The Exorcism of Emily Rose
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A thrilling, horror film based on a true story about a single lawyer (Laura Linney), who takes on the church and the state, when she fights for the life of a priest (Tom Wilkinson), who has performeda deadly exorcism on a young woman. Linney must battle the cocky state lawyer (Campbell Scott) as well as her own demons, as she realizes that her career so far has not led her to fulfillment.
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In the movie, the defense, primarily in the form of Laura Linney's character Erin Bruner, attempts to convince judge and jury that Father Richard Moore, (portrayed by Tom Wilkinson), was blameless in Emily's apparently demon-infested death. The opposition, on the other hand, calls on the scientific testimony of doctors indicating that Emily's death was a tragic combination of epileptic seizures, malnutrition, and a lack of medical attention - believed to be intentional - on the part of Father Moore.
Interspersed throughout the trial are recollections of Emily's worsening conditions from the perspective of family members and Father Moore himself. However, when the movie moves away from courtroom scenes, the underbelly of the beast is revealed. Erin's part in the trial takes on a more significant role out of the court when demons - the very ones that haunted Emily - doggedly toy with her everyday life. The entire defense is under fire as the case opens into a scientific debate over the topic of Emily's supposedly supernatural demise.
Unlike many scary movies, The Exorcism of Emily Rose follows an alternation of eyewitness and professional accounts - with varying religious and scientific convictions - recalling Emily's final days. As each account is relived, the audience is exposed to a number of perspectives on Emily as she slowly but surely succumbs to a unpleasant affliction.
The movie is sure to provoke heated discussions if one entertains an audience with mixed opinions and standpoints. I spent a fair amount of time debating family and friends about exorcism, and many of our conversations were poignantly heated. However, in the end, every person I speak with agrees the movie certainly provides a good spook, no matter their religious perspective. If you enjoy a thought-provoking, poop-your-pants inducing movie as much as me, then you'll love The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) is Emily and while she never goes completely Regan, she gets pretty close at times and does a heck of job creeping the viewer out. Yeah, in fact Director Scott Derrickson keeps viewers completely creeped out for the whole film.
According to the opening of the movie, Emiliy Rose is "based on a true story". Derrickson uses some clever deception tactics to make you think that the characters and events in Emily Rose actually happened, but in reality the movie is mostly Hollywood imagination that is quite loosely based on the story of Anneliese Michel. (If you look up Anneliese Michel on Wikipedia you'll find a brief description of her events and a link to a 90 minute tape if Anneliese's actual exorcism...which I wouldn't have the guts to play if you paid me!)
I'd highly recommend checking out Emily Rose if, like me for whatever reason, you missed it back in 2005.