The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Scott Derrickson
Producers: Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Paul Harris Boardman, Tripp Vinson, Beau Flynn
Writers: Scott Derrickson, Paul Harris Boardman
Date Released: September 9, 2005
Laura Linney as Erin Christine Bruner
Tom Wilkinson as Father Richard Moore
Campbell Scott as Ethan Thomas
Jennifer Carpenter as Emily Rose
Colm Feore as Karl Gunderson
Joshua Close as Jason
Duncan Fraser as Dr. Cartwright
Mary Beth Hurt as Judge Brewster
Shohreh Aghdashloo as Dr. Sadira Adani
Rating = 3.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about a possessed girl found dead after a failed exorcism and a priest who was accused of negligent homicide. During the court trials, Father Moore’s purpose was to reveal what really happened and why the exorcism failed through the help of a lawyer. The prosecutor’s side was explaining the medical causes of Emily’s death. Though it was hard to believe, Father Moore and his lawyer are experiencing dark forces trying to attack them at 3am within the duration of the trial. With the sudden death of an eye-witness doctor who was supposed to shed light on the medical versus spiritual aspects of the case, it is up to the priest and his lawyer to defend. After telling the story of what really happened, the jury found him guilty but recommended a sentence of time served.
Aside from Emily’s gruesome possessed appearance and her scary visions, the body contortions are the creepiest in this movie. The most notable ones are the “spine-breaking” church scene and the “crumpled body” dorm scene. There are very few jump scares and even fewer scenes of possession due to the court trial being the central focus. Even so, the exorcism sequence from the bedroom when Father Moore arrived up until the whole barn scene was the most terrifying.
The Grave Review
The fact that The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) was based on a true story is terrifying enough. The actors were all good and Jennifer Carpenter played Emily Rose so well that an entire movie dedicated to her “possessed” acting skills should have been a great idea.
The nice thing about this exorcism movie is that it thoroughly explained the scientific and spiritual differences in detail through the witness stand. It presented the most common idea that people always lean towards if they don’t believe in demon possession which is medical or mental illness. The entire movie is almost like a debate that will certainly make you think.
Another good thing about this movie is that in between the court scenes, the escalation of Emily Rose’s possession was presented in detail. Though only in the form of short flashbacks, we can relate to her from her life before the possession, the first encounter, the succeeding attacks, to the failed exorcism leading to her death.
The only problem is that it focused too much on the court proceedings. It was entitled the exorcism of Emily Rose but the main agenda was to defend Father Moore against the accusation by retelling about the exorcism which was only shown towards the ending. Because of this, it lacked the thrill and terror of the demonic possession and actual act of exorcism, to think that six demons were inside Emily Rose. The suspense and horror were cut short because of the constant switching between flashbacks and witness narration.
Through it all, the ending was quite satisfying in the sense that light prevailed against dark. Good won over evil. Questions were answered. Emily Rose chose to die to let people know of her story. Father Moore earned his freedom. Erin Bruner restored her faith somehow and rejected a greedy career growth.
Overall, this movie is perfect if you are looking for a different kind of exorcism movie. Beyond scary, it’s thought-provoking.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) three and one-half graves out of five graves.
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