HiTV Review – Outcast

HiTV Review – Outcast

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Rating:  3 (out of 5).  Cinemax’s Outcast is based on a graphic novel series from Robert Kirkman. Kyle Barnes, played by Patrick Fugit, is a man whose family members are possessed by demons. His mother and wife were both possessed, and when Kyle tried to exorcise his wife’s demon, she took their daughter and left him. Kyle, who had been in hiding, is now teaming up with Reverend Anderson, played by Philip Glenister, to try and help keep the demons away. The critics were pleasantly surprised with this. The found it creepy and filled with that good kind of tension you should feel in a horror flick.

TV Guide thinks  this “has a trait that’s all too rare in horror TV: it’s actually scary. And it’s scary in a few different ways — it does jump-scares, gruesome imagery, atmospheric menace and get-under-your-skin psychological horror exceptionally well for any work of horror, film or television.” They say “the heavier themes never feel forced or unearned, and are often left as subtext.”

Entertainment Weekly calls it “far from awesome” They say it is “more interesting than engrossing” and “It’s a serious, maybe too serious, show that’s judicious with its scares and strangeness, and while it’s admirably offbeat, it could benefit from more innovation, variation and bolder filmmaking.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette describes it as “creepy and moody.” They say “the characters and their relationships are what stand out in “Outcast,” which looks like it will blend mythology episodes with stand-alones as Kyle and Rev. Anderson tackle assorted cases of demonic possession.”

Variety writes “Outcast quickly pivots to become a suspense-laden, psychological examination of inner shadows.” They state “There is plenty of shock and depravity to go around in “Outcast,” but after the pilot, most of the show’s graphic, gory moments occur in flashes brief enough terrify without overpowering the tale’s psychological punch.”

The San Jose Mercury News says “ Kirkman is a master at ratcheting up the tension and the pilot episode is hella creepy.”

The San Francisco Chronicle writes “The show’s structure is smart in many ways, giving us more immediate satisfaction as individual stories play out, while piling on layers of mystery about many of the characters. Kirkman does it so well that we almost miss the fact that several subplots are pretty timeworn.”

Newsday states “this week’s premiere hour is a sustained assault of twitchy-creepy elements that ceaselessly signal “genre,” while inhibiting entry to viewers whose minds pine for deeper human drama.” They say “The show’s actors are given little opportunity to sketch scope into their lives, enough to make us sense beating hearts beneath their battered psyches. There’s mostly doom and gloom, played behind boarded-over window panes and inside cinder-block nursing homes.”

The Washington Post calls this “a fiendishly pleasant surprise.” They say it is “a demonic-possession horror drama that leads with its heart instead of its 360-degree neck rotations and suggests a depressing (but timely) theme of social and moral rot in America.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer says “Outcast is scarier than “The Walking Dead.” They say “ If you like a good ole, terrifying exorcism tale, this is for you.” And “The tension and mystery, along with its resulting horror, is typically reserved for the big screen. In that sense, Kirkman has duplicated what AMC was able to do with “The Walking Dead.” “Outcast” has a cinematic vibe that’s hard to shake.”

USA Today states “Outcast offers plenty of scares, including the self-destructive and aggressive behavior of an apparently possessed eight-year-old, Joshua Austin.”

The New York Times thinks “The problem for this series, besides making Kyle someone we care enough about to keep watching, will be finding original ways to cast out demons. By the end of the premiere, we’ve already had an “Exorcist” scene, and as the show goes along, Anderson does the cross-and-scripture thing we’ve seen a zillion times.”

The Hollywood Reporter writes “It’s a blending of literal and metaphorical horror that you can sense Outcast striving for, but not quite balancing in the early episodes. When the focus is on Kyle and Reverend Anderson, the action is repetitive and narrative information is being doled out at a laborious pace. When the focus is on the townspeople, there are believably weathered performances and interactions, but it doesn’t feel interesting or original enough to sustain.”

 

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