unpleasant abuse of young people (to be fair, one is possessed).

The show does raise a few questions. So far it sounds like The Walking Dead with demons instead of zombies, right? Production wise, there is much attention to detail, and the world they are creating is fully realized. This lends a supernatural series much-needed gravitas. Will this pace continue throughout the series? Probably not, but there's enough mystery to draw you in, and the characters are genuinely likable. Does it feel groundbreaking? Not exactly, but when something is done right, even the mundane stuff seems intriguing. I'll will be tuning in Fridays at 10pm on Cinemax to find out more, and the meantime you can stream the entire pilot for free here: https://youtu.be/IBRe2ITyMxw




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