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To tell you that "Outcast" is brutal would be an understatement. A massive understatement.

The first image in this new Cinemax series (Friday, 8 p.m.) from "Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman is of a young boy bashing his head against the wall, and then licking the blood off the wall. And then he does something that's far more horrifying.

If you've got a weak stomach, "Outcast" is not for you.

Salt Lake native Patrick Fugit ("Almost Famous") stars as Kyle Barnes, a tortured young man who has been tormented by demons since he was a child.

Not figurative demons. Actual demons. Servants of Satan. The real deal.

Not only was his mother possessed, but so was his wife. His history is filled with horror.

Kyle has more darkness in his past than just about any TV character you can name.

He's not alone in this. The other inhabitants of rural Rome, W.Va., are subject to more than their share of demonic possessions.

(If they were smart, they'd get out of town. Immediately. But then there'd be no show.)

Kyle's mother was possessed by the same demon who's now got ahold of that young boy with the penchant for bashing his head against the wall. The demon inside him remembers Kyle and makes it clear he's not through with Kyle yet.

Kyle — with extreme reluctance — is dragged into the battle against evil by the Rev. Anderson (Philip Glenister, "Life on Mars").

"You want my advice?" Kyle says after he's called out by the demon within the child. "Run, while you've still got something left."

But Anderson stands his ground.

"I wasn't always the gung-ho, holy warrior you see before you," he says. And we quickly see the reverend's flaws.

Things changed for him when "I went into your house and I saw the devil was real."

The devil is very real in "Outcast." There are no logical explanations, it's unambiguous evil.

Fugit is great as Kyle, the character around whom "Outcast" pivots. You've got to believe this guy is real to buy into the series, and the Utah native delivers a performance that makes the series work.

He and Glenister — who turns in an equally fine performance — have great chemistry. They're a mismatched pair of exorcists who somehow form a strong team of demon hunters.

The show itself is certainly not for everyone. It's gross, incredibly violent and horrifying in an "Exorcist" kind of way. In addition to a sort of demonic-possession-of-the-week quality to the series, there's an overarching narrative that will carry through the season — and beyond.

"Outcast" will provide steady work for Fugit, Kirkman and the rest of the team. Even before Friday's premiere, Cinemax has already ordered a second season.

Scott D. Pierce covers TV for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.