The Exorcist III

The Exorcist III ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Look no further than this film for proof that the Golden Raspberries was always a nasty, tasteless, moronic affair.  George C. Scott was nominated for this, a performance that is absolutely fantastic.  (Less flattering, Scott was 62 when the picture was filmed, but he looks a full 20 YEARS older, thus continuing the odd pattern of key male characters looking nothing like their ages in “Exorcist” movies.)

Among other highlights, Scott gets to deliver several meaty monologues of greatly-varying tones.  One is incredibly hopeless and devastating;  one is broadly comedic and hinges on a carp that is ruining his life.  

But he’s not the only one.  Jason Miller delivers a brilliantly measured one despite his character being possessed.  Brad Douriff, going full method, gets a couple delightfully scenery-chewing bone-chilling diatribes.

The whole thing is pretty sober in tone for a horror film, and, then again, the first half-hour often functions like a mid-budget studio comedy. (And it’s genuinely funny.)

That particular key eventually evaporated to make way for a quite earnest and honest exploration of faith, trauma, and grief depicted as seriously as a kitchen-sink drama.  But, every other scene-or-so, it is a pretty expert and truly scary horror film.  Most notably, the jump scare everyone talks about caps off what is certainly one of the most superb static long takes in film.


There’s a reference to “Spaceballs,” a movie that was only two years old during production.