Monday, May 8, 2017

Film Review: The Exorcist 3 (1990)

The Exorcist 3 (Review)
United States/1990
Format Viewed For Review: Shudder
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"You would think he [Blatty] spent years behind the camera honing his skills to create something so stylish, fluid, and effective."

A police lieutenant investigates a series of grisly murders—which share the method of a deceased killer known as "The Gemini."

The Exorcist 3 is a great mix of police procedural and supernatural horror. The film follows Lieutenant William F. Kinderman (George C. Scott)—who is also in the first film, played by a different actor. Kinderman is investigating a string of extremely violent and unusual murders, all of which share the method of a deceased killer. When a good friend passes away, Kinderman focuses his investigation on a hospital. When the murders continue, the lieutenant focuses on a man held in the psychiatric ward—a very familiar man. I won't spoil anything else from the film. This is one where the less you know, the better it is. It has plenty of interesting twists and turns, and it leads to a solid climax. The exorcism felt a bit underwhelming, as if it were tacked on for no reason, but the ending still resonates.

I'll be honest with you: everyone hates Exorcist 2: The Heretic, but I've never seen it. I have watched this third installment, though. And, I like this film even more now than I did when I originally watched it decades ago, too. It blends two of my favorite things: police procedurals and demonic possession. And, like peanut butter and chocolate, it works. The story is engaging from every angle. I loved hearing about the Gemini Killer, played brilliantly by Brad Dourif. I also loved hearing about the possible supernatural explanations for the murders. It links well to the original, although it may feel outlandish at times. Best of all, it's actually frightening. It may not have the shock factor of the original film, but it does have plenty of suspense, fantastic jump-scares, and eerie visuals. The climax is lackluster, sure, but it doesn't spoil the rest of the film.

The acting was great. George C. Scott is fantastic as the leading man. He showcases a great range of sincere emotion. Brad Dourif was also very good as the unhinged patient. The film was shot well. I thought the cinematography, especially the lighting, was superb. There are some great camera angles, too. The music was also good. Again, it may not be as iconic as the music from the original, but it still works. The film was written and directed by William Peter Blatty, based on a novel of his own. I'm not familiar with his other filmmaking effort. I was incredibly impressed by his writing and direction, though. You would think he spent years behind the camera honing his skills to create something so stylish, fluid, and effective. Blatty crafted scenes filled with dread while keeping the experience intimate.

Overall, The Exorcist III is a great film. Don't let the reputation of The Heretic scare you away from watching this movie. In fact, the second film isn't actually canon, so you don't have to watch it. I strongly recommend watching The Exorcist and The Exorcist 3. They're both great films. If you love horror, don't miss this one.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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