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The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Release Date: September 9th, 2005 (wide)
Length: 1 Hr. 54 Min.
Rated: PG-13 for thematic material, including intense/frightening sequences and disturbing images.
Distributor: Sony Pictures
Starring: Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Campbell Scott, Jennifer Carpenter, Colm Feore

Directed by: Scott Derrickson
Produced by: Julie Silverman-Yorn (II), David McIlvain, Andre Lamal
Written by: Scott Derrickson, Paul Harris Boardman

Official Website


Reviewed by Scott Jeffries
Reviewer Rating:


( The Exorcism of Emily Rose )

In times of need, when you feel that the whole world is against you and bad things are happening for no reason at all, you turn to one being- God. But what happens when you are no longer in control of your own self? This is a time when you need God the most.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose is one such story which brings your worst nightmare to life- when there is face off between good and evil and you happen to be caught in the middle, will God come to save you?

Based loosely on the real life story of Anneliese Michel, a young German college student, in the mid 1970ís. When she was 19 years old, she started getting violent seizures, which the doctors said was because she was epileptic. But in the course of her treatment, she started seeing, smelling and hearing things which were not there. She slowly became convinced that she was possessed by 6 different demons and she begged the church for an exorcism. After a long time, the church relented. She underwent around 19 exorcisms and these saw her to her death. The priests who performed the exorcism and her parents were convicted with manslaughter.

The film starts off with the death of Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) and the subsequent arrest of Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson). What ensues is a courtroom drama where we see prosecutor Ethan Thomas (Campbell Scott) and defense attorney Erin Bruner (Laura Linney) engage in a long drawn out battle. Throughout the courtroom proceedings, we see in bits and pieces how the entire thing starts- right from the time Emilyís first attacks started to her unfortunate death.

What is great about the film is that the whole sordid incident has been handled very maturely and instead of cashing in on the actual exorcism, the director, Scott Derrickson has chosen to speak about the legal and ethical stance of the entire exercise. He expertly weighs out the lines of religion and science- seeing to what extent one can intrude in the others territory.

The cast is something else altogether. As the two attorneys, Scott and Linney have done a terrific job and have each presented both sides of the story with outmost sincerity and honesty. Jennifer Carpenter too has done an amazing job as Emily Rose and you really connect with the poor girl and her inner turmoil.

Another thing that is very well doe is the movie sequence. Itís not dragging or predictable. In fact, each and every part is relevant is necessary- doing full justice to the film and the subjects it is dealing with.

All in all, the exorcism of Emily Rose brings home the deepest fear that you have- that Satan is going to come grab you, and you are not sure that your god will be there. Even though Emily died, she had complete faith in her God till the end and she died peacefully. So it all comes down to the faith; a simple message very well put by the director.

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