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
Very thrilling, but the ending leaves you longing for more
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.
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