III had the unfortunate advantage of being made after the horrible
Exorcist II: The Heretic. Written and directed by Exorcist author
William Peter Blatty, it's got some incredibly chilling moments. I
had heard a lot about the "nurse scene" from friends but had never
seen it until recently. A testament to how scary it is lies in the
fact that I was fast forwarding the DVD to find it, fully expected to
see something scary, and was still scared shitless once I found it.
great setup. A nurse makes her nighttime rounds at the asylum.
After a false "GOTCHA!" scare when a man pops up from his bed to talk
with her, you see a long lingering shot down the hallway in which she
fiddles around with stuff at her desk, interacts with a security
guard, then walks back to the hall. She enters a patient's room to
the left, and after about 4 seconds, comes out again, looking no
worse for the wear. Only immediately behind her is some crazy dude
wearing a strange white robe, carrying large shears. Right before he
cuts her head off, the shot cuts to an image of a headless statue.
It's a beatifully scary moment that doesn't fail to make your heart
skip a beat.