A loan officer who evicts an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.
When a younger girl called Emily Rose dies, everyone puts blame on the exorcism which was performed on her by Father Moore prior to her death. The priest is arrested on suspicion of murder. The trail begins with lawyer Erin Bruner representing Moore, but it is not going to be easy, as no one wants to believe what Father Moore says is true. Written by
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!
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