Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Exorcist III

The Exorcist 3
1990 110 mins

I think the first statement i'm going to make here is the most important in this whole review. If you haven't seen this movie, you should watch it.

I'm pretty much familiar with two camps. Those who say anything past the exorcist is terrible, and those who seem to think that the 3rd entry into the series is an under appreciated gem. I would fall in to the latter camp. While this movie can in no way hold a candle to the original, this film does enough things correct to at least merit a watch.

To keep the plot point brief, this story focuses on 2 characters from the 1st movie; Kinderman and Father Dyer. It examines their relationship after the events of the first movie and shows how they deal with a seemingly supernatural killer on the loose.

One thing that works really well for this movie is that it does not try to be the first one all over again, I think had they tried that angle, this movie would have fell flat on it's face. The other thing that this film does really well is set a good atmosphere. It's a very dark film and I feel the way the scenes were shot were very well done. This is made all the more impressive considering this movie was directed by William Peter Blatty, the man who wrote the book and who only had one other feature under his belt 10 years prior.

To demonstrate how well this is shot, i'm going to re-show an oft-referenced scene:

You can try to prepare for it, but the way the music is placed and how the scene is framed and drawn out, really gives it a classic, jump scare feeling, one of which more modern films tend not to get right.

The acting here is in general quite well done, Brad Dourif is by far the stand out actor, as he gives a monologue that could be nightmare inducing for the right people.

A couple of downsides remain. This movie, as with the book, does not need to make reference to the Exorcist movie. If it weren't for the last portion, not a single exorcism would take place, and even then that was tacked on to the end for, I suppose, continuity purposes. I don't feel like the film suffers a great deal because of it, but it's certainly not necessary.

My other criticism would be that aside from a few small things, the film isn't actually *scary* per se. It's more like an intriguing murder mystery with a lot of religious symbolism thrown in, which I still really enjoyed and found refreshing.

This is an easy film to recommend. I'm only disappointed that I went so long without seeing it, as I think it's a well made film by someone who wouldn't be considered a well known director.

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