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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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131 out of 214 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful ... What's Not to Like?

Author: Charles Delacroix from United States
9 September 2005

I just saw this movie today and thought it was wonderful.

The acting was excellent, from one end to the other. The scenes, the flashbacks, the drama, the horror, the faith vs doubt theme ... all were entwined in a back-and-forth web that maintained constant focus on the strongest feature of all: the Story itself.

And what a Story! I won't give it away except to say that the plots and subplots and intrigue and characterizations were all woven together to spin a simply riveting, terrifying, provocative, endearing, challenging Story.

I really liked the multiple depictions of What Happens and How the Characters React. You see Something Happen; and then feel Fear; and then watch the Face of the Character on hand experience Fear; and then perhaps the order is slightly changed: you see the Face of the Character experience Fear as the Character gazes in terror over the viewer's shoulder. Then you see What the Character is looking at. And experience Fear.

I also really liked the legal conflict ... and the way the Story honored both sides. There's no doubt, ever, where our sympathies lie: with the Laura Linney character. Yet, the prosecutor is not at all a "straw man." He is give a great opening, and is effective and believable throughout. This enhanced greatly the Doubt vs Faith conflict that reinforced the Story throughout.

And through all this, the Priest's insistence that the Story should be told, is what really drove the action above all. This gave a feeling of authenticity to the Story that both made it appealing, and frightening.

A wonderful, wonderful, movie ... !

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132 out of 217 people found the following review useful:

Devishly Delightful

Author: Addie-2 ( from Richmond, VA
10 September 2005

I think one of the biggest problems with today's movie industry is that in teasers and trailers most, if not all, of the action/special effects are shown. Then you go see a movie because the trailer looks great only to find out that you've basically seen all the good stuff. Thankfully, I have learned that this is how many trailers work, but I still go see a movie praying that I'm not wasting my hard-earned money on a really expensive and really long commercial; let me savor something! I was pleasantly surprised at The Exorcism of Emily Rose; going knowing that it's not only about her exorcism, but also about the trial that follows.This movie is also about alternatives,what ifs, and perceptions. A good movie for psychology majors--as am I--who are trying to learn about mental illness, diagnosis, and the DSM-IV.

You don't need to know much about Emily, science, exorcism, or the Bible to be able to follow this movie; but, if you do, it'll definitely make you raise questions about your own faith, beliefs, and what you've learned throughout life about yourself.

Will you like this movie? Think "Primal Fear" meets "The Exorcist" meets the TV Show "Fact or Fiction".

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60 out of 75 people found the following review useful:

Very thrilling, but the ending leaves you longing for more

Author: Superunknovvn from Austria, Vienna
10 December 2005

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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90 out of 150 people found the following review useful:

Good Movie

Author: Angela Germain ( from Rochester, ny
10 September 2005

First of all this was a good movie. I wouldn't necessarily consider it a horror movie like Friday The 13th but it was suspenseful like The Ring. I had to look away sometimes because being a suspenseful movie watcher all my life I knew by the sound of the chilling music something was gonna happen that would freak me out and boy did it do its job.

It wasn't overly predictable. It was a look back on what exactly happened when Emily Rose got possessed and how it ended. It wasn't a "push the catholic belief down everyones throat" because defending the Priest was an agnostic lawyer trying to not only get ahead in her career but convince a journey that medical science could not determine she had a medical condition but a demonic possession. Cant tell you anymore than that.

The movie had a "dark" look and was cozy it kept me on the edge of my seat and the way she got possessed and how she looked was way freaky. Good movie and worth to own on DVD!

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101 out of 176 people found the following review useful:

A modest masterpiece !

Author: benign_man from Greece
24 September 2005

When one reads here the opinions of a lot of fellow cinema lovers on this film they will realise that there are a lot of creditable variables by which one perceives the ''right'' course this film should have taken.

To my mind though,technicalities and possible directorial ''irregularities'' are not what's most important about this film.This film shows strong ,excellent performances by all the main actors and the director has managed to make this seem like a real story that could have happened to just anybody.

We don't see the horrible violence of ''The Exorcist'' nor are the images and scenes shown as scary.What we see, lays emphasis on the drama and suffering of a girl and touches on the human side of things.I think that the perspective of this film is to a have more a social impact,not so much to be a horror film.

It conveys a lot of messages and stresses how important it is to have integrity how sometimes you have to sacrifice your ambitions ,to do what your heart tells you.How some life experiences change us,our personality,and give us a true,deeper wisdom and understanding of life.How they can make us revise some views that previously we thought were unshakeable.

Finally,the film provides an explanation why sometimes God allows some horrible things to take place and some people to become martyrs.

I do agree though that for a materialistic,atheistic person this film might be less ''thrilling'' than he would have expected it to be.I have called it a ''modest masterpiece'' because in a simple,humane,full of strong performances way,it touches our hearts and strengthens our beliefs in justice,moral values,and for those of us who believe,in God and His mercy.

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99 out of 178 people found the following review useful:


Author: pattisd from United States
26 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had the opportunity to view an advance showing on Thursday, August 25th. I didn't find one 'dull' spot what-so- ever. There's not much to say that wouldn't spoil the ending, although the ending for the most part was slightly predictable. It's what happens before ... the flash-backs, trial testimony, the suspense that wasn't predictable. I will most likely see this again once it hits the theaters. I was not the only one in the theater to 'jump out of my seat'. Although only rated PG-13, I personally would not recommend viewing by anyone under the age of 18, due to the intensity and religious beliefs. And to know this was based on a true story is the most disturbing ... I'm still wondering if she was possessed, or was it actually epilepsy?? Watch and make your own decision ... just be sure to keep a tight grip on your popcorn!

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63 out of 107 people found the following review useful:

Obscene, exploitative propaganda piece

Author: Satria from Berlin, Germany
10 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First of all "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is not a well crafted film. The hollow plot devices and dialogues are laughably stale, cinematography and editing are lacking any style and the scares simply fall flat. A cast of usually brilliant performers delivers uninspired, phone-in performances. Of course, I could dismiss this flick as a dumb, misguided, scare-free piece of drivel. Unfortunately, it's much worse than that.

Like most pictures dealing with the subject, this film actually treats demonic possession as real and thus depicts the practice of exorcism not only as viable but as a necessary tool against the forces of evil. This generally makes exorcism pictures propaganda material for a rather medieval method still covered by today's catholic doctrine. Now, it's not that I generally oppose the catholic faith, but this particular practice is despicable. While most pictures of this horror sub-genre go more for simple scares than philosophical discussion, this film takes a stance for exorcism by putting the conflict in a court room.

The filmmakers make a big deal out of the fact that the film is based on a true story, suggesting that the case of "Emily Rose" substantiates the existence of demonic possession and that all the people involved were in fact not unscrupulous religious fanatics, but upright men of faith. If you are familiar with the true case, which took place in Germany in the late 1970s, this depiction will strike you as disgusting and cynical spin doctoring. An obscene, exploitative propaganda piece void of any integrity or empathy for authentic human suffering. Anneliese Michel (the "real" Emily) and her grueling fate are not treated with the proper respect.

In short, Michel was a deeply religious, though psychologically disturbed young woman, who was basically tortured to death by a her parents and some priest, because everyone involved agreed that her epileptic convulsions and tourette-like rantings were clear signs of demonic possessions. Severely beaten up, with her front teeth knocked out(all supposedly by the demon inside her) she died of starvation after days of exorcism. The practice of exorcism had been made fairly popular in catholic circles through the smash hit success of Willam Friedkin's The Exorcist a few years earlier, so it was a small leap of faith for Michel, her family and that priest to believe exorcism was a viable option. After Michel's death copies of an audio taping of her exorcism became a very popular device to promote the catholic cause in church groups - basically making Michel a poster child for exorcism. Two years after Michel's death, her parents and her exorcist were convicted, but came off with ridiculously short jail sentences.

Treated with the proper respect and integrity and with some actual brains behind the project this film could have made some powerful statements about fanaticism and homicidal tendencies, if it only had stayed true to it's source material. The true story of Anneliese Michel is a haunting testament to the cruelty of men. It could make for a very intense, grueling drama. "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is quite the opposite. It's an unwilling farce, exploiting the sad, cruel fate of Michel, using cheap shock effects and cheesy story-lining.

It is beyond me why such brilliant actors as Laura Linney, Campbell Scott (two of my absolute favorite actors) and Tom Wilkinson would have participated in this horribly, ill-conceived borefest. After all, they have been known to usually star in intelligent, independent-minded films. This is just a clumsy exploitation flick pandering to the religious right (who made this cheap movie a box office-success). It saddens me to think they did it for the money, but it saddens me even more to think that they actually believed this film to be a project of integrity.

The torture of psychologically disturbed Anneliese is turned into the saintly martyrdom of Emily, who decides upon meeting Mother Mary halfway into the exorcism, that she would rather have some more fatal demonic torture than being let into heaven right away - because that is the true way of showing Satan and his pals who's boss (beats me how that works). All of this is being told through some corny letter from Emily that the exorcist reads out aloud while in the witness stand. The jury then decides, that even though he is clearly guilty, he should not be put in prison, because he's not a homicidal fanatic, but rather a nice old man who stands by his faith. The judge agrees and let's good old Tom Wilkinson go. Of course, by this time (close to the end credits) the film has already established that the priest actually is right - since we can see the demon doing all sorts of shenanigans: harassing Laura Linney's lawyer lady and stopping her watch at 3am (the demonic witching hour, we learn - by the way, the only demonic thing going on at that time around where I live is Larry King interviewing Dr.Phil and other phonies), yanking poor Emily around, widening her pupils to give her what can only be described as Demonovision, making her play piano and letting her speak Aramaic, Latin and of course, the ever evil German (so the demon is musical and multilingual - neat, eh?). To make the whole thing a fair and balanced experience for the audience, Campbell Scott's disgruntled prosecutor gets to show his cynical debunked view of events, but it's clearly established through light switches moving by themselves, some kooky doctor witness mysteriously getting run over by a car, a lame version of aforementioned audio tape (the true recording is terrifying, by the way) and some silly locket with the defender's initials, that there are definitely divine and hellish forces battling it out here.

So in the end this film cheesily gives a thumbs up to exorcism, while using the horrific true story of a victim of that very practice as a basis. It's sickening.

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54 out of 96 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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42 out of 75 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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9 out of 11 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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