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  • For the most part, films which were intended to frighten the viewing audience usually succeed in instead producing involuntary laughs. So it was nice to see a 'horror' film that not only has a brain for a change, but actually succeeds in being frightening. It may help that the film is allegedly based on true events, which gives credibility to the storyline, and prevents the movie from having those annoyingly gaping plot holes. And indeed, the heading "Based on a true story" doesn't come off as a glaring lie. There are indeed events happening in the film which are questionable as to whether they actually occurred in real life, but the beauty of 'Emily Rose' is that most of the film is retold by various characters, so the events described are as the character perceived them. In this way, the film doesn't distance its audience by declaring that "well, demons were in the film which was 'based on a true story', so demons must actually exist".

    But in many ways, 'Emily Rose' is different from almost every past horror movie in the sense that it doesn't make really obvious attempts to frighten its audience. Instead, director/co-screenwriter Scott Derickson seems content to make us think. There are several questions raised in the film regarding religious beliefs and the public's general perception of them, but these are all handled in an objective and impartial manner. And as for the scare factor, since the filmmakers aren't overly obvious in trying to scare the audience, the film actually is frightening at several points - again, unusual for a horror film. The frightening events regarding Emily Rose's exorcism are all the more frightening as they don't seem horribly staged and predictable. (although the cheesy demonic animation, as shown in the trailer, could have been done far better) It's true that composer Christopher Young seems unable to resist the horror movie cliché of having horribly over-dramatic music which builds to a climax at the most frightening moment, but for the most part the movie is able to surpass the usual horror clichés.

    It helps of course that the cast all deliver quality performances, the obvious standout being Jennifer Carpenter as Emily. Her possession scenes are nothing short of incredible, the sheer torment she seems capable of portraying is utterly captivating. Laura Linney also shines in the lead, giving a powerful and affecting performance as the attorney of the convicted priest who performed Emily Rose's exorcism. As said priest, Tom Wilkinson also manages to impress, delivering a quietly effective and very human performance. My only complaint is that the characters of Campbell Scott and Colm Feore were really badly written, coming off as the typical antagonistic figures, and nothing more. Both give satisfying performances, despite their one dimensional characters, especially Feore, who has always been talented at taking terribly written characters, and giving them life and personality nonetheless.

    So The Exorcism of Emily Rose may not quite be the very best of its genre, but it certainly proves to be one of the more intelligently made ones. The director seems to have for once taken that extra step, and put aside the endless thrills and shocks in favor of making us think a bit. There are some cheesy effects, such as the demonic visions, but there are some genuinely frightening parts, especially the actual exorcism scene, mainly due to the chilling and captivating performance from Jennifer Carpenter as the title character. The principle cast members, Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson also give strong performances, bringing many layers to their characters. Quite the quality piece overall, and one worth seeing.

  • Wonderful, wonderful movie. A lesson in film-making. I know a lot of people won't be able to see it for what it is because of the supernatural/horror elements (which are usually a turn-off for film snobs), but the movie is just extremely well-made.

    Consider the fact that Linney's character's true conflict is not winning the trial, but a satisfyingly complex internal struggle which I will not name so as not to spoil the movie. Or the plethora of food for thought that the movie offers, regarding existentialist issues of perception vs. objective truth, and social issues of liability and responsibility.

    Some very interesting scenes that find ways to express things in subtle and creative ways without spelling them out. And an incredible and ballsy performance by Jennifer Carpenter, which takes Linda Blair's possession to a whole new level. Also, notice how a key dramatic monologue is presented, contrary to what we might expect, with no sentimental music in the background. The cinematography is also great. I was reminded of Dario Argento's vivid colors in Suspiria on more than one occasion.

    Although it's not the focus of the film, the movie also offers a few very cool scare moments, and seeing Emily possessed is terrifying.

    This is my favorite "underdog" movie of the year so far.
  • Yes, I know, we've seen too many mediocre horror movies in the past few years. Yes, I'm fed up with horror stories that are "based on true events", too, but don't write this movie off too soon. If you ignore the assertion that this has all happened in reality and just accept that you're in for a supernatural movie, you'll have a gay ol' time with "The Exorcism Of The Emily Rose".

    The first thing to mention is that there has never been a combination of horror movie and courtroom drama before, and while some reviewers have stated that the two genres don't go together well, I have to disagree. The courtroom setting added a lot of suspense to the story and horror movies always work best when there is suspense added to the spooky and creepy elements. And boy, does this movie have some creepy scenes.

    The four main actors do a fine job and the restrained direction is pretty atmospheric too, except for some minor fashionable shots that are probably not going to age very well (for example, one time Scott Derrickson reverts to Darren Aronofsky-cam, which is already getting old). Anyway, the main attraction is the story itself, and as I've said, it's fast paced and exciting - at least until the third act. Up until that point it's hard to watch the screen at times because Derrickson uses his shock scenes so effectively and steers clear of any jump-clichés. Then a certain climax is reached, the movie reduces its supernatural elements and relies maybe a bit too much on the courtroom drama aspect. On the plus side Derrickson avoids going over the top like so many other horror movies do including embarrassing CGI-orgies in their showdowns. On the other hand, it is exactly that relatively quiet ending that prevents "The Exorcism Of Emily Rose" from becoming a real classic. One just has the feeling that the priest and the trial made a whole lot of fuss about nothing, because there's no real solution in the end.

    "The Exorcism Of Emily Rose" has enough chilling moments not to be overshadowed by "The Exorcist", the big Kahuna of the exorcism genre, but it's not going to be remembered as a cornerstone of the horror genre. In 2005 you couldn't find a lot of spooky movies that were better than this one, though.
  • With the exception of the title, " Emily Rose" vs "Anneliese Michel", this was an excellent adaptation of the book. Actually, one of the consultants was Felicitas Goodman, the author and anthropologist who studied this case and I believe, owns the audiotapes of the ritual.

    It is actually more of a court room drama. However, there is no sparing of pure psychological terror. All and all an excellent movie. Other posters have observed that believing in Christianity or the lack thereof, is not shoved down the viewer's throats. It allows one to form their own opinion.

    My only concern; the PG-13 rating. Way too intense for viewers 10-13 years old or younger.
  • CosmicCharlie9 September 2005
    This is an interesting film. While it's not terribly frightening, the film's juxtaposition of court room drama, and the exorcism scenes are intriguing. I found it to be less of your stereotypical demonic possession movie (ie: The Exorcist), and more of a film that leaves you pondering the possibilities and questioning our more modern perspectives and scientific rationales for things that sometimes can't be adequately explained through these means. The fact that it's based on the reported possession of Anneliese Michel (circa 1970, Germany) does make the film more unnerving. The actor's performances, while not exceptional, are at least engaging. The special effects are rather limited, but well done. All in all, It's a film that 's certainly worth watching.
  • Coventry14 November 2005
    Ironically enough, "The Excorcism of Emily Rose" got released in my country (Belgium) synchronously with another similar, real-life lawsuit. A self-acclaimed exorcist has to justify the death of a young girl after performing inhuman rituals and fatal exorcism tricks. It's weird having seen this movie and then follow the lawsuit on TV and in newspapers. It's so easy to deny the existence of demonic possession and to brush aside exorcism as quackery, but then – as this film shows – you're also questioning people's beliefs and family values. Emily Rose is the sympathetic daughter of a poor but deeply religious rural family. Shortly after her long-anticipated start at the university, her body becomes the host of no less than 6 different demons. The priest of the little town where she lives, father Moore, is doing everything he can to purify Emily's body but the demons are too strong and she doesn't survive the exorcism. What makes this film different than the obvious 70's classic "The Exorcist" (which also entirely revolves on the possession of an innocent girl) is that the story takes place after the actual exorcism and in the courtroom where father Moore is on trial for negligent homicide. His ambitious lawyer Erin Bruner goes straight for the acquittal of her client, but father Moore only cares for telling Emily's story, despite the fact that this can cost him his career as a priest. The screenplay of this film was based on a true story and director Scott Derrickson does a great job in making the extended courtroom sequences interesting and compelling. The flashbacks, showing Emily's horrible decrepit, are very atmospheric and contain multiple shock-moments. The acting is sublime, with a powerful Tom Wilkinson as the devoted priest and an enchanting Jennifer Carpenter as the poor Emily Rose. This is not a full-blooded horror film, but definitely one of the most unsettling, disturbing and thought-provoking dramas of the last few years. Highly recommended!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Some people are going to be shocked by the last 15 minutes of the film. It is NOT a remake or bad copy of "The Exorcist". That film is truly understandings for reasons that are pretty much its psychological ties to the fears in all of us. In "Emily Rose", the emphasis is on our perspectives, and how it affects our choices. Laura Linney is truly phenomenal in the film, and I sure hope she finally receives all the prizes that have eluded in the last few years. As a side note, I have just witnessed the remarkable work by Rachel Weisz in "The Contant Gardener", and I have to state my opinion that Ms. Linney is a bit more powerful and effective in her multi-layered performance as the defense attorney.

    "Emily Rose" will have people talking because it demands its audience to take sides as it reveals the events that led to the exorcism of the title. In here, the church grants permission to go ahead and perform an exorcism on Emily Rose, the title character. Things turn out to be a little different, and suddenly the priest who performed the exorcism finds himself in the middle of a big mess. Throw in the elements of psychological and physical ailments versus theological beliefs, and you really have a collision of very powerful forces.

    The film presents both sides quite well, and there are times when you have to really make an effort to avoid switching perspectives. In the end, it's very clear what the writers and filmmakers set out to do, but it's an intense and very emotional 2 hrs. The film works very well because of Wilkinson's fiery priest and the outstanding work of Campbell Scott. Yet it belongs to Laura Linney in what might be her most powerful performance yet. She truly presents a case, with steely assurance she is one of the best things to come out of Hollywood in the last two decades. Now we know her work "You Can Count on Me" and "Kinsey" were just the beginning. One could sense the power in the chilling closing scenes of "Mystic River" and her limited appearance in "The House of Mirth". Nothing comes close to what she achieves here.
  • I just saw this movie today and thought it was wonderful.

    The acting was excellent, from one end to the other. The scenes, the flashbacks, the drama, the horror, the faith vs doubt theme ... all were entwined in a back-and-forth web that maintained constant focus on the strongest feature of all: the Story itself.

    And what a Story! I won't give it away except to say that the plots and subplots and intrigue and characterizations were all woven together to spin a simply riveting, terrifying, provocative, endearing, challenging Story.

    I really liked the multiple depictions of What Happens and How the Characters React. You see Something Happen; and then feel Fear; and then watch the Face of the Character on hand experience Fear; and then perhaps the order is slightly changed: you see the Face of the Character experience Fear as the Character gazes in terror over the viewer's shoulder. Then you see What the Character is looking at. And experience Fear.

    I also really liked the legal conflict ... and the way the Story honored both sides. There's no doubt, ever, where our sympathies lie: with the Laura Linney character. Yet, the prosecutor is not at all a "straw man." He is give a great opening, and is effective and believable throughout. This enhanced greatly the Doubt vs Faith conflict that reinforced the Story throughout.

    And through all this, the Priest's insistence that the Story should be told, is what really drove the action above all. This gave a feeling of authenticity to the Story that both made it appealing, and frightening.

    A wonderful, wonderful, movie ... !
  • Addie-210 September 2005
    I think one of the biggest problems with today's movie industry is that in teasers and trailers most, if not all, of the action/special effects are shown. Then you go see a movie because the trailer looks great only to find out that you've basically seen all the good stuff. Thankfully, I have learned that this is how many trailers work, but I still go see a movie praying that I'm not wasting my hard-earned money on a really expensive and really long commercial; let me savor something! I was pleasantly surprised at The Exorcism of Emily Rose; going knowing that it's not only about her exorcism, but also about the trial that follows.This movie is also about alternatives,what ifs, and perceptions. A good movie for psychology majors--as am I--who are trying to learn about mental illness, diagnosis, and the DSM-IV.

    You don't need to know much about Emily, science, exorcism, or the Bible to be able to follow this movie; but, if you do, it'll definitely make you raise questions about your own faith, beliefs, and what you've learned throughout life about yourself.

    Will you like this movie? Think "Primal Fear" meets "The Exorcist" meets the TV Show "Fact or Fiction".
  • angelalyn1461210 September 2005
    First of all this was a good movie. I wouldn't necessarily consider it a horror movie like Friday The 13th but it was suspenseful like The Ring. I had to look away sometimes because being a suspenseful movie watcher all my life I knew by the sound of the chilling music something was gonna happen that would freak me out and boy did it do its job.

    It wasn't overly predictable. It was a look back on what exactly happened when Emily Rose got possessed and how it ended. It wasn't a "push the catholic belief down everyones throat" because defending the Priest was an agnostic lawyer trying to not only get ahead in her career but convince a journey that medical science could not determine she had a medical condition but a demonic possession. Cant tell you anymore than that.

    The movie had a "dark" look and was cozy it kept me on the edge of my seat and the way she got possessed and how she looked was way freaky. Good movie and worth to own on DVD!
  • benign_man24 September 2005
    When one reads here the opinions of a lot of fellow cinema lovers on this film they will realise that there are a lot of creditable variables by which one perceives the ''right'' course this film should have taken.

    To my mind though,technicalities and possible directorial ''irregularities'' are not what's most important about this film.This film shows strong ,excellent performances by all the main actors and the director has managed to make this seem like a real story that could have happened to just anybody.

    We don't see the horrible violence of ''The Exorcist'' nor are the images and scenes shown as scary.What we see, lays emphasis on the drama and suffering of a girl and touches on the human side of things.I think that the perspective of this film is to a have more a social impact,not so much to be a horror film.

    It conveys a lot of messages and stresses how important it is to have integrity how sometimes you have to sacrifice your ambitions ,to do what your heart tells you.How some life experiences change us,our personality,and give us a true,deeper wisdom and understanding of life.How they can make us revise some views that previously we thought were unshakeable.

    Finally,the film provides an explanation why sometimes God allows some horrible things to take place and some people to become martyrs.

    I do agree though that for a materialistic,atheistic person this film might be less ''thrilling'' than he would have expected it to be.I have called it a ''modest masterpiece'' because in a simple,humane,full of strong performances way,it touches our hearts and strengthens our beliefs in justice,moral values,and for those of us who believe,in God and His mercy.
  • pattisd26 August 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    I had the opportunity to view an advance showing on Thursday, August 25th. I didn't find one 'dull' spot what-so- ever. There's not much to say that wouldn't spoil the ending, although the ending for the most part was slightly predictable. It's what happens before ... the flash-backs, trial testimony, the suspense that wasn't predictable. I will most likely see this again once it hits the theaters. I was not the only one in the theater to 'jump out of my seat'. Although only rated PG-13, I personally would not recommend viewing by anyone under the age of 18, due to the intensity and religious beliefs. And to know this was based on a true story is the most disturbing ... I'm still wondering if she was possessed, or was it actually epilepsy?? Watch and make your own decision ... just be sure to keep a tight grip on your popcorn!
  • Scott Derricksen's well-executed multi-layered film works both as a psychological horror and a gripping courtroom drama. He was so inspired by the novel and intrigued by the issues presented that he ended up making this movie. It shows that he has done extensive research.

    What I liked about the horror element is that even though there are a few jumps, it does not derail into ridicule. The director doesn't overdo any violence, blood, scary faces and whatever. Derricksen uses a lot of silence which leaves the viewer in a heightened state of suspense desperately wondering what will break the silence. His use of colour is clever and it sets a chilling atmosphere. You can see hints of Dario Argento and Gaspar Noé. For example the red lit corridor in Emily's dorm looks eerily like that underground subway passage in 'Irréversible'. The exorcism scenes are quite chilling (unlike the unintentionally funny ones in 'The Exorcist'). The courtroom sequences raise some interesting questions about scientific reasoning versus the unknown and unexplained. I was impressed that it didn't become one of those God versus Science movies but the Shohreh Agdashloo track left a lot to be desired.

    In addition to being a well crafted film, the performances are among the highlights. Tom Wilkinson gives a phenomenal subtle performance. A ravishing Laura Linney is equally electrifying from the yuppie ambitious lawyer to one whose internal conflict makes her doubtful. Jennifer Carpenter delivers an astonishing performance. It couldn't have been an easy part to pull off and would have been easier to mess up but she does a solid job. It definitely makes Linda Blair's bad performance (in the 'Exorcist') look miserable.

    I'm not much of a horror movie fan, mostly because they tend to be ridiculous and end up being funny or boring rather than having the intended effect. It will be wrong to lable 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' is much more than just another horror flick because it does raise questions and tackles some issues without coming to a definitive conclusion (as there are simply no answers to some things that happen).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    First of all "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is not a well crafted film. The hollow plot devices and dialogues are laughably stale, cinematography and editing are lacking any style and the scares simply fall flat. A cast of usually brilliant performers delivers uninspired, phone-in performances. Of course, I could dismiss this flick as a dumb, misguided, scare-free piece of drivel. Unfortunately, it's much worse than that.

    Like most pictures dealing with the subject, this film actually treats demonic possession as real and thus depicts the practice of exorcism not only as viable but as a necessary tool against the forces of evil. This generally makes exorcism pictures propaganda material for a rather medieval method still covered by today's catholic doctrine. Now, it's not that I generally oppose the catholic faith, but this particular practice is despicable. While most pictures of this horror sub-genre go more for simple scares than philosophical discussion, this film takes a stance for exorcism by putting the conflict in a court room.

    The filmmakers make a big deal out of the fact that the film is based on a true story, suggesting that the case of "Emily Rose" substantiates the existence of demonic possession and that all the people involved were in fact not unscrupulous religious fanatics, but upright men of faith. If you are familiar with the true case, which took place in Germany in the late 1970s, this depiction will strike you as disgusting and cynical spin doctoring. An obscene, exploitative propaganda piece void of any integrity or empathy for authentic human suffering. Anneliese Michel (the "real" Emily) and her grueling fate are not treated with the proper respect.

    In short, Michel was a deeply religious, though psychologically disturbed young woman, who was basically tortured to death by a her parents and some priest, because everyone involved agreed that her epileptic convulsions and tourette-like rantings were clear signs of demonic possessions. Severely beaten up, with her front teeth knocked out(all supposedly by the demon inside her) she died of starvation after days of exorcism. The practice of exorcism had been made fairly popular in catholic circles through the smash hit success of Willam Friedkin's The Exorcist a few years earlier, so it was a small leap of faith for Michel, her family and that priest to believe exorcism was a viable option. After Michel's death copies of an audio taping of her exorcism became a very popular device to promote the catholic cause in church groups - basically making Michel a poster child for exorcism. Two years after Michel's death, her parents and her exorcist were convicted, but came off with ridiculously short jail sentences.

    Treated with the proper respect and integrity and with some actual brains behind the project this film could have made some powerful statements about fanaticism and homicidal tendencies, if it only had stayed true to it's source material. The true story of Anneliese Michel is a haunting testament to the cruelty of men. It could make for a very intense, grueling drama. "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is quite the opposite. It's an unwilling farce, exploiting the sad, cruel fate of Michel, using cheap shock effects and cheesy story-lining.

    It is beyond me why such brilliant actors as Laura Linney, Campbell Scott (two of my absolute favorite actors) and Tom Wilkinson would have participated in this horribly, ill-conceived borefest. After all, they have been known to usually star in intelligent, independent-minded films. This is just a clumsy exploitation flick pandering to the religious right (who made this cheap movie a box office-success). It saddens me to think they did it for the money, but it saddens me even more to think that they actually believed this film to be a project of integrity.

    The torture of psychologically disturbed Anneliese is turned into the saintly martyrdom of Emily, who decides upon meeting Mother Mary halfway into the exorcism, that she would rather have some more fatal demonic torture than being let into heaven right away - because that is the true way of showing Satan and his pals who's boss (beats me how that works). All of this is being told through some corny letter from Emily that the exorcist reads out aloud while in the witness stand. The jury then decides, that even though he is clearly guilty, he should not be put in prison, because he's not a homicidal fanatic, but rather a nice old man who stands by his faith. The judge agrees and let's good old Tom Wilkinson go. Of course, by this time (close to the end credits) the film has already established that the priest actually is right - since we can see the demon doing all sorts of shenanigans: harassing Laura Linney's lawyer lady and stopping her watch at 3am (the demonic witching hour, we learn - by the way, the only demonic thing going on at that time around where I live is Larry King interviewing Dr.Phil and other phonies), yanking poor Emily around, widening her pupils to give her what can only be described as Demonovision, making her play piano and letting her speak Aramaic, Latin and of course, the ever evil German (so the demon is musical and multilingual - neat, eh?). To make the whole thing a fair and balanced experience for the audience, Campbell Scott's disgruntled prosecutor gets to show his cynical debunked view of events, but it's clearly established through light switches moving by themselves, some kooky doctor witness mysteriously getting run over by a car, a lame version of aforementioned audio tape (the true recording is terrifying, by the way) and some silly locket with the defender's initials, that there are definitely divine and hellish forces battling it out here.

    So in the end this film cheesily gives a thumbs up to exorcism, while using the horrific true story of a victim of that very practice as a basis. It's sickening.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Exorcism of Emily Rose is based upon a true story, the events that lead up to the death of Emily Rose. Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) was a young college student, who believed she was possessed. Her family and her pastor did everything they could to save her.

    This was not your typical horror flick. Though there are some scary scenes throughout, this story is more about Emily Rose and her story. A story that her pastor, Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson), tries desperately to tell during his trial. Erin Bruner (Laura Linney), Moore's attorney, tries to defend Moore whom she believes is a good man. This movie scares you without confirming Emily Rose's possession. Despite the horror angle, this movie is also about self-sacrifice, love and loyalty.

    I think horror movie fans might be disappointed with this, however, I thought it was really good. A scary movie with a good plot and a good message.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    When dealing in matters of faith many people tread lightly. Sometimes it because we want to be sensitive and not offend. Other may fear that their agendas may air on the side of propaganda rather than inspiration. In the case of THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE I believe the film makers committed an even bigger sin, they made a film that was just plain stupid.

    When young Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter, Whit Chicks) went off to college she thought all her dreams were coming true. That is until the six demons climbed into her body, one claiming to be Lucifer himself. The medical community thinks she may have epilepsy and so they put her on meds. Her parish Priest Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson, In The Bedroom) suggests a higher form of intervention and performs and exorcism on her. Now Emily Rose is dead and it's up to a hotshot Lawyer (Lauren Linney, You Can Count On Me) to defend Father Moore's actions and to keep him out of jail.

    Director and Co-Screenwriter Scott Derickson (Hellraiser:Inferno) claims to have invented the first Horror/Courtroom Drama. I think he's right, and after sitting through this film I know why it took so long for it to happen. It doesn't work Not only because you cannot stop and think for one moment that this is how a courtroom is run. But mostly because you're not quite sure why Father Moore is up on the stand and not the doctor (Duncan Fraiser, The Claim) who was checking her vitals the whole time, Emily's Father, and/or Emily's Boyfriend who were all there at the scene of the crime . They were all present and did nothing to stop it. Why the heck do you only charge Father Moore with the crime? If you go to this movie thinking it's a horror film your seriously mistaken. It's more like the worst written episode of Law and Order you've ever seen. Courtroom cliché's abound, even a minor character who can shed light on the situation is bumped off. Why? Well for once it was an accident, or was it an act of God? The plot thickens, okay not really.

    The sad part is that there could have been a compelling movie here. Emily Rose's story could have been fascinating. But alas for a film in which the Father Moore spouts out a half dozen times "I need to tell Emily's story." We only scratch the surface of who Emily Rose was? Why was she possessed? I can't for one moment believe it was for the half-baked and silly reason the film claims. What was she like before she went to college? Except for on old house full of cats and parents whom I might consider a little odd the film never delves into that.

    Instead of telling Emily's story the film focuses on a trail that is so convoluted and silly that I almost burst out laughing. The final argument for Father Moore's innocence is that "There are No Facts Only Possibilities." Give me a break, what kind of numb-skull logic is that? Did Linney's character get a law degree off the back of a fortune cookie? That's not to say their aren't some redeeming qualities to the film. Lauren Linney and Campbell Scott (The prosecutor) do a tremendous job with a half baked script, and while he should probably stick to directing Scott Derrickson shows that he could make a nice moody Horror film if given the right material.

    THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE misses the mark so badly its pretty much unredeemable. It's almost a shame because you can tell that a great many minds worked hard to make a film that asked us to explore our faith "with fear and trembling." Next time forget platitudes and try to tell a good story. Because good intentions, with poor plotting and sloppy story telling make a joke of any message you might try to foist on your audience.
  • peterhall04925 March 2006
    The film "Exorcism of Emily Rose" is blatant propaganda, all but unwatchable for its cringe-inducing transparency. Its first purpose is not to tell a story but is instead to persuade viewer that exorcism - and therefore the Devil and God - are real entities.

    The story centres on a courtroom, used as a vehicle to "prove" the case of the film makers. The courtroom drama is interposed with cuts of the "posssesion" which are designed to add verisimilitude to their case, but which I find disingenuous.

    The use of an "anthropologist" as a "scientific" witness to back their case yet further is appalling, especially when contrasted with the frailty of the medical evidence given in support of the prosecution (that is, in opposition to the film makers views).

    I concluded this film is really about "science versus religion", and that its maker believes such a debate exists to be won; a proposition that surely is most unwelcome.
  • fuelrod28 November 2006
    This is properly one the most disgusting films ever made.

    In the mid-70th a German girl was killed by a Catholic priest and her deeply religious parents. The murder took place in the form of an exorcism performed because of the girl's epilepsy and borderline personality.

    I could have accepted the concept of plain horror movie based on that story, but to turn this sad event into a defence for cold religious fanatics that killed in the name of God - and for two of them even their own daughter - makes me wanna p***.

    Taking into consideration the fact, that more and more innocent people are being killed directly and indirectly by religious fanatics of various kinds through wars and acts of terrorism, just makes the purpose of this film even more disgusting.

    If you want to see a horror movie about exorcism go see an "The Exorcist" movie - if you want to see the true story about the case this movie claims to be based on go see the German movie "Requim" (2006).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Emily Rose is a devout Catholic who undergoes a shocking and unexpected transformation while at college.Her family asks Father Moore to perform an exorcism.When Emily dies,Moore is charged with criminally negligent homicide.Laura Linney plays Erin Bruner,the lawyer hired to defend Moore."The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is based on a true facts.This is a highly ambitious horror flick that has its share of suspense and scares.It mixes elements of courtroom drama with possession flick in the vein of "The Exorcist".Laura Linney,Tom Wilkinson and Campbell Scott are all great,as is Jennifer Carpenter as Emily Rose.There are a few good scares with director Scott Derrickson using awkward pauses of silence mixed with a few furious demonic scenes to build and keep steady tension.Unfortunately the film is occasionally quite dull during its courtroom segments,however it surely asks a lot of important questions about our faith or beliefs.So if you enjoyed "The Exorcist" or "Omen" you may give this one a look.Fans of sleaze/gore will be disappointed.7 out of 10.
  • jahwomble11 June 2010
    The exorcism of Emily Rose,really is an average to pretty mediocre courtroom drama, made worse by the constant and heavy handed introduction of blatant Christian propaganda permeating pretty much every scene. It's one redeeming factor was Jennifer Carpenter's superb performance,her scenes unfortunately were few and far between though, she really worked for her fee here. It felt to me from quite early on that the message about the agnostic lawyer eventually accepting the existence of a god was just really obviously and the whole point of the film. So unless you really want to sit through what feels like hours of pro Christian cinema, don't bother.
  • The movie doesn't work as a horror movie and it doesn't work as drama.

    It's just a bland propaganda vignette that rips off the Exorcist a bit, but not too much - so that the Christian crowd who for some reason came to see this "horror" flick wouldn't be freaked out too much, so none of that satanic puke and definitely no mothers sucking cocks in Hell.

    This movie is 1,5 hours of pandering to the American Baptist prosecution complex. The movie leaves no suspense, no place for doubt, it just states straight away: yes, this is supernatural, no question about it, these guys are right, these are wrong.

    And portraying lawyers only in the cocktail party setting... my god, could this be any more cringe worthy?
  • This is definitely one of the best horror films I've seen. It's not like he same old conventional routine stuff full of gore and nonsense that they normally make. It's very different.

    Story is about an exorcism gone wrong wherein a Priest who did it is convicted of culpable homicide, and gets a atheist lawyer to defend his case, against a society that will not easily believe in the supernatural.

    The storyline is fabulous, very different from any either horror film, effects are good, all actors have acted very naturally and smoothly, locales of shooting are good, the whole film manages to crate an eerie atmosphere throughout.

    A must watch for horror fans, TEOER will not lave you disappointed.
  • College freshman, a scholarship student living in the campus dorm, dies after being treated for epileptic-like seizures and violent self-inflicted behavior not medically but spiritually, by a priest who believed she was possessed by a demon and who now stands trial for her death. An awful lot of very talented people worked on this baleful freak-show, all to no avail. Written by Scott Derrickson, who also directed, and Paul Harris Boardman, the story is loosely based on an incident that occurred in Germany, but the usual horror movie clichés are intact: a door opening and closing in a storm, 'scary' shots of feet walking down corridors (to heighten suspense), a pencil case moving by itself, squeaky floors in nearly every house, Emily Rose freaking out during a test in the classroom (complete with a stormy sky outside), the unfortunate girl eating spiders (like Renfield in "Dracula"), as well as a defense lawyer who is 17 minutes late to court because a demonic force shut off her electricity! Embarrassingly silly and derivative stuff that an earlier generation would have roundly dismissed as garbage, yet audiences in 2005 went for it. NO STARS from ****
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie didn't suck, and the acting was great all around. That's about all the good I can say about it. I would have enjoyed it as a halfway-decent thriller or a courtroom drama more if it hadn't claimed to be based on a real story. But when Laura Linney says during trial that "this case is not about facts," that summed up about everything wrong with the religious apologists I've seen in the media lately, from George W. Bush to the Kansas Board of Education. This idea that facts don't matter has poisoned cultural discourse for the last decade or more: some people seem to think that, as long as we have Faith, our negligent fact-checking won't lead to any wrongdoing.

    It would be one thing if writer/director Scott Derrickson and co-writer Paul Harris Boardman simply presented the "facts don't matter" tactic as part of the defense's legal strategy, but they add details to the story that try to shore this argument up. To its credit, the story concludes with the priest being found guilty of negligent manslaughter, which is apparently what happened in the real-life case in Germany. Weighing against this are the made-up story details about Linney's and Tom Wilkinson's characters being plagued by evil signs and visions, and the attending physician being killed just as he tells Linney that he sees the demons. Combined with Hollywood pop-psychology ("schizophrenics never know they're schizophrenic"), these would be workable, if clichéd, in a movie that admitted it was solely fiction, but here they serve only as a crutch to prop up the sagging drama and as evidence of the screenwriters' bias.

    The acting was excellent, but, not having seen Hellraiser: Inferno, I can't say that this is due to the direction. I do know that Laura Linney has handled herself well before in Mystic River and You Can Count on Me, and Tom Wilkinson was great in In the Bedroom and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; here, they clearly pick up the slack left by the script. Wilkinson, in particular, plays the best Flawed Holy Avenger since Jason Miller. It is not an easy thing to come up with a convincing character when the story around you is thin, but they manage to do it. Relative newcomer Jennifer Carpenter did fine as Emily, although her role consisted mostly of contorting herself and screaming hysterically. I really felt for her at moments, thinking that, regardless of whether it was demons or psychosis that ailed her, it was horrifying to think what she must have been going through.

    That emotional level got me through the movie. The storytelling shortcuts and the intellectual dishonesty grated against me, but I was able to cope with it for the two hours or so that I sat there. If only it hadn't claimed to be based on real events, it could have told a better story, and more honestly.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    When i saw the previews of "emily rose" i got excited. I love scary movies. This one just looked so scary and freaky. I just watched the movie tonight and was so pumped about it. BUT...i did NOT know the movie would be like 60% courtroom drama. That was disappointing to me. I want the thrill of being scared, not the drama.

    The plot was good and some of the scenes were scary but I already saw those scenes in the previews and on the website. I do not recall seeing any scenes of the courtroom in the previews. That is how they suck you in...they show all the scary parts and leave out the rest to make you think "man this is going to be so scary." One good part was the exorcism part of course, but that lasted like 5 minutes tops. Its good movie, but i'd wait until it comes out on DVD...
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