The Nurse Station Scene: The Exorcist III (1990)

Based on William Peter Blatty’s novel, Legion, The Exorcist III (1990) went largely unnoticed during its original theatrical release. This was probably due in no small part to the absolute trainwreck that was The Exorcist II: The Heretic. It’s unfortunate because The Exorcist III was a much more worthy follow-up to the original The Exorcist and a strong film in its own right. Blatty, who also directed the sequel, takes chances with the story, pushing it in a new and interesting direction rather than simply re-hashing the original film’s narrative.

Regardless of horror fans’ feelings about the overall film, most people agree that The Exorcist III has one of the scariest horror film scenes in history. A quick search of any ‘scariest scene’ lists will find the ‘Nurse’s Station’ scene from Blatty’s film and for good reason. Take a look below, be patient, and get ready to jump.

SOURCE: Brandon Durham

I can remember watching The Exorcist III for the first time on VHS and jumping straight out of my couch during this scene. It’s just masterfully executed by Blatty with a long set-up that shows remarkable restraint. As you’re watching the scene unfold, you know that something has to happen but Blatty keeps you waiting until you begin to wonder if this is perhaps just an extended fake-out. The steady long-camera shot and silence hanging over the scene is the perfect illustration of how ‘less’ can truly be more. When the camera finally zooms in and that screeching score punctuates the scene, you’re guaranteed to grab the arms of your seat. The Nurse Station scene deserves its place among the scariest ‘jump scares’ in horror history.


Author: Andrew Welsh

I am a Criminology professor in Canada but I've always had a passion for horror films. Over the years I've slowly begun incorporating my interest in the horror genre into my research. After years of saying I wanted to write more about horror I have finally decided to create my own blog where I can share some of my passion and insights into the films I love.

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