New York police officer Ralph Sarchie investigates a series of crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest, schooled in the rites of exorcism, to combat the possessions that are terrorizing their city.
When a younger girl called Emily Rose dies, everyone puts blame on the exorcism which was performed on her by Father Moore prior to her death. The priest is arrested on suspicion of murder. The trial begins with lawyer Erin Bruner representing Moore, but it is not going to be easy, as no one wants to believe what Father Moore says is true.Written by
Excellent on so many levels; a lesson in mainstream film-making
Wonderful, wonderful movie. A lesson in film-making. I know a lot of people won't be able to see it for what it is because of the supernatural/horror elements (which are usually a turn-off for film snobs), but the movie is just extremely well-made.
Consider the fact that Linney's character's true conflict is not winning the trial, but a satisfyingly complex internal struggle which I will not name so as not to spoil the movie. Or the plethora of food for thought that the movie offers, regarding existentialist issues of perception vs. objective truth, and social issues of liability and responsibility.
Some very interesting scenes that find ways to express things in subtle and creative ways without spelling them out. And an incredible and ballsy performance by Jennifer Carpenter, which takes Linda Blair's possession to a whole new level. Also, notice how a key dramatic monologue is presented, contrary to what we might expect, with no sentimental music in the background. The cinematography is also great. I was reminded of Dario Argento's vivid colors in Suspiria on more than one occasion.
Although it's not the focus of the film, the movie also offers a few very cool scare moments, and seeing Emily possessed is terrifying.
This is my favorite "underdog" movie of the year so far.
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