The Exorcist III (1990)

R   |    |  Drama, Horror, Mystery


The Exorcist III (1990) Poster

A police Lieutenant uncovers more than he bargained for as his investigation of a series of murders, which have all the hallmarks of the deceased Gemini serial killer, leads him to question the patients of a psychiatric ward.

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6.4/10
21,991

Photos

  • Tracy Thorne in The Exorcist III (1990)
  • George C. Scott and Mary Jackson in The Exorcist III (1990)
  • George C. Scott "The Exorcist 3"
  • Brad Dourif in The Exorcist III (1990)
  • Lee Richardson in The Exorcist III (1990)
  • Viveca Lindfors in The Exorcist III (1990)

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23 January 1999 | Milo Jerome
8
| Flawed though it is, I have a soft spot for this film for its intelligent, non-ironic journey into darkness.
William Peter Blatty can really write. Prose and dialogue. No argument. But can he direct a movie? On the strength of 'Exorcist III,' yes he can. This isn't to say that the film doesn't have its problems. On the contrary, its biggest problem, the out-of-character 'crowd-pleasing' SFX climax stops it from being one of the greats. So why do I have a soft spot for this film? If, like me, you appreciate horror films that are both scary and made for grown-ups, 'Exorcist III' is refreshing and memorable for its intelligent, non-ironic journey into darkness and for its refusal (bar that ending) to dumb down for the kids. If 'Scream' is your idea of a great horror movie, this isn't one for you! The cast is not nearly young and attractive enough, there are nowhere near enough gags (though Blatty's dry, sardonic wit is happily in evidence) and the film has no pretensions at being an autopsy of the genre, therefore somehow lifting it above the films it purports to comment on. 'Exorcist III' is literary beyond 'Scream's' self-referential trivia-chasing (I would love to hear Detective Kinderman critiquing that movie!) Read 'Legion' and you'll have an idea of how good the film should have been. Flaws acknowledged and accepted, don't miss out on Brad Dourif's best performance since 'Cuckoo's Nest,' scene-stealing turns by Ed Flanders and Nancy Fish, or the superlative production design, photography and sound. More than anything else, it's the atmosphere of the film that stays with me. I can recall very few films that have a better sense of the power of stillness and silence. So much of the violence is communicated only in dialogue; your mind reluctantly does the rest.

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