The Exorcist III / Scream Factory (2023)

The Exorcist III (4K Ultra HD Collector’s Edition Review)

Back in 1973, the late William Friedkin masterpiece film The Exorcist set shockwaves through the world. A Horror experience like none other, to this date, The Exorcist remains to be one the most effectively terrifying films ever. Drawn from William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel of the same title, in 1983 his sequel story emerged on book shelves under the title Legion. An interesting development for fans of the original source material, it was published six years after the 1977 film sequel Exorcist II: The Heretic hit theaters; so, it could not serve as a direct follow up should it be adapted into a screenplay. Unfortunate from the stand point of sequencing feature films, save your need for order, Legion was in fact transformed into the 1990 movie The Exorcist III.

The Exorcist III still
The Exorcist III / Scream Factory (2023)

Important to draw out this history, it enlightens the less astute viewer to the fact that Blatty’s written and directed The Exorcist III is theoretically chapter two to 1973’s The Exorcist. Released in theaters on August 17th in 1990, The Exorcist III picks up fifteen years after Regan MacNeil’s exorcism in 1975. Here, Lieutenant William F. Kinderman remains still troubled by everything that has transpired. Putting it all behind him, mysterious, evil murders start to take place that now led him back to the past where he is faced with his old friend Father Damien Karras; who has been imprisoned in a high security mental ward since he saved Regan’s life and plunge out a window down a legendary staircase. A seemingly empty vessel, is Damien the unstoppable host of pure evil?

Truthfully a great follow up to the original novel and film, Blatty’s Exorcist III is hands down the best follow up film in the entire series. Dark and ominous like the original film, the atmosphere is thick and effective, making it something which should never be overlooked. Furthermore, the performances by George C. Scott as Lieutenant William F. Kinderman and Brad Dourif as the possessing Gemini Killer are simply outstanding. In fact, Dourif’s portrayal is so right on, sound clips have even been pulled from his dialogue by Metal band’s such as Children of Bodom on several occasions.

Adding more intrigue, years after The Exorcist III’s release news came down there were in fact scenes left out from the theatrical release. Happening around the mid-2000s, it was not until 2016 that finally Scream Factory stepped up and released a two-disc Collector’s Edition of the film, including the alleged lost footage. Entitling the new cut Legion, it should be noted that while it is not exactly the identical cut Blatty had created, it is still quite true to his original vision.

The Exorcist III 4k
The Exorcist III / Scream Factory (2023)

Absorbing all of this history, in 2023 Scream Factory once again answered the call for preservation of The Exorcist III, offering it for the first time ever in 4K. Presented as The Exorcist III Collector’s Edition, it arrived as a 3-disc set on March 28, 2023 with plenty to offer. For starters, this new set offers the original theatrical cut 4K Scan from the original camera negative on the 4K disc (disc one). While not the director’s cut, it still is exciting, because the imagery is sharp and sound more distinctive. This is while disc 2, a Blu-ray, gives you the same 4K transfer, but plenty of extra features. Finally, disc 3, also a Blu-ray, gives you the covenanted Legion director’s cut, but also a bundle of great features.

All put together, Scream Factory’s 2023 edition is the most comprehensive release of The Exorcist III to date. It has everything you want quality wise and satisfies a ton of curiosity with supplement content. That is why Cryptic Rock gives the 2023 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray Collector’s Edition release of The Exorcist III 5 out of 5 stars.

The Exorcist III / Scream Factory (2023)
The Exorcist III / Scream Factory (2023)

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