231 user 105 critic

The Exorcist III (1990)

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, leads him to question the patients of a psychiatric ward.


William Peter Blatty (screenplay), William Peter Blatty (novel)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

A teenage girl once possessed by a demon finds that it still lurks within her. Meanwhile, a priest investigates the death of the girl's exorcist.

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Richard Burton, Linda Blair, Louise Fletcher
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Years before Father Lankester Merrin helped save Regan MacNeil's soul, he first encounters the demon Pazuzu in East Africa. This is the tale of Father Merrin's initial battle with Pazuzu and the rediscovery of his faith.

Director: Renny Harlin
Stars: Stellan Skarsgård, Izabella Scorupco, James D'Arcy
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Years before Father Lankester Merrin helped save Regan MacNeil's soul, he first encounters the demon Pazuzu in East Africa. Merrin's initial battle with Pazuzu leads to the rediscovery of his faith.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Stellan Skarsgård, Gabriel Mann, Clara Bellar
The Exorcist (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair
Comedy | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A former marine arrives at a mental asylum housed in a remote castle to run it. There he attempts to rehabilitate the patients by letting them act out their craziest fantasies and desires.

Director: William Peter Blatty
Stars: Stacy Keach, Scott Wilson, Jason Miller


Cast overview, first billed only:
George C. Scott ... Kinderman
Ed Flanders ... Father Dyer
Brad Dourif ... The Gemini Killer
Jason Miller ... Patient X
Nicol Williamson ... Father Morning
Scott Wilson ... Dr. Temple
Nancy Fish ... Nurse Allerton
George DiCenzo ... Stedman (as George Dicenzo)
Don Gordon ... Ryan
Lee Richardson ... University President
Grand L. Bush ... Sergeant Atkins
Mary Jackson ... Mrs. Clelia
Viveca Lindfors ... Nurse X
Ken Lerner ... Dr. Freedman
Tracy Thorne ... Nurse Keating


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


Dare you walk these steps again? See more »


Drama | Horror | Mystery


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »




Release Date:

17 August 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Exorcist 3 See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Coincidentally, Scott Wilson, who plays the priest psychiatrist in this movie, was a psychiatric patient in the movie The Ninth Configuration (1980), which was also written and directed by William Peter Blatty. In that movie, Ed Flanders was his psychiatrist. See more »


When "Nurse X" hits the police officer, we can see a cable hooked to him when he flies back against the wall. See more »


Mrs. Clelia: My radio. Aren't you going to fix it? Nothing ever gets fixed round here. Just a whole bunch of pies and anchovies. Go away. I don't ever talk to strangers.
Kinderman: I'm the radio repairman, Mrs. Clelia.
Mrs. Clelia: Well then, fix it.
Kinderman: What's wrong with it?
Mrs. Clelia: Dead people talking. It's right here. Do you see it?
Kinderman: Yes. I see it.
Mrs. Clelia: I just knew you weren't really a radio repairman. That's a telephone I'm holding.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some European prints are rumored to include a scene depicting the violent killing of a priest, removed from the US version after unsuccessful sneak previews. A shot from this scene, showing the beheaded priest sitting on a bench and holding his own head in his lap, can be seen in the French publicity stills. See more »


References It's a Wonderful Life (1946) See more »


Liturgical Chant
Performed by Burleigh Seaver
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

An above average sequel that succumbs to conflict.
3 August 2009 | by Mr_CensoredSee all my reviews

You know you're in trouble when the box-art for the movie in your hands doesn't bare any rave-review quotes or snippets. Far be it from the discriminating viewer to judge a book (or DVD) by its cover, though, because while "The Exorcist III" looks like a subpar sequel to a classic film, the fact of the matter is that there is more to it than meets the eye. A film that is notorious for tinkering by the producers, despite being in the hands of "The Exorcist" creator William Peter Blatty, this third entry in the saga has more brains than the average 80's horror film and more weight than any sequel within the genre is ever expected to hold.

George C. Scott plays police lieutenant Kinderman (a character seen briefly in the first film), hardened but human, who is on the trail of a mysterious, sadistic and methodical killer who takes after the famed Gemini Killer (a take on the real-life Zodiac Killer), despite the fact that he has been dead for fifteen years. When a longtime friend in Father Dyer (Ed Flanders) emerges as the next victim, a chain of events unfolds that brings back a familiar face from the past in Father Karras (Jason Miller reprising his role from the first film). Bit by bit, what Kinderman unearths turns out to be bigger than himself and threatens his very existence.

Scott is reliable and likable as always in the role of Kinderman, and while Jason Miller isn't given much to do here, it's a pleasure to see him again. Brad Dourif, best known as Chucky in the "Child's Play" series, is the wild-card of the film and nearly threatens to steal the show in one of his most intense performances. The script, based off the Blatty's novel, "Legion," is hardly a re-hash of the first film, and compared to other sequels from its era, is quite a refreshing change of pace as an intelligent and classy picture in its own right. The gore and special effects are kept to a minimum, as the movie is just as much about its characters and dialogue as it is about its horrors.

The film's not without its faults, of course. Take the tacked-on ending that reeks of studio interference, for example. Blatty's battles with producer James G. Robinson (who had nothing to do with the original film in the first place) result in an intelligent horror movie/sequel that simply doesn't know how to end itself. It's as if someone was standing there saying: "This is fine and all, but we need an exorcism scene!" and voila! While it results in a rather gruesome and exciting special effects opportunity, the man-sticking-to-the-ceiling bit feels out of place with the tone of the rest of the film, which for the most part, keeps things cerebral and tasteful. This little bit felt like something you'd see in a "Hellraiser" flick, not that there's anything wrong with that. As for Patrick Ewing playing the Angel of Death in a dream sequence? Don't even get me started. Heck, even an appearance by Fabio seems bound and determined to rain on a decent parade.

In the end, "The Exorcist III" is a solid sequel that falls short of greatness. Its creativity and inventiveness is undermined by the insistence on re-introducing elements from the original film for nothing other than keeping with the namesake. Fans who felt themselves left in the cold by "The Exorcist II" will find this a treat, as will anyone else who loves an intelligent horror/thriller. Despite its flaws and the fact that it effectively killed off the franchise (was it ever meant to be?) "The Exorcist III" is as close to greatness as any of the sequels or prequels gets to the original.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 231 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed