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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.
*** 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.
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")
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Despite seeing several trailers that made this film look like a very
good horror movie to hire and scare the pants off you, it failed to
deliver in lots of aspects.
The film was painfully slow moving and never got out of first gear, any scares were few and far between.
The story surrounding the vicar and his court case for apparently killing Emily Rose were just plain awful and had me reaching for the off button on my DVD remote several times.
However being a northerner not one to waste money and persevered in the hope it would get better, sadly it didn't.
Hopefully the Hollywood executives who wasted the studios money on this film all got the sack for making such a horrendously bad film, I can see why no real big Hollywood stars put themselves in the leading roles as it would be a career breaking decision.
I Would strongly recommend you don't waste your hard earned cash on this total dross of a movie.
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 latest creepy horror fest 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' is nothing
like the movie trailers make it out to be. I was expecting just a plain
horror movie, but it ended up being like a courtroom drama with some
creepy overtones. Yes, there are some 'holy crap!' scary scenes lodged
into this, but it is mostly a drama (a lot of the time slow-moving).
You shouldn't go into this expecting what I did, just expect a two-hour
'Law & Order' episode surrounding demonic possession, you may like it
better than I did. I was enthralled by some of the film, but overall
disappointed with it. Too bad.
'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' surrounds the real life court case of a priest, Father Moore (Academy Award Nominee Tom Wilkinson - In the Bedroom) who is charged with negligent homicide of a young , Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) who supposedly died during an exorcism. Taking on Father Moore's case is a sassy, smart and sharp rookie lawyer, Erin Brockovich (oops, I mean Erin Bruner) played by Academy Award Nominee Laura Linney. Father Moore and Erin must work together to get Moore off the hook and to tell what really happened to Emily, while fighting the devote and stingy protestant prosecutor Ethan Thomas (Campbell Scott - Roger Dodger) and his theories about how Emily wasn't possessed just had a both epilepsy and psychosis. The film takes place after Emily has died, and she is featured in the flashbacks during the court proceedings.
The movie has a few good scares and I admire the original premise, but the film really drags during the beginning and end. There are moments or sequences of 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' that are breathtaking and on-the-edge of your seat kind of , while other scenes are so boring you may fall asleep. One very positive thing you can say about 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' is that the acting is absolutely top-notch with startling and powerful performances from Linney, Wilkinson, Scott and young Jennifer Carpenter who does a very good job in her first major role. Scott Derrickson does a decent enough job directing and I felt the screenplay needed some serious revisions.
When it's all said and done, 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' ends up being kind of a mixed bag. It has some very good qualities to it, but also has some significant bad qualities. I can't recommend it for theater viewing, but I can recommend it as a good rental when it finally makes it way to Blockbuster. Maybe the sole reason I didn't like 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' as much as I could have is because I was expecting a totally different film and the movie trailers lead me to believe that. Anyway, something about the film just didn't sit too good with me. Grade: C+ (screened at AMC Deer Valley 30, Phoenix, Arizona, 9/10/05)
my ratings guide - A+ (absolutley flawless); A (a masterpiece, near-perfect); A- (excellent); B+ (great); B (very good); B- (good); C+ (a mixed bag); C (average); C- (disappointing); D+ (bad); D (very bad); D- (absolutley horrendous); F (not one redeeming quality in this hunk of Hollywood feces).
*** This review may contain 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...
Looks like a horror film from the marketing, but it's actually a pretty
effective courtroom drama - thanks to strong performances from Laura
Linney, Tom Wilkinson and especially the understated Campbell Scott.
Meanwhile, the exorcism flashback scenes are made disturbing not by CGI or jump scares, but by a turned-up-to-11 performance by the bizarrely underrated Jennifer Carpenter. Honestly can't understand why she hasn't been featured in more.
I liked it, despite the eyeroll-inducing ending, but if you're looking for a scary, exorcism-based horror, though, this isn't it.
The exorcism of Emily Rose is quite a good film! As many have said
before, it is probably the best film about exorcism after The Exorcist
but it is just that I think it may very well be ( a bit) better.
I like that the story of Emily is revealed step by step through the eyes of different people and from the distance. It kinda gives the authenticity to the film and the experience of the devil possession. Especially when we know that the film is based on the true story ! The girl who plays Emily is brilliant. The scenes were really 'exorcism worthy' especially those where her body is twisted in unnatural ways. Of course, I know that many special effects were probably used to convey that state of stiff possession, but her face expressions were on point with the body. All other actors in the film were on point with their roles.
I wish that maybe the dark presence was much more exploited in the case of the defence lawyer or the priest. But maybe it would take an hour more to the story.
All in all, I would recommend this film to horror/exorcism/supernatural lovers. Eight from me.
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