If I were to write a list of special talents, procrastinating would be no.1.
I’m just SO good at avoiding the things I should be doing – masterful in fact. If anyone wants tips feel free to ask, though I find staring into space helps the most. I’ve been meaning to review this film for around two months now but staring into space is preferable.
Anyway, as previously explained in this post right here – The Exorcist III was written and directed by William Peter Blatty (author of The Exorcist) and it’s a lot better than you might think. It certainly deserves more praise than just being ‘the third Exorcist’.
*this review may contain some tiny, weeny spoilers but nothing major*
‘The Exorcist III’ review
Blatty wrote the screenplay based on his seventh novel Legion, which was his sequel to The Exorcist (novel). He wanted to call the movie Legion too, but the brainiacs in Hollywood thought releasing it as a threequel (after the AMAZING Exorcist II: The Heretic….) would be a better idea (hmmm). I’ve read that Blatty fought against this vehemently but you know, the fat cats call the shots. I mean, what does the silly little author-slash-director know anyway?
So the story is set fifteen years after The Exorcist and includes characters from the original story. George C. Scott stars as Lieutenant Kinderman and Ed Flanders (Hidely-ho Neighbourino) plays Father Dyer.
Apart from an initial spooky scene to set the tone, the film starts with both men, who are friends, meeting on the anniversary of Father Karras’ death (he threw himself down the steps at the end of The Exorcist). Coincidentally – OR NOT! – Kinderman is also investigating a series of grisly, satanic-esque murders that mirror ‘The Gemini’ – a deceased serial killer (whom Blatty based on the Zodiac Killer).
George C. Scott was definitely my favourite part of the movie. Apparently he only signed up because he liked Blatty’s screenplay so much – he’d never even seen The Exorcist! But he was an excellent addition – as impressive and imposing as ever. He and Ed Flanders (Okely-dokely) were both fun to watch. I enjoyed their friendship and their “old man” conversations.
Sadly Father Dyer is murdered early on whilst in hospital. Because elements of his death match the murders Kinderman is investigating, the rest of the film then mostly takes place in the hospital where Dyer was murdered – and it’s clear something weird and evil is going on. It’s cool because hospitals are pretty creepy anyway and it provides the perfect backdrop for some super scary – and at times surreal – scenes.
We also meet some fairly strange characters – Fabio had a cameo. Yep. And there’s The Unhelpful Nurse with Rocky Horror make-up who we don’t know whether to trust or not. Of course Hershel from The Walking Dead – he played a very strange, chain-smoking doctor. Now I’m pretty good with faces but I literally had no idea it was him at all until I did some IMDB’ing. And then I was all like……
Oh, and I know that ‘Samuel L. Jackson’ is often bandied around this film but seriously, blink and you’ll miss him.
The Exorcist III feels more strongly ‘adapted from a book’ than The Exorcist did. Maybe because it was directed by a writer or because the plot is driven by a detective story -it certainly felt more involved. It’s more character and dialogue driven – I actually had to pay attention. Come on Emma, you’re not watching Con Air or Mean Girls now…
And of course it wasn’t as scary as The Exorcist, but what is anyway? Instead of the relentless terror associated with the former it had kind of a ’90s thriller’ vibe twinned with horror and fantasy. But that’s no bad thing – I mean 90s thrillers are fucking awesome and at least I can watch it on my own.
Don’t fear there are scary, screwed up scenes (one in particular was pretty damn unforgettable) and happily it retains atmosphere and tension throughout. It just won’t keep you up at night like Ms MacNeil might have done. But it’s a very solid, highly enjoyable film that definitely didn’t deserve its crummy threequel status.
Special shout out to Eric who I know loves this film!