IT'S hard to imagine something scarier than a zombie apocalypse, but Robert Kirkman has found it.
The creator of The Walking Dead turns his attention to the subject of exorcism in his new TV series Outcast.
The series, based on his comic mini-series of the same name, follows Kyle Barnes, a man who is searching for answers to the supernatural possessions that have plagued his life.
Kirkman says Outcast is scarier than The Walking Dead. Considering the themes, violence and gore in The Walking Dead, that's really says something.
"Just by the nature of something that can become you and take you over without you even seeing it or anticipating it is inherently scarier than even a horde of zombies you could never escape from," Kirkman tells APN's The Guide.
"The threat from within is more terrifying than the threat from outside."
Like The Walking Dead, Outcast embraces the tropes of a well-worn horror movie subgenre while grounding its characters in reality.
"With a genre people are very well versed in, it's easy to guide an audience in a way they're expecting and then to pivot into something new and different," he says
"When you watch the pilot you go 'OK the kid's possessed' but then there are these hard left turns that take you, hopefully, by surprise.
"I watched a lot of exorcism movies and thought why are these people done at the end of this movie? They have fixed this one individual case but haven't done anything for the larger problem at work. With Outcast I'm looking at demonic possession as a solvable problem and turning it into something that could be an epic journey that continues for years and years like The Walking Dead does."
Scarred by traumatic events of his childhood and the breakdown of his marriage, Kyle (Patrick Fugit) seeks out local Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister) - an unorthodox priest who believes he is part of a larger battle against the forces of evil.
"Kyle finds out that he's this key piece of this larger struggle he's been drawn into; this much bigger problem than he'd ever anticipated," he says.
"I wanted a situation where Kyle bit off more than he could chew, which makes him more heroic because he does accept that challenge eventually. He embarks on this journey not for himself but for all of humanity.
"Over the course of the series we will be revealing exactly what makes him special. It's the central mystery of the show: where are these abilities coming form and why was he chosen, if he was chosen."
Outcast airs Saturdays at 8.30pm on Foxtel's FX channel.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.