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The Exorcist III (1990)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Mystery  |  17 August 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 16,842 users  
Reviews: 224 user | 74 critic

A police lieutenant uncovers more than he bargained for as his investigation of a series of murders, which have all the hallmarks of the deceased 'Gemini' serial killer, lead him to question the patients of a psychiatric ward.


(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Temple
Stedman (as George Dicenzo)
Lee Richardson ...
Mary Jackson ...
Tracy Thorne ...


Lt. Kinderman and Father Dyer cheer each other up on the anniversary of the death of their mutual friend, Father Damien Karras, by going to see "It's a Wonderful Life" at the local theater in Georgetown, near Washington D.C. But there's no cheering Kinderman while a particularly cruel and gruesome serial killer is at large. His murders, which involve torture, decapitation and the desecration of religious icons, is bad enough; but they also resemble those of the Gemini Killer, who has been dead for fifteen years. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Do you dare walk these steps again? See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 August 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Exorcist III: Legion  »

Box Office


$26,098,824 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Working on the film, Brad Dourif recalls "We all felt really bad about it. But Blatty tried to do his best under very difficult circumstances. And I remember George C. Scott saying that the folks would only be satisfied if Madonna came out and sang a song at the end!" Dourif feels that "The original version was a hell of a lot purer and I liked it much more. As it stands now, it's a mediocre film. There are parts that have no right to be there. See more »


The movie suggests that Kinderman and Father Karras/Patient X were longtime friends, but they only met once in the original film, and their meeting could hardly be called cordial. See more »


Patient X: [flashback from 'The Exorcist'] Take Me. Come into Me!
See more »


Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Top 11 Scariest Performances (2010) See more »


Liturgical Chant
Performed by Burleigh Seaver
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Brainy Horror Movie... not for everyone
1 May 2006 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Most people go to horror movies for the emotional thrill, the gore and/or the adrenaline high of having things pop out and yell "boo!" Make no mistake: you won't find much of that here. So if you're looking for a movie that will make you spill your popcorn, you might wanna move on.

But if you're looking for a true psychological thriller (psychological = appealing to the intellect, not the viscera), this will be one hell of a treat for you. The dialogue is fantastic. The acting is superb (Brad Dourif & George C. Scott on the same screen. What could be better?). The philosophy is provocative. And the mood is as thick as it gets. Much of the movie is composed of a series of dialogues between two people in a dark room. If you liked the second half of APOCALYPSE NOW, you will enjoy this immensely.

I rank this movie as one of my all time English language faves with the likes of AMADEUS, 2001, Alfred Hitchcock's ROPE, PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, and CITIZEN KANE. I'm serious; it's that good. Unfortunately, it was marketed to the wrong audience, and that's why it received such low ratings. Let me repeat: this is not a spooky movie. It's actually a very intellectual story with a lot of big words, literary overtones and powerful acting, and it's one of the few movies which I consider superior to the book (but of course writer Blatty directed this, so I'd expect no less).

Now don't get me wrong; it's anything but dull. There is one scene in particular that will scare the living crap out of you! It's a long scene done with one still camera, no music, no sound, hardly any action... but egads it's probably the most suspenseful/frightening thing I've ever seen in any movie.

In the style of the classic thrillers, so much is left to the imagination of the viewer--and oh there is PLENTY of disturbing, shocking stuff to imagine. In one conversation you'll hear about a murder so vile that you'll never want to hear the word "catheter" again. And the beauty is that you never see a thing. If this subtle style appeals to you, then you certainly won't be disappointed.

10/10. And I don't give 10s very often.

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