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
There were two dolls constructed for this film. The first was where Emily Rose would lock her limbs. The other was during the dorm scene where she is on the floor in a twisted position. The director ultimately never used a doll in the dorm room scene because he found out that Jennifer Carpenter is incredibly flexible and decided that the positions she was able to contort herself into were more unsettling than what could be accomplished with the dummy. When Emily starts to bend over backwards in the church, Carpenter wore a harness to make the effect more inhuman. See more »
The stop button is pushed on the tape recorder during the courtroom scene, but the tape continues to play for a few more seconds. See more »
That girl was not schizophrenic, she was not epileptic, or any combination of the two. I've seen hundreds of people with those problems. They have terrible afflictions, of course, but they don't scare me.
But what you saw in Emily that night? It scared you?
God, if I'd known, I never would have been there. I examined that girl before I drove back to the city. She was lucid and completely aware of the separate entity inside her. When she wasn't in its grasp, she was totally herself and ...
[...] See more »
Opening statement: This film is based on a true story. See more »
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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