The Exorcist 3 – Film (1990)

On the back of a recommendation (of sorts) from the Kermode Uncut blog I decided to watch The Exorcist 3, a film based on the book by William Peter Blatty called Legion and also directed by the author. Being the author of the original film it seemed like it must be better than The Exorcist 2 (the rule being never to watch a film that scores less then 5/10 on IMDb, in almost all cases this has been a very good barometer for crapness).

Anywho, the third instalment in the Exorcist series was quite a surprise to me in that it was actually quite good. The plot which focuses on a police officer investigating a serial murder case in Georgetown and seemingly being carried out by the deceased Gemini Killer. There is of course possession, demons and decapitations.

The film felt modern although made in 1989, there was nothing that looked to date the film and detract from the narrative. For the most part the script and the interaction between Kinderman and Father Dyer was sharp and witty, showing the clear friendship of these two main characters. The flow though was quite slow and ponderous, taking its time to build to the climax and the inevitable battle of good and evil.

Despite the horrific nature of the crimes committed during the film there was pretty no gore, no blood and no gratuitousness, everything being described rather than scene which is generally much more effective and shocking.

The first and second acts for me were the better portions of the film, once we moved into the climax, the act of exorcism, it seemed to borrow a lot that was obviously the core of the first film but without the feeling of a battle taking place and no sense that the outcome wasn’t always known before hand; it didn’t provide the level of jeopardy the first did.

Having said that it’s worth a watch for the script (most of it at least) and the cathartic process of ridding your mind of the sequel!


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