The Exorcist III (film): Much better than I had expected

in reviews •  4 months ago

I ended up watching this because an old pal of mine said that it was "really good." I had my doubts because well, it is a part 3 in a series where part 2 was quite "meh." It isn't just me who didn't like Exorcist 2, part 3 intentionally completely ignored all the events that took place in it. I have to say that I was really entertained, and a bit scared while watching this one. To be fair i was on my own in a dark room in a building that I am the only person in... at night. I did have my doggo to keep me safe from demons though.

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Produced in 1990, I don't know how this one managed to slip by me. It was a time in my life where I would have been the most likely to want to see a movie of this type.

Without ruining too much of the story I'll just say the film goes like this: Lieutenant William Kinderman (played by George C. Scott) after being involved in the investigation of a brutal murder with religious overtones goes to visit his friend Father Dyer for dinner and a movie. A bit later Father Dyer is admitted to the a hospital for I don't remember what, but he too is murdered in gruesome circumstances.


The evidence collection doesn't add up and it begins to point to the members of the psyciatric ward of the hospital. Most of these people are very elderly and many are catatonic or near catatonic (non-responsive.) However, it is slowly reveled that they are actually being controlled by someone you might have heard of.


I have intentionally been very vague in the description because there are a few characters that are extremely interesting and are crucial to the plot. One of the main ones being an incredible performance by Brad Dourif in his portrayal of James Venamun, a psychiatric patient in the "lock-down" ward.


The story moves quickly and the fear is induced by a combination of excellent music and sound-effect choices and a nice mix of creeping dread and a few nicely-timed jump scares that warrant a rewind. On a side note I found it kind of nostalgic how everyone just smoked wherever the hell they felt like it, including inside of hospitals and yes, it was actually like that in the 80's although it was starting to be frowned upon.

Overall I would say that this movie was a real surprise and I think I enjoyed it so much because I honestly expected not to. The production value and the acting is 90% perfect and the director didn't rely on any one mechanism for scaring us too much. It also isn't entirely predictable, which always appeals to me.

7.5 / 10

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This film is a bloody masterpiece of cinema: acting, direction, sound...everything is so on point. It also contains what I consider the single best jump scare in movie history (if you've seen the movie, you'll understand what I mean by 'a large pair of scissors'). It gets you even when you know it's coming. I love it to death. :)

Excellent review, @gooddream! Also, shout outs to @janenightshade for re-steeming this so I saw it. :)


omg yes, the scene you are referring to is just out of this world and talked about by people all over the place :)


The infamous Nun Scene. Always turns up on lists of greatest jump scares in horror history. Along with the hand reaching out of the grave in Carrie. (Which was itself a copy of the hand reaching out of the water scene at the end of Deliverance.)

Good review. I need to finish watching it. I got about halfway through and then started watching something else. It's free on Amazon Prime this month too.


oh, that's fortunate. I must admit that for parts of it i was wandering around my rooms and just listening to the audio on my headphones. It is worth finishing though.

I enjoyed the movie as well and as you I was quite surprised by it as I thought they just want to butcher the franchise a bit more.

I still like part 1 the most though and part 2 was...lets not talk about part 2.


lol. I don't think anyone wants to talk about part 2... including the people that made part 2 :)

Okay question for you @gooddream and @modernzorker. I finished watching the theatrical release and it was very very creepy. But there's another version out there released by Shout Factory that edits the film closer to Blatty's original (before the studio made him reshoot some scenes and add in Jason Miller, who wasn't in the original). Have either of you seen the other version? If so, which do you prefer? The other version has a much higher audience rating on IMDb, but I'm not sure I want to buy it on disc just to see it. It's not available on my streaming services.


Unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity to see the re-cut version of the film. It's on my 'to watch' list, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I was excited when I heard about it though! Much like the re-cut version of The Exorcist, most of that footage was thought either lost or destroyed. I remember reading an article in an early issues of Video Watchdog where Blatty lamented the cutting of some scenes and lines he felt were integral to the overall feel of The Exorcist, and he was sure they'd never be seen because the studio said they had been destroyed after the film wrapped, but sure enough, twenty years later someone found a bunch of them and we got "The Version You Didn't See In Theaters" as a DVD. :)


is the famous "backwards hand walk down the stairs" one of these scenes? My goodness that was creepy


I believe it was. The DVD case, which I don't have access to at the moment, identifies each one of the re-inserted scenes in its scene list by marking them with an asterisk. :)


Yes, the backwards walk down the stairs wasn't in the theatrical release nor in the early VHS/DVD releases.


Thanks zork. I'll be interested to see what you think of it.


hmmmm. I was unaware of the different versions. Any chance you could post a link?

I think Exorcist movie (part 1) was one of the best hollywood horror movies so far. I watched part 1 in my college days and it was really fun. Yes I got a little scared too but thanks to my friends who made it a fun movie while watching together.
I didnt watch the rest parts thou... Thanks for the remember alarm, let me watch the part 2 and 3... Or should I skip the part 2 as you are telling it was not so good! 😅

Speaking about horror movies, my best hollywood horror movie is The Ring. I dont know why but this movie still gives me goosebumps... And I am talking about the part 1. If you havent seen it yet, I would suggest you watch it and give us your personal review.

Captain marvel and Avengers: Endgame trailers are also out and everyone is going mad about it. Can we get a reviee from you @gooddream?

stay well and keep posting!

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Part 2 sucks. I wouldn't bother unless you're a big Richard Burton fan.

Excellent movie but i do not like all this movie to watch alone but i like very much such kind of movie. thanks @gooddream

Such a nice post and this film is awesome ☺

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Overall you are a good movie rdview writer . People can see some detail review of movire from all of yoyr article and they can easly decide they want to watch or not? Good one.

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I watched this as a child, very scary hahaha! An interesting fact is that the characters of Kinderman and Father Dyer were in the first exorcist film but portrayed by different actors and their friendship began precisely at the end of that movie, where one asked the other: do you like to go to the movies? or something like that