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'Pale Horse' packs a lot of horror, occult elements

Posted 3/13/20

By Kevin McDonough

Amazon Prime adds "The Pale Horse" to its series of Agatha Christie adaptations. This stylish effort deviates from the mystery author's 1961 novel. Set in early 1960s in swinging London, Rufus Sewell stars as Mark Easterbrook, …

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'Pale Horse' packs a lot of horror, occult elements

Posted

By Kevin McDonough

Amazon Prime adds "The Pale Horse" to its series of Agatha Christie adaptations. This stylish effort deviates from the mystery author's 1961 novel. Set in early 1960s in swinging London, Rufus Sewell stars as Mark Easterbrook, a rich antique dealer whose posh life is ravaged by the tragic death of his first wife.

A year after she is dispatched by a radio falling into her bathtub, another dead body arrives, with a mysterious list of names hidden in her shoe. Easterbrook learns that he's on the list. When others (including his posh mistress) so named start dying, he starts investigating. His search takes him to a rural village dominated by witches, fortune tellers and a pagan cult straight out of "The Wicker Man" or the more recent "Midsommar."

"Pale Horse" packs a lot of horror and occult elements into its story, particularly for an Agatha Christie tale. At times it doesn't seem like a whodunit at all. And that conflict in style is at the heart of this two-part series' undoing. Best appreciated for its stylish clothes, sets and James Bond-like collection of cars, "Pale Horse" doesn't entirely make sense.

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TONIGHT'S OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

• On two helpings of "Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector" (NBC, TV-14), the worst kind of publicity (8 p.m.), Lincoln puts family first (9 p.m.).

• Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman return for a second season of "Portals to Hell" (9 p.m., Travel, TV-14), featuring trips to sites with scary reputations.

• Some have compared our current reality-TV era to the plot of the 1987 thriller "The Running Man" (9 p.m., Starz Encore), starring Arnold Schwarzengger, who also stars in "The Terminator" (8 p.m., Showcase) from 1984.

• House-breaking the mayor on "Blue Bloods" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

SERIES NOTES

A trip to an insurgent stronghold on "MacGyver" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14) * Illusionists audition on "Penn & Teller: Fool Us" (8 p.m. CW, r, TV-PG) * Bandits target tourists on "Hawaii Five-0" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14) * On two helpings of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (CW, r, TV-14), Adrienne Houghton (9 p.m.), Jonathan Mangum (9:30 p.m.).

LATE NIGHT

Jimmy Fallon welcomes Ice Cube, Andrew Rannells and Brittany Howard on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) * Ben Affleck, Justina Machado and Victoria Monet are on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC, r) * John Oliver, Elizabeth Debicki, Jenny Offill and Glen Sobel visit "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC, r) * Cynthia Erivo, Ashton Kutcher and BTS are on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., r, CBS).

© 2020, United Feature Syndicate