The Secrets of Emily Blair (2016) Movie Review
Written By: FR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Joseph P. Genier
Writer: Patricia Harrington
Producers: Shakim Compere, Queen Latifah, et. al.
Date Released: October 1, 2016
Ellen Hollman as Emily Blair
Colm Meaney as Father Avital
Will Kemp as William Regan
Francia Raisa as Tara
Adrian Paul as Roizman
Sherilyn Fenn as Linda Regan
Jonathan LaPaglia as Dr. Bogan
Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Fran
Rating = 2/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The Secrets of Emily Blair (2016) is about a newly engaged couple, Emily and William. However, as soon the engagement started, Emily strangely becomes possessed by a demon. To save her, William seeks the help of a long-time friend who is a priest. However, the priest is not convinced that Emily is necessarily possessed by rather suffering from psychological or mental illness. When William asks the priest to conduct an exorcism, he enlists an ex-communicated priest to perform the ritual. Despite the fact that exorcisms are against the church, the priests agree to perform this exorcism.
There is not a lot of blood or gore in this film. However, there is one notable scene in which a character is strangled to death. For the remainder of the film, there are typical scenes of demonic possession whereby a possessed individual is struggling and suffering to retain sanity. There are also a few jump scares in conjunction with these scenes as well.
The Grave Review
The Secrets of Emily Blair (2016) (aka as The Exorcism of Emily Blair which is more apt) is more atmospheric and eerie. The movie was able to create the intense feeling of anticipation of coming danger in a spiritual way. It is safe to say that this film was inspired by The Exorcist and even makes reference to the then young star act, Linda Blair.
The performance of the actors and actresses felt inconsistent, as some performed well as opposed to others. For example, Adrian Paul plays the former priest but has never lived up to the role. His role as the former priest was not believable and did not create the appropriate tone for the character. However, Colm Meaney is commendable as the priest. Although Meany sometimes displays an indifferent persona which takes away from the vibe he initially gives off. Ellen Hollman did a great job as the possessed girl, but her role as the nurse was forgettable. Nevertheless, Hollman’s performance overall was well-done and her efforts were sustained throughout the film despite the films other shortcomings.
In respect to the plot, the screenplay was mediocre and the story progressed in a slow manner. The film began with a promising plot but dragged out for most of the film. There was the anticipation that the film would create shocking imagery and scenes from the exorcism but failed to sustain the tension and suspense throughout the film.
The most memorable period during this film occurred during the actual exorcism scenes themselves. While the priest is yelling exorcism spells to the demon, William is giving the demon compliments simultaneously. There was a reason for this, but the end result of these scenes created confusion. If these scenes were supposed to be the climactic impressionable points of the film, the film failed miserably.
Taking all factors into consideration, the movie is forgettable and contains multiple flaws which diminishes the entertainment value of the film. The ending of the film was as mediocre as the remainder of the film. During the credits, the film also insinuates that there will be a sequel in a post-credit scene which certainly does not add anything to the current film. As such, The Secrets of Emily Blair (2016) is not worth viewing more than once.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Secrets of Emily Blair (2016) two graves out of five graves.
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