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The Exorcism of Emily Rose
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The Exorcism of Emily Rose More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Shocks and a plot

8/10
Author: damienmuldoon from Ireland
26 November 2005

Any horror film that can manage to revolve itself around a court room drama is worth a look, and this one certainly is. Comparisons with "The Exorcist" will inevitably be made but this is a far more thought provoking film than the 1970s classic. For those wanting to see a gore fest, there are some ugly moments. But if you prefer a good story and real acting, then this film will not disappoint. Exactly the right balance between shocks and plot is struck and there are some genuinely scary moments also. Add to this, a legal battle and the politics of a big law firm, and you have a movie which attempts to keep all the balls in the air.

It is the horror plot and the plight of Emily Rose which engages the audience most though. Her story is told in a series of flashbacks that are never disjointed or abstract. Indeed, it is the realism of her tragic story that is the most frightening thing in the film. It may even make you curious to read up on the true case the film is based upon. Solid and unpretentious performances from Tom Wilkinson as the priest and Laura Linney as his lawyer enhance the realism of the plot and steer it well clear of spoof horror.

My only criticism would be that promising sub-plots end up going nowhere. Don't let this put you off though. "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is that most rare of things. A good, contemporary horror film.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Falls Kind of Flat

Author: (dj_bassett) from Philadelphia
14 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was disappointed in this, as I like these kind of movies and was genuinely hoping that this one would be done well. Unfortunately, an attempt to tell a serious, thoughtful story about demonic possession, complete with some decent acting and a non-exploitative approach to the material, crashes on the rocky shores of some real implausibilities (the trial is a joke, for instance, and the parents behave like really clichéd rubes) and, what's worse, is not very scary. Interesting for those who are interested in these sorts of subjects, as it's evidently based on a true story, and I did appreciate it's serious approach and non-cynical attitude towards Christianity. But somehow just lacks a spark.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

How this movie is different from "The Exorcist"

4/10
Author: heckles from St. Albans, VT
2 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(Some spoilers ahead) This movie is different from "The Exorcist" in the same way "King Kong" is different from a movie that seriously postulates that giant apes and dinosaurs exist on a remote island. A movie that simply takes a horror scenario based on old legends and runs with it, is distinguishable than one that argues that the horror scenario can actually happen.

To this day I do not know if either William Blatty or William Freidkin are religious believers. I do know that they created a rattlin' good film back in 1972, one that you do not have to be a religious believer to enjoy. This movie, on the other hand, seems to have been written by a Mel Gibson type Catholic who believes that the Church is all that stands between a skeptical humanity and the unlimited resources of hell, which stand ready to very visibly put the smack down on the planet.

If this movie wanted to be taken seriously, it could address a few questions that any skeptic could compose. What, for instance, is the whole point of demonic possession? If Satan is, as the Bible describes him, a master of deceit, why would he ever want to come out in the open like that? And why on earth would he want to possess a simple, obscure farm girl? Why not take over, say, the President of the U.S.? Or the Pope? Now if I were the Prince of Darkness, that is who I would go for. Billions would be impressed. Some might believe the Pope is too saintly for that, well, so was Emily.

Two problems with courtroom procedure: first, the prosecutor shows a picture of the mutilated Emily in his opening argument. Erin should have objected. Opening statements are when the state tells the jury about the evidence - not when the evidence is actually presented. Erin's summation, too? She states "I know Fr. Moore, and he is not a bad man." She is testifying about the character of the defendant, and the state should have objected. (What she is really saying is, "You, the jury, can't convict a priest." I heavily disagree.)

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Not just another "Possesion" movie

8/10
Author: girlingreen
3 December 2005

This is exactly the sort of movie that receives the tag-line "controversy" before its initial release. Given the spate of possession movies since the infamous "Exorcist" movie in the 1970's, I wondered why people would be interested in another Demonic Possession movie in 2005. The reason became apparent when the story unfolded. I sat among a multicultured audience that evening, watching the harrowing spectacle of Emily Rose's plight during her period of possession. Whether or not we believed she was truly possessed or suffered a mental illness is unclear, but our hearts went out to Emily Rose regardless. Her suffering was poignantly touching and excited pity rather than revulsion during her manic demonic bouts.

Kudos goes to the cast who brought the story to life. The controlled performances of EmilyRose,Fr. Moore and Erin Bruhrer were impressive to say the least. In fact this movie felt more like a t.v drama or a documentary without expensive S/Fx to hinder the story's flow.

During the scene when Fr. Moore read out Emily's letter, there was utter silence in the theatric. This really impressed me, as the audience was a mixed religious group of Arab nationals, Hindus and miscellaneous others. I could almost read their uppermost thoughts. Was Emily Rose really sane when she accepted her fate in the field? Why did God allow all this to happen to her?

I don't think we left the cinema theatre with the answers to these questions. But we did leave in thoughtful silence and reflection.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Quality film that may lose interest to some audiences based on its poor marketing.

6/10
Author: The_Angry_Critic from Kunsan, South Korea
17 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Like just about everyone else on this site, I went to this film with my hardcore cheezy horror flick buddy expecting another Japanese remake or another teen-scream job filled with cheap scare tactics and bad CGI featuring the usual creepy kid. Well, I got neither. Instead, the "Exorcism of Emily Rose" is more of a courtroom base drama, which tactically uses every single scary shot that are in the film in the trailers with the attempt to bring in a target audience, which may have disappointed some viewers.

As mentioned before "Rose", is really a courtroom drama that centers around the trial of Father Moore (Wilkinson) who is on trial for his role in the death of Emily Rose (Carpenter) defended by an agnostic lawyer, Erin Bruner, played pleasantly by Laura Linney. The death of Emily Rose is in question: was she possessed or was she suffering from severe psychosis and epilepsy? After all medical tactics and tests had been exhausted and unresolved, Father Moore is brought in to cure her of her possession which unfortunately takes a wrong turn. It's during this trial where you see both sides of the court as Emily's recollections are revisited and where the creepiness comes in.

Truthfully, I really wasn't disappointed with the fact that film was marketed incorrectly as I'm not really a big fan of horror flicks. I'm more annoyed with the fact that film, which was supposed to be based on a true story, was nothing close to what the actual story. The real case was set in Germany, involved 2 priests both which were on trial along with parents. Also, according to various information, the conference of German bishops agreed that she was NOT possessed. Quite an important piece of information since the film leaves it up the viewer to decides whether or not she was really possessed.

Not only I was not scared, since they wasted all the creepy parts in the trailers, I was completely bored. The movie starts in the courtroom and ends in the courtroom and its filled with every courtroom cliché known to man. Rude and abrasive prosecutor? Check. Charismatic and underdog defense lawyer? Check. Surprise evidence? Check. Key witness dying or disappearing? Check. Surprise verdict? Check. After awhile I though this movie was based on another John Grisham novel.

The acting was pretty good and dialog and the storyline is enough to keep you interested. The film also does a good job at reliving the events leading up to her death, shows both theories on what happened to her both with convincing tales. This is what really builds the film and holds it together. And, regardless of the tons of clichés, the film is still somewhat original with the rest of crap that's in the theater. Overall this is quality film that may lose some audiences due to the fact it isn't directed by Wes Craven and the acting is quite good. But, in the end I'd suggest Googling "Emily Rose" instead of watching the movie if you really want facts concerning her exorcism.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Gorgeous but Boring

1/10
Author: blacklightvortex from United States
28 December 2005

I kept waiting for it to get scary. I thought perhaps I selected the unscary option on the menu. No such luck. Not frightening at all - just boring. Like twiddling your thumbs boring. We've seen the exorcism stuff before and the story moved like a catholic mass on a Tuesday morning. However, every frame of this movie is a work of pure visual art - the director and his team had a master's eye no doubt and the sound design is superb. For those reasons I'll keep my "unrated version" DVD but that's it. Scary? No.

With the director's commentary enabled, the director recalls some advice from Clint Eastwood where too much "analysis is paralysis". This movie turned out to be a quadriplegic. The director should have kept those words in mind while making the movie instead of recalling it for the commentary.

Beautiful to look at but nearly impossible to sit through without laughing at how 'serious' it's supposed to be.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining, but not insightful

6/10
Author: jeev7882 from Chicago, IL
18 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Grade: C (6 stars) I have mixed feelings about this movie. One one hand, it's well acted, relatively well written and directed, and overall it's entertaining. On the other hand, I rolled my eyes about a dozen times because the movie failed to convince me that Emily Rose was anything but a psychotic schizophrenic country girl whose condition could only be interpreted as spiritual by the Roman Catholic Church.

No offense to Catholicism in general (especially to my Catholic and Christian friends), but I often find that events involving God or the devil on Earth are never looked upon rationally by Catholic religious leaders. That being said, I found it strange that Father Moore was tried for negligent homicide and not Emily's parents. Father Moore's intentions seemed to be noble even if he was mistaken. Emily's parents were the ones who didn't just take her to the hospital to be cared for. They agreed to cease her being fed. They watched their daughter deteriorate in their own home and they did nothing about it except entrust her care to a priest whose only real solution was to attempt an exorcism which then failed.

As you can tell, I had somewhat of a bias towards this subject going into the film. I'm not saying that I do not believe in demonic possession, but I think with our knowledge of psychological disorders these days it is very hard to justify such a claim. There are a million and one question marks surrounding the validity of a demonic possession claim such as Emily Rose's. Let's apply Ockham's Razor (in a nutshell: when faced with two equally valid alternatives, choose the simpler) to her situation as presented in the movie. The evil all powerful devil decided to possess a basically useless 19 year old country bumpkin, or she was schizophrenic? The Virgin Mary (don't even get me started on that one either) visited this girl and gave her a choice to go to heaven or stay on Earth so people would believe in the spiritual realm, or, again, poor Emily was hallucinating due to her deteriorating psychological condition? Movies like this usually have trouble balancing science and faith. Emily Rose is heavy on the relevant scientific testimony in the courtroom, but easy on the spiritual testimony. The movie clearly wants us to believe Emily's story, but all the spiritual elements are treated very lightly. Dr. Adani, a defense witness who was supposed to create a relevant link between the scientific and spiritual worlds, gives a ridiculous and over the top testimony that would have been appropriate for a stoner hippie in some low brow comedy.

In the end, I did say that this movie is entertaining. It's a little long, and some of the scenes should have been cut shorter, but the flow and structure are tight. We always know where the movie is leading us. Emily Rose is predictable, but it knows where it wants to go, which, these days, is very refreshing. Laura Linney fills her shoes well as the confident attorney (though she seems to be the same person in every movie she is in) and Tom Wilkinson is the rock of the movie. It made more sense to me for Father Moore to be the main character because he had a stronger tie to Emily, and he had a more believable character arc as well.

In the end, I'd say if you have to see it, at least wait for DVD. After all, an evening show movie ticket costs about $10 these days. Factor in the gas money and the quality of a movie (especially for a "dinner and a movie" date) is increasingly important.

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Science vs. Religion

8/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
22 September 2006

The nineteen years old Catholic college girl Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) dies a couple of days after being submitted to an exorcism carried out by her parish priest, Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson). Emily believed she was possessed by six demons, and although authorized by Emily and he parents, Father Moore is accused of negligent homicide, since he had suggested Emily to interrupt the use of medications for epilepsy. In order to avoid a scandal, the Archdiocese hires the successful, ambitious and agnostic lawyer Erin Bruner (Laura Linney), and the prosecution assigns the religious prosecutor Ethan Thomas (Campbell Scott). Along the days, there is a battle between science and religion in the court.

"The Exorcism of Emily Rose" was a great surprise for me. Based on a true event, I was expecting a horror movie like "The Exorcist", but actually it is a great story of trial, with the confrontation of science and religion, but with an agnostic lawyer defending and a religious one accusing a priest. The story is leaded by Erin, and her contact with the unknown and her final speech are some of the great moments of this film. Among the scariest parts are Dr. Cartwright (Duncan Fraser) saying that he started praying again since he had witnessed the exorcism, and when the priest explains that 3 AM is the demoniac witching hour. The direction of Scott Derrickson is excellent, using special effects only when necessary, and very well supported by a magnificent cast, leaded by the wonderful Laura Linney and the great Tom Wilkinson, followed by the unknown Jennifer Carpenter, who is great in the role of Emily Rose, Campbell Scott and Colm Feore. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O Exorcismo de Emily Rose" ("The Exorcism of Emily Rose")

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

You wanna see an exorcism? Rent the original Exorcist and skip this!!!

2/10
Author: lilcharmer from Baltimore, MD
16 January 2006

This movie was so boring that I got up from my chair after about 30-45 boring minutes to do something else and never came back. There was nothing about this story that drew me into it. The pacing, the characters, the alleged disturbances all were too simple and drab to make me even care about this Emily Rose. There wasn't much for me to conclude that his chick was actually possessed and in fact, I believe she was just a very ill person.

There wasn't one creepy scene that you hadn't already witnessed in previews and they gave up her fate at the beginning, so you already know what'd going to become of her right off.

Total waste of a rental. Skip it.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Demons Need Exorcising? Bore Them To Death!

1/10
Author: HarVSatan from United States
18 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Good Gravy! What a flat and boring piece of celluloid this film is! Laura Linney & Tom Wilkinson,prove they are exceptional actors,but they are stuck in a thanklessly boring story.

When I saw the trailers,I assumed,that this was NOT going to be like "The Exorcist",that would've been a fools course. That's the one good thing,they didn't try to go beyond the supposed "true story". But this comes off about as "true" as "The Amittyville Horror".

The characters don't hold your attention. You don't really care too much about "Emily Rose" as she is too under developed as a character to be concerned about. ( Her boyfriend has better character development!). The promises of "horrors" are nothing more than what you see in the trailers! (i.e. people's faces distorting ). "The Devil" appears in shadows and silhouettes as a cloaked figure...an interesting device,if it hadn't been done a million times before.

Then there is the bulk of the film,which is about an hour and a half of courtroom drama. Really boring courtroom drama. Perry Mason would've solved this in minutes!

Another curiosity about this film is that it gives you no specific time-line. If it's based on a "true story",WHEN did it take place? There's really no clues to the era. It's obviously post 1970,but we are told little beyond that.

There probably IS a really good draft of this story,with developed characters,and less courtroom babble...but this ain't it!

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