It’s going to be hard to get into why I love George C. Scott in Exorcist III without spoiling some pretty huge plot points, so I’ll try to go spoiler free for a while. Scott plays Kinderman, a detective near the end of his career who was good friends with Father Damien Karras, one of the main characters from the original Exorcist, hence where the connection comes in. Within the first few minutes after his introduction we see the three separate aspects of Kinderman’s life: his work life, family life, and friend life. What Scott gets right here is there isn’t much change in who his character is, but slight enough that we notice it; this always made Kinderman feel more real to me. Nowhere is this more apparent than with Kinderman’s relationship with his best friend Father Dyer (Ed Flanders). Flanders and Scott have really great chemistry together and the two of them have conversations that are so effortless in the delivery that they make the relationship between them seem totally genuine.
SPOILER TIME: Watch The Exorcist III
There are two scenes in particular that Scott just nails it. The first is when Kinderman realizes that the Gemini killer is going after his daughter and runs to the police car and tells them to drive. Instead of screaming or dropping a bunch of curse words, for the first part of the entire chase Scott just bites his hand. It’s so great, and when he finally snaps, it’s “Then ram the damn thing!” It’s such a great reaction to what is happening and a lesser actor probably would have used this as an opportunity to overact, but Scott’s reaction is so much more effective in my book.
The Exorcist III is still gritty for being shot in 1990. It feels a lot like a '70s horror flick, but uses imagery, subtleness and pacing to make a really solid horror movie that is not overshadowed but made better by a great performance from Scott.