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The Exorcism of Emily Rose
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Exorcism of Emily Rose More at IMDbPro »

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53 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

This movie scares you without confirming Emily Rose's possession.

Author: Movieguy_blogs_com from United States
31 August 2005

*** This review may contain 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.

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31 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

A poor film

Author: peterhall049 from Cardiff, Wales
25 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.

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33 out of 59 people found the following review useful:


Author: fuelrod from UK
28 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).

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

The Sacrifice Of Emily Rose

Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
15 August 2008

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).

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19 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Above average and highly intelligent possession flick.

Author: HumanoidOfFlesh from Chyby, Poland
4 November 2005

*** This review may contain 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.

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20 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Good But Confusing

Author: CatholicPriest from United States
13 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As a Catholic Priest I was VERY interested in this movie! I have never done an exorcism but I know several priests who have. There are lots of good books & articles on real exorcisms available today & I wish somebody would make a film which reflects the successful outcome of most exorcisms. The case of Annelise Michel (Emily Rose) in Germany in 1976 is one of the saddest cases in the past 2000 years. In addition to having severe medical disorders & possibly being tormented by a dark spiritual force, the young girl also starved herself to death ... & her parents & 2 priests allowed her to do so! The film is really about 2 separate but related true stories: 1)Emily's "possession" by a demon 2)Emily's tragic death by self-starvation. The courtroom scenes do a pretty good job of explaining the differences between medical/psychological disorders & demonic possession. The film does NOT explain why Emily's parents & priests did not get her medical help as soon as she stopped eating. The film implies that this tragic neglect was part of the official Exorcism Rite of the Catholic Church. NO WAY! When priests perform an exorcism (a priest is NEVER allowed to perform an exorcism alone) there is usually a doctor or nurse present who monitors the medical condition of the victim/patient. Some exorcisms are even done in hospitals. Allowing someone to starve herself to death is NOT part of the Rite of Exorcism! It is also an inhumane act of negligence! For an accurate description & text of the Rite of Exorcism, Google-search "Rite of Exorcism" & read for yourself. The movie did make my heart beat a little faster for a few minutes & it made me think ... two things which make a good movie. But I hope people are intelligent enough to realize that most exorcisms have a "happy ending" ... the case of Emily Rose is a rare & very sad exception.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

"Inspired by a true story," but Facts Don't Matter?

Author: time_waster from Tucson, Arizona
12 September 2005

*** This review may contain 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.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful film

Author: Alice Wylie (aliikay) from United Kingdom
7 March 2012

Amazing story, had my eyes glued to the screen waiting to see the verdict of Father Moore; Really worth watching, not gory. Based on a true story which makes it scarier; Held my friends hand at one point, buy it on DVD. I rate it 10/10. I can watch this over and over and it will still be as magical, i was thinking of using a Ouija board with my friend Emily and i'm called Alice, with brown eyes and ginger hair. Put me off, aha. No but seriously, changes your view on the devil and messing with him. Also didn't watch it in one night, woke up early in the morning, couldn't check the clock in case it was 3am. Spooky. Overall, a great film and really worth your time and money, not the scariest i've seen but definitely gives you chills.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Obviously, this film was made just to make money from exaggerated claims.

Author: Jason from Los Angeles, CA, USA
22 January 2006

I love movies like The Exorcist, and Ghostbusters, which are admitted works of fiction, but this one attempts to claim it's based on a true story, and sounds more like religious propaganda against skepticism and science that conflicts with people's personal feelings and world-views.

Remember when people thought "The Amittyville Horror" was a true story? Turns out the family that lived in that house made up all the ghost stories to get attention and money from the movie rights. They confessed to it. Studios continued giving the public what they wanted with more sequels and remakes of this confessed lie, all for the sake of profit.

This film is based on something that supposedly happened in Germany in the 1970's, and now it's a film put in theaters, charging $10 a person, where it takes place in America in present day, playing to a population of 300,000,000 people who 85% believe in God, and 75% are Christian. That's a lot of money to be made. Just ask Mel Gibson, and the creators of Narnia.

The only message of this film is, skeptics are just crabby and not realistic, and anything that's weird or coincidental in life has a purpose, and anything new to science is spiritually related. Science and reason are the bad guys, while irrational hopes for the fantastic to be true are more than hopes. It's a feel-good movie for people who fear or dislike skepticism. There is an attempt to make it sound like a balanced ending when she talks about "possibilities", but that's inconsistent with the rest of the film which says "demons are real, demons are real, demons are real!".

Most people would rather believe the film's message because most paying customers don't consider skepticism an option, but yet want to make sense of this "spiritual world", without even considering once that the REASON the spirit world doesn't make any sense because it doesn't exist in the first place, so a movie like this will get high marks, even if it were shot with a home camcorder, and acted with the local neighbors.

I call a mistrial.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Genre Bending Hit!

Author: Chris Smith (RockPortReview) from United States
3 December 2012

This movie is based on the true story of Anneliese Michel who died during an exorcism performed in Germany in the late 1960s and the trial of the priest who was accused of her murder. Some details have been changed for the movie but the heart of the story remains Science takes on religion in a gripping court room throw down.

Starring Jennifer Carpenter, now of "Dexter" fame, as Emily Rose a smart and centered farm girl who goes off to college only to be either suffering from a number of medical conditions or possessed by demonic spirits. This movie is stocked with a roster of very accomplished actors such as Tom Wilkinson as the accused Father Moore, Laura Linney as his attorney, and Campbell Scott as the prosecutor. The story is centered on the trial of Father Moore and uses flashbacks to tell the story of Emily Rose and the circumstances surrounding her death.

The prosecution contends that Emily was suffering from something called psychotic epileptic disorder. Which would explain her hallucinations, her trance like states, and violent seizures. While Father Moore is a loving and caring priest with a perfect record did he willing put Emily at risk by ignoring her possible medical conditions and relying of faith alone? Father Moore does tell Emily to stop taking her medications because it clouds the mind and prevents the exorcism from working. When Emily dies the official cause of death is dehydration and malnutrition.

Defense attorney Erin Bruner takes the case with the promise that she will be made a full partner at her firm. She is coming off a huge win in which she got off a another murder suspect. She meets up with Father Moore in prison an he refuses to take a plea deal, wanting it to go to trail to tell Emily's story (good thing or there wouldn't be a movie). Erin lives alone and after taking the case strange things start to happen every night at 3 am, the witching hour, leaving her to start examining her faith.

The story investigates both sides of the case and each do have very good arguments. Science has been batting religion since the beginning of time and this movie doesn't give any easy answers. The acting is top notch and takes the issues seriously. It all depends on what you believe and goes to the core of faith itself. It is one of the better movies out there on the subject of demonic possession. It does have a lot of good scares and is loaded with a creepy and ominous feel. "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is widely available on all formats and is a great watch so check it out!

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