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The Exorcist III

by

Jeff Nelson

I consider this film much more of a thriller than a direct horror film.

The Exorcist III
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Quite frankly, I'm surprised that another sequel was considered after the mess that is known as Exorcist II: The Heretic. Luckily, Willian Peter Blatty has returned and has to be who's mostly responsible for this film being a big step above the disaster that the first sequel was.

A police lieutenant in Georgetown mourns the anniversary of a priest's death as a serial killer strikes multiple times. In this second sequel, it may have been for the best to go a completely different route with the story. However, there are still multiple characters that are spoken of from the original. The screenplay isn't nearly as strong as the original, but it could have been much worse. There are some questionable lines of dialogue that need to be fixed up, but they're not too distracting. Just like the past two films, it's not a short flick. The pacing is slow and takes its time to build characters. Even though the story is very different from the original concept, it still managed to keep my undivided attention from start to finish.

Unfortunately, the acting is a mixed bag. George C. Scott does a suitable job as Kinderman. Some of the lines of dialogue sound a little bit tacky the way he says them. Brad Dourif definitely gives the strongest performance from all the actors as The Gemini Killer. His role demands him to be completely insane and he nails it. As a whole, the cast does a decent job. None of them are award winning performances, but they handle the movie well.

The Exorcist III takes a page from the original with the visuals. There isn't a lot of eerie atmosphere, which makes the audience focus more on the actors and the dialogue. This is mainly a dialogue driven film and even the murders are only spoken about and never shown. When the action picks up around the ending of the film, the FX aren't very good. Most of them are rather laughable, even for the time this film was made.

It's interesting that many years after the first sequel, William Peter Blatty decided to come back to do another film in this series. It has very little to do with either of the past Exorcist films, but manages to still be entertaining. It's obviously nowhere near as good as The Exorcist, but massacres Exorcist II: The Heretic. I consider this film much more of a thriller than a direct horror film. The Exorcist III is average, which is much more than anyone can say about the second film in the franchise.

My Rating = Three Stars

Next movie: Exorcist: The Beginning
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