Part of Midnight Movies
“It’s a wonderful life.”
Fifteen years after the events of THE EXORCIST (and completely ignoring the first sequel), the dynamite George C. Scott steps into the shoes of Lieutenant William F. Kinderman (played in the original by Lee J. Cobb). Seeking counsel from Father Dyer (Ed Flanders) following a screening of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Kinderman speaks of the disturbing similarities between his current murder investigation and the methods used by the “Gemini” killer (Brad Dourif) who was executed 15 years before. He soon discovers a hospitalized mental patient (Jason Miller) claiming to be the dead serial killer — but who looks uncannily like Father Karas who died during the exorcism in the first film. As more bodies are found, Kinderman looks for connections between the two supposedly dead men.
Originally intended for director William Friedkin to follow up on the success of the original, the author of that film’s source material and screenplay, William Peter Blatty, stepped in to direct this unhinged spiritual sequel which propelled the franchise into the stratosphere. Featuring gangbuster performances from the never-not-intense Scott and national treasure/scream king Brad “Chucky” Dourif, this profoundly upsetting thematic continuation of one of the scariest films of all time features one of the greatest jump scares in horror history — and is the perfect jetblack flipside to our annual screenings of Frank Capra’s Christmas classic.
“Few people love William Friedkin, John Boorman, and Paul Schrader as much as I do, but in my book, of the six or so films that have tried to turn that tortured title into a continuing franchise, Blatty’s THE EXORCIST III is the best, hands down.” —Robert C. Cumbow, Slant Magazine “THE EXORCIST III has one truly spectacular scare… Mostly, however, the film relies on the power of suggestion, smartly gambling that it can’t compete with the horrors its audience can imagine.” —A.A. Dowd, A.V. Club