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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the movie, it's shown that, Emily was instructed by God to leave
human realm or let it stay the way it was so that other people would
know about spiritual realm.
In today's world many mental diseases come as if they have got a hand of God in them. I believe that to be true. I also believe that more than procedures like exorcism; modern medical science can provide better relief. The only tough part is the time required to become well under guidance of these medicines, it's as if one goes through hell. One thinks it's better without medical treatment.
The incidence of timing 3:00 happened in my case. The watch stopped. The only difference was it was day. I was feeling supernaturally special, but it was not real. Whatever I have experienced has let me known that parallel realms exist.
During the trial for his events, a lawyer tries to help her client, a
priest, seek the truth about what happened to the young woman who died
under his care while performing an exorcism to cure her of a demonic
possession and eventually lets the truth about it be known.
This wasn't anywhere as bad as it could've been. The film is really split into two halves here with this one being basically helped greatly by its really good possession and shock scenes. The opening scene that sets her up to becoming possessed is one of it's best sequences, as the long hallway and the unearthly voices floating around give it an unearthly feel while the first scene in the classroom where she sees a demonic face appearing in the window through a cloud of mist and turns around to see a student's face turn into a distorted demon's face giving off an unearthly roar makes it quite shocking. Running out into the rain and seeing more demonic faces give off the same unearthly roar is a bit clichéd, but it still helps to sell the mood while the finale in the church giving this a quite creepy conclusion. The different manners of how she's become afflicted are quite memorable moments with the frenzied bug-eating, speaking in tongues or just contorting her body into such impossible positions that it really becomes obvious something is wrong with her, and the long, suspenseful and chilling exorcism is the film's selling point, coming off with any number of creepy ideas and scenes in such a drawn-out style is one of the best scenes in the film. Otherwise, beyond the shocks and the exorcism, there isn't much else to like about it. Therefore, everything else in it doesn't really work which is only relegated to the courtroom battle drama. It's marketed as being a supernatural possession film, and the best moments come from those scenes, but the fact that the majority of the film is a courtroom battle with the supernatural elements coming in the form of flashbacks is a real misstep and is likely to confuse those coming in expecting the other kind of film. It's not that they're boring or anything, it's just that it's out of nowhere that it becomes that way, and it can be a disappointment. The fact that these are slow and really long don't help matters, extending this out far longer than it should. This could've easily been an hour and a half, or maybe a little longer, but the two hours running time forces it to keep the courtroom antics going for no reason other than to extend the running time. A few extraneous scenes could've been snipped as well, including the introductory scenes at the bar that repeat information we already know and also keep the running time going, and most of the time simply elicit a feeling of wanting to move along and get to the good scenes. These really harm the film.
Rated PG-13: Language, Mild Violence and intense demonic and spiritual themes.
This film, loosely based on a real case occurred in Germany, tells the
story of a Catholic priest, tried and charged with negligent homicide
after an exorcism gone wrong. Directed by Scott Derrickson, which also
provides the screenplay with Paul Harris Boardman, the film stars Laura
This is a film made in an original way: based on the traditional formula of exorcisms movies, it innovates basing on the consequences of the exorcism. Its not for all audiences, contains some shocking scenes for sensitive people, but is much lighter (visually) than other similar films. Terror is more psychological than visual, although Jennifer Carpenter, who plays Emily, be excellent in the production of frightening scowls and grimaces. The film manages a very open attitude towards the exorcism, as the court exposing arguments for and against what happened. The film doesn't assume that the devil exists, although its understood throughout the film.
The interpretation of Jennifer Carpenter is regular, only highlights in the horror scenes, contrasting with the good interpretation of Laura Linney (who plays Erin, a skeptical defense lawyer confronted with something beyond her understanding) and Tom Wilkinson, who gave life to a priest visibly guided by faith rather than reason. Unfortunately, almost all the other characters are mere props, never deserve more development. Another major flaw of this film are the special and visual effects. In certain scenes, they result very well and can scare enough but, at other times, they are so weird, so poorly made that seem ridiculous, especially when we see it a second time. The soundtrack sought to accompany the film, but its not different from what we hear in hundreds of other horror movies.
It's been a while since we had a good exorcism movie not counting
that rubbishy EXORCIST sequel that came out a few years ago. When I
heard about THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE, I thought it sounded good
different enough to be worth a look. When I caught it on TV last night,
I knew I'd been right. This takes the true-life case of a failed
exorcism and turns it into a gripping John Grisham-style courtroom
drama in a very intriguing, thought-provoking way.
I'm a big believer in the supernatural and I've studied it a lot in the past. What is presented here is a very believable, very frightening account of demonic possession. I honestly believe that this really happened. Although the film is lengthy and slow-moving, it's never boring and that's because somebody had the great idea of including harrowing flashbacks of the possessed Emily during the courtroom case. It really works, breaking up the courtroom tension, and adding in genuine frights and chills along the way too.
The movie is topped off with a fantastic cast working at the top of their game. I don't believe Laura Linney has ever been better than she has here, and her portrayal of a woman with integrity is fine. Tom Wilkinson makes us believe he is the disturbed priest with every drop of sweat that comes from him. As for Jennifer Carpenter, well she should be going places with her portrayal of the tormented Emily here, and I hope she doesn't suffer the same kind of career nosedive as Linda Blair did in the '80s.
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Most unusual in that the priest is taken to court because not everyone believes that Emily Rose is possessed and wants the ceremonial rites stopped! A very good, scary movie, almost superior to the "Exorcist Series" which has no connection whatsoever with this film. Not quite as gory or horrific as the original Exorcist, but that might be due to minor cable editing for content and language. Very well done, and definitely worth your time if your horror tastes run to this sort of thing. Supposedly based on a true historical event. Warning! Huge spoilers ahead: It turns out that Emily Rose is the reincarnation of another Satanic-possessed victim from a few centuries ago. Finally, way at the very end, when it is too late, she dies, and Satan wins. It's hard to really like a movie with such a terrible ending!
I remember watching this movie a few years ago and I got absolutely
creeped out yet loved it back then (Hey! Don't blame me I was just a
Recently I popped it in again and re-watched it. And I was really happy that my choice a few years ago wasn't bad (lol!). Because this movie is an absolute gem amongst horror.
It steers clear from typical horror movie because it doesn't follow the usual "build-up-halfway-throw-everything-after-half-time" strategy. The movie is based around a true controversial story. It's unusually is a court drama-esque horror which accounts the case of manslaughter of the eponymous girl against a priest. Dealing with faith vs doubt, it highlights a lawyer's internal conflict on being doubtful yet defending a priest. The horror in this case is shown throughout the movie. It is overall very intelligently made.
But the unusual setting or the plot isn't what makes this movie great. The strong performances by both leads (Laura Linney and Jennifer Carpenter) is what sets this cut above the usual horror movies out there. Linney does well here, her character's internal conflicts on what to believe, her agnostic approach to defending a priest are carried out great but Carpenter is the true hero of this movie. A naive girl being possessed by multiple demons, her demonic countenance, her bloody contortion, deserves an award based on how well they were done. Her performance will scare you out, so be warned.
The performances, the screenplay, the directing, everything works on this movie's favour. While it could've done better with a shorter length, you won't regret using up your 120 minutes on this movie, because it's spectacular. 9/10
"The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is not a documentary about Annaliese
Michel, but it's based in part on that real case. The facts of her life
and death are more complex and more horrible than the movie depicts,
although the movie does go very far in accurately showing what occurred
and how the trial turned out. The movie introduces some fictional
elements, particularly the night time experiences of the agnostic
defense lawyer, Laura Linney, and the character of a witnessing doctor,
Kenneth Welsh. However, by and large, the movie is even-handed in
showing the several sides of a complex case. Several perspectives are
presented without undue bias, and the great difficulty in saying what
is right and just is preserved.
As a movie, the film is very professionally done in most all departments. The acting captures our interest. The photography is dark and ominous, as if this were a neo-noir film. The movie runs almost 2 hours but the time passes quickly. It's a good film as such films go and the IMDb rating of 6.7 is reasonable, suggesting a movie somewhat above-average.
However, the screenplay doesn't bring out clearly the important issues that make the case so difficult. Who is in justice responsible for the life and death of Emily Rose? Are parents obligated to turn her over to medical authorities when she begins to show startling symptoms? What do they do if the treatments fail to alleviate her condition or are possibly making it worse? What if the patient has lucid periods and herself doesn't want the medical treatment? What if the patient wants an exorcism? What if exorcism seems like a possible remedy because medical treatment hasn't solved the problem? What if the medical authorities have no strong bases for their diagnoses or are themselves confused or taking stabs in the dark? Justice and responsibility are more complex to ascertain than any courtroom trial using the standard legal rules can bring out. In other words, what if there are complex issues that are not reducible to raising doubts in the jurors' minds by presenting the possibility of possession by demons as a realistic or natural alternative? The movie focused on a defense that sought to make seem possible to the jurors the interaction of demonic spirits with our natural physical world. It didn't show the basic questions noted above that suggest that courtroom justice or society cannot affix responsibility in a tragic matter like this. There are cases with tragic occurrences and outcomes that do not fit into legal pigeon holes.
On its own grounds, that of assessing the interactions of the unseen but felt and experienced spirit world with the physical world that dominates the typical consciousness, this film also didn't go deeply enough. It actually raised none of the pertinent questions. If God is spirit and if God's grace is a reality, how does that affect us? What are the kinds of interactions of spirit and the natural or physical world? Does that imply that demonic spirits also exist and affect us? Must we believe in evil as well as good spirits on this earth, even if the spirit world of God has no such demonic presences? Overall, this movie is about as effective as most movies. This isn't saying much. Most movies do not raise and address the deepest questions. Can they? Is the medium suitable for that? Yes, it is. But creating the canvas that does delve deeply takes genius because there are entertainment and monetary values that are also important. It also takes movie-making and distribution methods that don't cost ungodly amounts of money and can find audiences willing to support such content.
The title alone will conjure up two images, one being that it's a) a
horror-film and b) yet another variation of the occult-blockbuster The
Exorcist". This is not entirely wrong (it is mainly a horror-film and
does borrow heavily from William Friedkins film), but at the same time
only scratches the surface.
Loosely based on the true story of Anneliese Michel, one would have hoped that the film delves more into the psychological aspects: Michel was a bright, young student in Germany, who was brought up in a almost fanatical Christian background. Suffering from epilepsy and what would later be diagnosed as schizophrenia, Michel at one time became convinced that she was possessed by demons (among them the emperor Nero and - I'd almost would like to say naturally - Adolf Hitler). This conviction was only nurtured by the local clergy and Michels fanatical parents, ending in the girls death after a lengthy ordeal of exorcisms, self-abuse and starvation. In Germany the story caused a stir and most involved would surely have gone to prison, if they wouldn't have been protected by the cloth of 'holy men'. The recordings of the priests interviewing (if you want to call it that) the girl are in the public domain and still give the listener a chill, whether one believes in the supernatural or not.
But "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" chooses to go another direction. Though the aspects of mental illness are brought up, the producer opted for a slightly more supernatural angle (or at least subliminally). Sure, the movie has some rather spooky, even scary moments, especially during the short vision sequences of Emily Rose and the often disturbing play by Karen Carpenter. The actress does an utterly convincing and excellent job. The rest is pretty much a court-room drama, concentrating on a lawyer defending the priest that may (or may not) have been responsible for Emily's death. An interesting premise, especially in this time and age where religion once again is trying to con its way into everyday life, from schools to politics. For that, the often sinister atmosphere and Carpenters intense performance the film gets a well deserved 7/10 from me.
For those interested in the case of Anneliese Michel, I'd recommend the German movie "Requiem" Hans-Christian Schmid, which deals with the whole issue without any hint of supernatural mumbo-jumbo. It's a bit on the lengthy side and way more pedestrian than "The Exorcism of Emily Rose", but nevertheless a fine reconstruction of the last days of Anneliese.
As far as horror filmmaking goes, Scott Derrickson's feature film debut
is a welcome addition to the genre as it is genuinely effective for the
most part. But considering that it's a courtroom drama as well where
the battle between science & religion is being fought out, it is in
that field where the real problem lies as instead of taking an unbiased
approach, it chooses a far too one- sided road.
Loosely based on the story of Anneliese Michel, The Exorcism of Emily Rose concerns a self- proclaimed agnostic who undertakes the case of defending a parish priest accused of negligent homicide by the state after he performed an exorcism on a young girl named Emily Rose, which resulted in her death. The progress of demonic possession & the exorcism is presented in flashbacks.
Directed by Scott Derrickson, the film marks an impressive debut for the director & shows his instant grip with the genre as he's able to pull off the elements of horror in a balanced manner. Screenplay does have some weight on it but the final act is simply absurd. Camera-work goes dynamic after a relaxed opening, editing is a letdown in the middle & sound is effectively used.
Yet the only best thing to come out from the movie, according to me, is Jennifer Carpenter's committed performance as Emily Rose for she sure can scream but it's her body contortions, thanks to her double joints, which look pretty unsettling. Rest of the supporting cast does a fair job in their given roles plus Campbell Scott makes a fine impression as the prosecution lawyer with his swift, piercing & logical statements.
On an overall scale, The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a missed opportunity because there was so much for grabs here yet it embraces the conventional route to turn out as an above-average chiller. The best moments are the ones featuring Carpenter & even though she goes a little overboard in few scenes, she's also the only one who manages to tie it up together from start to finish.
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