The Exorcism of Emily Rose

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The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Review (8/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

The Exorcism of Emily Rose is based on the true story of a priest who was put on trial following the death of a girl shortly after an exorcism was performed on her. The real-life girl's name was Anneliese Michel and her horrific demise took place in Germany. In the movie, Jennifer Carpenter plays Emily Rose, Tom Wilkinson plays Father Moore and Laura Linney plays defense lawyer Erin Bruner. The movie takes place somewhere in the United States.

Basically, what happens is a young country bumpkin named Emily Rose goes away to university. Early in her first year, strange things start happening to her and her face and before she knows it, she is seeing evil faces, her body is contorting in ways that bodies should not contort, her eyes are turning red and she starts speaking in really strange voices. Medical staff at the university attribute her odd behaviour to some form of epilepsy but Emily seems to think she is possessed by demons. She is forced to go home, where Emily's behaviour deteriorates even more and her God-fearing parents decide to enlist the help of a local priest. When Emily starts screaming at him in all sorts of odd languages and voices and scratching the walls and eating bugs, the priest decides to perform an exorcism to rid her of the evil forces. The exorcism fails and Emily eventually dies. Authorities decide that the exorcising priest, Father Moore, is the cause of her death and he is arrested and charged with negligent homocide. Erin Bruner takes on the case to prove that Emily Rose did indeed die because she was possessed by demons and not because Father Moore convinced her to stop taking medication that was supposed to be treating her apparent epileptic condition (at least according to the medical experts).

I have to say, The Exorcism of Emily Rose might have one of the best trailers that I have seen in a long time. It makes the movie look creepy, scary, spooky and all that shit and it made me really, really want to see this movie. Unfortunately, the trailer is a bit misleading, as much of the movie focuses on the courtroom drama stuff. That's not to say that it's a bad thing because most of the courtroom drama is quite compelling. And that's also not to say that the movie doesn't have it's creepy, scary and spooky moments because it has plenty of those too. Maybe not as many as the trailer makes you think but it has it's fair share and even one jump out of your seat moment. It's kind of funny too, because I was talking to a pal today about the movie and he was saying how he loved the line from the trailer "Because there are no injections against the devil" and that line must have got lost on the cutting room floor because I don't remember hearing it in the movie.

Nevertheless, despite the slightly misleading trailer and the deletion of a great line, The Exorcism of Emily Rose is still worth your while. It's creepy, it's dramatic, it's got a strong cast and it's really an all-around good effort by everyone involved. And the exorcism scene is the best exorcism scene that I have seen since The Exorcist, and maybe even better. I'm sure the movie did a good job of sensationalizing the actual story but even if half of what happens in the movie is true, well, I just have to say thank God that I don't know anyone who's even been possessed by a demon. At least not that I know. Because I can assure you if I did and they started talking to me in five different voices, I would do one of two things - shoot them in the head, or more likely (since I don't own a gun), turn around and run until my skinny legs fell off my body. But since that has nothing to do with the movie, I will end by saying The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a decent movie and perhaps the first ever courtroom drama/horror to make it to the big screen - so you might say it's the best courtroom drama/horror movie of all-time.

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