A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Outcast, a horror series by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, is about the fight against evil and demonic possessions. It features bloody, brutal violence (sometimes against children), cursing, and additional mature themes, including child abuse and exorcisms. Because it is an adaptation of Kirkman's popular comic book series, older teens may be drawn to it, but it is not meant for kids.
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What's the story?
From Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead, comes OUTCAST, an adaptation of a comic book series about a man's connection to supernatural forces of biblical proportions. Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit) returns to his childhood home of Rome, West Virginia, where he, along with his sister Megan (Wrenn Schmidt), was raised by an abusive mother. Believing that she was possessed, he realizes that he has a unique ability to resist demonic activity. Now living as an outcast in his former town, Kyle accepts that the evil presence that consumed his mother is everywhere and follows him wherever he goes, bedeviling people close to him in hopes of becoming more powerful. With the help of Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister), he faces these malignant spirits head on, often during violent exorcisms and other encounters. But while the faithful believe in Kyle's powers, he faces the doubts of his sister, the wrath of his brother-in-law, David (Mark Holter), and others, who believe that the possessed are really mentally ill and that he is a violent predator.
Is it any good?
This dark, dramatic series successfully combines supernatural themes with horror to create a story world that is as entertaining as it is chilling. But while the evil presence he fights (in this fictional world) is real, Kirkman uses Kyle’s own traumatic childhood, failed relationships, and self-loathing as a way of exploring the frailties of the human experience and reflects the metaphorical demons that people face in their everyday lives.
If you're a fan of this sort of thing, you'll encounter enough sinister moments throughout each episode to keep you on the edge of of your seat. While the bloody, brutal violence featured here is often difficult to watch, it's offered within context and underscores the strength required to combat evil and overcome our own deficiencies. All in all, it's a show that offers a frightful warning about dark forces lurking among us, preying on the weaknesses of humanity to take over the world.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the supernatural. Why are topics such as demons, the underworld, and even biblical events so frightening to some people? Do you need to believe in these things to be frightened by TV shows and films that feature these themes?
Is it necessary to show violent scenes to make a TV series more entertaining or believable? Do you think the impact of this show on audiences would be softer if it did not feature so much gore and brutality?