A gruff police lieutenant investigates a serial killer who
may be tied to the exorcism-related death of Father Karras.
The Exorcist III (1990)
Written and Directed by William Peter Blatty
Starring George C. Scott, Brad Dourif, Ed Flanders, Jason Miller, Scott Wilson, Nicol Williamson, Nancy Fish, George DiCenzo
Sequel to 1977's Exorcist II: The Heretic
Based on the novel Legion by William Peter Blatty
This is the true sequel to The Exorcist, and I'd go as far to say this is one of the best horror sequels ever made. It captures the dark atmosphere and spiritual uncertainty of the first film, while at the same time willfully ignoring the second film and building on the mythology and characters. It also works really well as a standalone horror film, featuring some iconic scares that I would argue surpass the original. This is a must-see for any true horror fans.
George C. Scott plays the gruff Lt. Bill Kinderman (played by Lee J. Cobb in the first film), who is investigating a series of murders that all have a connection to the Regan MacNeil possession 15 years prior. He discovers that his good friend Father Karras (Miller) is still alive and in a psych ward, possessed by the spirit of the evil, sadistic Gemini Killer (Dourif), who was put there by the vengeful demon Pazuzu. Pazuzu wants revenge for Karras's defeat of him in the first film, and Kinderman finds himself having to accept the impossible to save his friend's soul. The back-and-forth between acting titans George C. Scott and Brad Dourif are mesmerizing, with both of them acting like their lives depended on it. And they could've easily phoned it in for a paycheck gig, but they delivered some of the best performances in horror history.
I adore this sequel. I wish more people appreciated it as much as I do. The film is eerie, extremely well-acted, intriguing, and absolutely terrifying. I think I like it even more than I like the original classic, which I know some will say is sacrilege, but I don't care. The finale is intense as hell and the journey there is never boring.