Exorcist III

6.41 h 49 min1990X-RayR
A cop investigates brutal murders similar to ones committed by a long-dead serial killer.
William Peter Blatty
George C ScottEd FlandersBrad Dourif
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Jason Miller
Carter De Haven
AMC Plus Horror
R (Restricted)
Content advisory
Smokingsubstance usealcohol usefoul languageviolence
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4.6 out of 5 stars

1668 global ratings

  1. 78% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 11% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Wayne KleinReviewed in the United States on November 1, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
A compromised film that’s still quite good despite the final third.
A flawed film that suffered from studio interference including reshooting the last third of the film to add an exorcism that was never in the script(or novel), William Peter Blatty’s film of his novel has some terrific moments and the first third stays true to the novel and (largely) Blatty’s original vision.

Originally titled “Legion” the studio decided to call “The Exorcist III” and suddenly realized they didn’t have an exorcism in the film. Giving Blatty $4 million to reshoot the ending (and do other reshoots when original actor Jason Miller became available) (Blatty elected under protest to do it only so he could at least control some of the finished film) Blatty lost the argument and did the reshoots trying to refashion a compromised film that reflected as much of his original film as possible. It’s not a perfect film nor a great sequel but a fascinating and often very good film that benefits from some strong performances, witty dialog and interesting visual effects. It’s certainly. More of a supernatural thriller getting there by way of a murder mystery, the Shout Factory reissue of this features a new transfer that is superior to the one in the Exocrist boxed set.

We also get a second disc with the alternate version that uses the surviving videotape outtakes to reassemble as close as possible the film to Blatty’s original vision of the film. While it varies in terms of image quality and it does have some other issues it’s still quite nice to have as close as possible Blatty’s original vision. It’s as close as we are going to get given that Blatty asked The studio, ages ago, for the surviving cut footage and was advised the footage was destroyed with only the video tape footage surviving.

We get deleted scenes, outtakes and bloopers as well for the film all pulled from the surviving videotape footage. We also get a deleted prologue (also found on the assembled ‘director’s cut’ on disc two) as well as a vintage featurette, interviews, TV spots and trailers.

The second disc which features the DC features an audio interview with Blatty (who has since passed away), an interview with the producer, Brad Dourif discussing the making of the film and his character, composer Barry DeVorzon, production designer and a new featurette on the special effects and the new footage shot for the film.

A troubled production due to the interference of Morgan Creek Productions, the film still manages to be a solid bit of entertainment even if it is far from perfect. It’s the second best film in the series
43 people found this helpful
B. NewbyReviewed in the United States on November 1, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
For the fans, this is the version you've been waiting for!
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I assume that many people who are looking at this product are doing so because they already know the film and wonder if the upgrade to Blu-ray is worth the money. Long story made short: if you have an appreciation for this movie, it is worth every penny to buy on Blu-ray.

For those people reading reviews to determine if they should watch this movie for the first time: This is the film adaptation of William Peter Blatty's novel "Legion" which he wrote as a sequel to "The Exorcist". The plot does not cleanly fall into the horror genre like its predecessor; rather it seems to fit better in a supernatural detective thriller, something closer to the noir genre. Kinderman, the detective who investigated Burke Denning's death in the first story, is back investigating a string of homicides. The only connections are Regan's exorcism and a long-dead serial killer. The book was meant to be an exploration of good and evil, of (Catholic) God's plan for us. The movie, rewritten by Blatty himself (who is notorious for revising his own work), is more narrow and simply acts as a basic search for God. This movie is far more philosophical on the surface than "The Exorcist" and therefore is slower in pace and more contemplative. Personally, I have always loved it, but it isn't for everyone.

On the Scream Factory Blu-Ray release: I could not have been happier with this release. As a fan of the film, I have always hoped that something of the cut footage would be found and restored in the form of a Director's Cut. The film is well-known for being overwhelmed by unsatisfied studio execs who just wanted another "Exorcist". While the original negatives couldn't be located, video tape of the dailies were found with a large portion of the original cut of the film still intact. Scream Factory did its best to splice those scenes back into the film (they are VHS-quality and in full-frame) and restore the film as close to Blatty's approved script as possible. The result is a 2-disc extravaganza for fans of the film. Disc 1 contains a beautiful 2k version of the theatrical cut of the film (previously the only cut available at all except for the ambitious Spicediver fan edit, which was an early, unauthorized attempt to create a director's cut) with a wonderful mastering of the sound. Included on this disc are a collection of interviews with cast and crew which, while probably available somewhere, were never on any DVD release of this film, so will probably be new to most fans. Also of note on this disc is a collection of cut footage (some of which isn't even in the Director's Cut) and outtakes which are fascinating to watch. Some of the bloopers are quite funny.

The big draw for this release of the film is Disc 2: The Director's Cut. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but the most notable changes are the completely restored original performance by Brad Dourif as the Gemini Killer/Damian and a completely different ending with no exorcism scene. Dourif's performance in this version is far more subtle than in the theatrical cut (which was his second version of the part) and, in my opinion, more creepy. The tension stems from his almost flippant discussion of murder and evil, his casual nature as opposed to his insistent and violent theatrical version. I don't know that I prefer one approach over the other (Dourif alone or Dourif/Miller combo), as they both have their merits. The ending to this cut of the film is perhaps more bleak and open-ended. It was abrupt and jarring, and still not like the ending to the novel. Overall, I find this cut to be closer in style and nature to the novel, so it wins me over there. Whether I would say one cut of the film is superior to the other, I cannot be sure. I've spent so much time appreciating the theatrical version that I could never turn my back on it completely.

Special features on Disc 2 are plentiful, but the multi-part "Making of" feature is absolutely enlightening for fans. Everyone has their own opinion of how this movie went, with blame being predictably placed on everyone (studio people blame Blatty, Dourif blames studio...). The fact that everyone is probably correct demonstrates what a confused mess the production of this film probably was. It also paints the film's creation in a whole new light, one that breaks down the creative process of adapting a novel to screen, how actors approach their roles, how cast and crew get along, and how the industry has so many factions with various (sometimes competing) goals. Couple this with the interview with Blatty himself, which acts as a proxy for a director's commentary, and you get a fairly complete picture of the making of this film, one that is far more honest than almost any behind-the-scenes features have ever been (save for Bill Condon's self-flagellating commentary for "Candyman 2").

Overall, I would highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Blatty's work overall, and definitely fans of this film specifically. The Director's Cut is the long-lost version of the film we always wondered about and it was definitely worth Scream Factory's time to put it together, and for us to watch it. Once again, Scream Factory has given fans a fantastic release of a fantastic film.
97 people found this helpful
Michael J. McGovernReviewed in the United States on October 12, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Secret Best Exorcist Film
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Exorcist III is something of a lost classic, and for me it surpasses the original for sheer eerie terror (and even has a wickedly funny first act). If you haven’t seen it, do yourselves a favor and pay the three bucks for a digital rental and watch George C. Scott chew the scenery and endure the horrors of reincarnation and autopsy equipment.

The film picks up with two side characters from The Exorcist, police lieutenant Bill Kinderman and Father Dyer (the Regan story was completed in The Heretic, with debatable results). If not for a few surreal, eerie sequences, the first act could be mistaken for a comedy focusing on Kinderman and Dyer, whose friendship blossomed after the events of the first film. The two cheer each other up on the anniversary of Damien Karras's death, talk religion and philosophy, and crack jokes like old friends, and their dynamic is really strong from a character standpoint. Then the first act abruptly ends (I won't spoil how), and the film shifts tone, as Bill's investigation into a series of strange murders becomes personal. And from then on, the film becomes viscerally terrifying and startling. Much of the horror plays out in your own head; we see the means of murder or the wind-up to murders more often than we actually see a corpse, and the effect is often shockingly intense. When this film's demon really reveals its potential in the final act, things start to happen that for me are far scarier than poor Regan spiderwalking down the stairs.

Go in with an open mind, don't expect a remake of the first film, and strap in for an unexpectedly tense horror thriller.
33 people found this helpful
Fryzilla: King of the MonstersReviewed in the United States on November 4, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
One Flew Over the Exorcist Nest
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Third times the charm? In this case, yes. I'm not much of a fan of The Exorcist, but I do recognize it as a great film and one of the most scariest films of all time, if not THE scariest film of all time. I've heard a lot of good about the third movie, and it was on the Nostalgia Critic's Top 11 Scariest Movie Performances. And well, I definitely see why. First off, the movie completely ignores Heretic, I think we all can agree that's a good decision. Second, the movie has a more murder mystery vibe to it which helps give it more suspense and atmosphere. Third, Brad Dourif's performance as The Gemini Killer is just so creepy and unsettling that he's awesome, especially by the way he talks. Seriously, he is such a good actor! Plus the movie has one of the greatest jump scares in film history! Even though there were some parts of the movie that made no sense, like the Jesus statue's eyes opening up in the beginning or how Father Karras's possessed body ended up in a psyche ward in a hospital, or there were parts that I felt were missing some important scenes, this is still a great movie! It's not as good as the original, but it's still a good scary movie to turn your head 360 degrees too!
14 people found this helpful
TromaReviewed in the United States on December 2, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
The most complete version of the Exorcist III we will ever see
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Scream Factory did again. Just like when they knocked it out of the park with Nightbreed, here we get the most definitive version of the Exorcist III we will ever see. The bonus, this release includes tons of extras as well that give insight into how we ended up with two vastly different versions of the film. If you haven't revisited this movie in awhile you need to give it another shot and this version will help you appreciate it even more. Certainly among the best releases from Scream Factory.
32 people found this helpful
Matthew D'SouzaReviewed in the United States on January 13, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Horror is in the Detail
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A gripping detective mystery with horrifying elements.

William Peter Blatty’s horror mystery The Exorcist III (1990) is a fascinating slow burn of escalating strange facts and frightening scenarios. While the horror is not gore or body horror, the detailed descriptions of all the killings makes The Exorcist III a chilling crime drama. Blatty’s direction is really interesting considering he’s only a writer normally. He doesn’t compare to peak William Friedkin directing The Exorcist with magical creativity, but Blatty is a strong direction with a clear vision for how he wanted his Legion novel adapted to the big screen. The Exorcist III is nearly as good as The Exorcist and every bit as engaging and emotional.

Blatty’s script is a shining star here as his writing is funny with silly jokes and gripping in his complex killer script. Blatty’s screenplay is one of those remarkable scripts with heartfelt earnesty towards his characters and a thoughtful muder mystery with shocking supernatural turns. The idea that you avenge your dead friends is interesting in itself. I really like how Blatty conveys his creative ideas here in a visually intriguing way. The editing is insane with wild moments like the dream sequence. I think too much of the plot is explained by the outstanding performance from Brad Dourif, who steals every scene he’s in here as a mad serial killer called The Gemini Killer.

It’s too bad that the entire film is not complete as the superior director’s cut that adds extra character moments has grainy VHS quality segments slapped together in there. The more flamboyant theatrical version is gorgeous and nicely remastered by the folks over at Scream Factory for anyone interested in a blu-ray of The Exorcist III. At least in the theatrical you get a cool cameo from Jason Miller from The Exorcist as Patient X.

George C. Scott goes out with a bang for his final major motion picture role for a real great feature. He admirably recreates the same vibe as Detective Kinderman as Lee J. Cobb brought to the role in The Exorcist. His emotionally devastated faces screwed in pain and eyes filled with tears is a neat change of pace for Scott’s career. Scott contributes to acting again with a mature and nuanced acting performance in a loving endcap to a legendary career. George C. Scott adds a warmth and energy to every line that gives his detective a resonant realism.

Ed Flanders is so gentle and funny as the priest Father Dyer. I also enjoyed Nicol Williamson as Father Morning.

Scott Wilson is unnerving as a doctor that smokes and who is obsessed with the occult. Wilson’s Dr. Temple is as odd as his encounters with Scott’s understated detective.

Lastly, there are plenty of neat cameos in The Exorcist III including Teresa Wright, Fabio, Larry King, and even Samuel L. Jackson if you look hard enough.
5 people found this helpful
MCReviewed in the United States on November 15, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
Surprisingly good sequel to The Exorcist
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I'd avoided watching this movie for a long time because I was afraid it would be in the vein of Exorcist II. I couldn't have been more wrong. After seeing Comic Girl 19's review of the new directors cut, I decided to check it out.

The movie does start out pretty slow, but the acting is top notch and it delivers plenty of scares toward the end. Brad Dourif's role as the Gemini Killer is especially haunting. It starts off 15 years after the events of The Exorcist, with a very similar style, but takes the story of of demon possession into much deeper territory.

This may not be for everyone, but horror buffs and fans of the original may be surprised that this movie is so overlooked. Definitely the true sequel that I'd wish I'd seen earlier.
25 people found this helpful
Kevin CarhillReviewed in the United States on October 11, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Not at all what I was expecting
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This isn't really a horror, it's more of a crime drama with an over the top ending... Still, it's instantly become one of my favorites!... George C Scott gives a great performance. The dialog is witty and clever, all the characters feel like they have some depth to them... The directing is solid, and I wonder why the director hasn't done more movies? Some of the hard cuts are a little jarring, but it all seems to fit, in fact those hard cuts add to the feel... It's a pretty atmospheric movie. The sound is great. I would even say the sound design is the unsung MVP of this film... Look out for some random cameos: Samuel L Jackson, Larry King, Patrick Ewing, and Fabio!... There is a great, great scene at the hospital where the camera just holds down the hallway (I won't give it away)... Again, it's not a gore fest horror with jump scares, but this movie drew me in right away. It's a compelling drama of a cynical old cop finding his way through a demonic murder case, and pays off with a wonderful over the top climax.
5 people found this helpful
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