If I ever catch myself downplaying horror sequels in the near future, I’ll be sure to remember The Exorcist III, and to then promptly quit the negativity. Written and directed by William Peter Blatty, the author of the original The Exorcist novel, The Exorcist III (1990) continues the first film’s story, only it’s 15 years later. The focus is on stone-faced, often sarcastic lawman Bill Kinderman (here played by the ever-imposing George C. Scott) and his efforts to pin down a killer that soaks his/her murders in a religuous foundation, and is mysteriously connected to the little McNeil girl’s nightmare.
Blatty, whose directing resume is all too slim, stages a handful of tense, damn chilly sequences; his M.O. for effective horror is a patient one, bent on sudden shock. There’s hardly a telegraphed scare in the entire film. The first lung-hitter is set in a confessional booth, and simply uses an unseen person’s gravely voice-from-Hell to signal the creeps. Near the film’s end, an oversize scissor and an unsuspecting teenager are Blatty’s key ingredients for a similar triumph. (There’s also a bizarre dream sequence complete with cameos from both Fabio and Patrick Ewing…. your guess is as good as mine). The crown jewel within The Exorcist III, though, is tonight’s Scene of Mine, and it’s a whopper. The entire sequence is actually nearly two minutes longer than what Youtube allows for here, so just imagine the quiet anticipation felt here amplified. I won’t say any more, in fear of spoiling anything; it’s such a blink-and-you’ll miss it image, but lord is it a slam dunk.
If you, like a high-school-aged me, were once obsessed with the forgotten horror video game Clock Tower, this scene should hit especially hard. Scene after the jump: