In an extremely rare decision the Catholic Church officially recognized the demonic possession of a 19 year-old college freshman. Told in flashbacks 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' chronicles the haunting trial of the priest ... more »accused of negligence resulting in the death of the young girl believed to be possessed and the lawyer who takes on the task of defending him.System Requirements:Running Time: 119Format: UMD Genre: MYSTERY/SUSPENSE Rating: PG-13 UPC: 043396131125 Manufacturer No: 13112« less
"Once you see the darkness, I believe you hold onto it for t
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 12/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We're all dogged by our own little demons that cast doubt, shake our faith in ourselves and pull apart our world. However unlike the character of Emily Rose in this thought provoking drama none of our demons are named Lucifer. "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" tackles the issue of faith, how science has displaced our belief system rationalizing everything around us and pulled us out of the psychological barbaric dark ages. The film dares to ask, what if our rational side is wrong? What if there are supernatural forces beyond our comprehension which drive the world around us every day? A compelling tale that mixes fact (the film is based on the true story of Anneliese Michel documented by Dr. Felicitas Goodman in the book "The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel") with the format of a suspense thriller, court room drama and delves into the place of faith and reason in our society. I've seen many people disappointed by the fact that this isn't "The Exorcist". This is a suspense drama NOT a horror film like "The Exorcist". The exorcism itself isn't the focus of this movie but, instead, a sidebar. This is really about the after effects of what happens to Father Moore and Erin.
Laura Linney plays defense attorney Erin Bruner an agnostic gun for hire that recently won a highly publicized murder trial. When the head of her firm (Colm Feore) asks her to take on a case for the Catholic Church involving a priest Father Moore (Tom Wilinson) accused of negligent homicide of Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) she finds her disbelief melting as she's drawn further and further into the case. It seems that Emily, her family and Father Moore believe that she was possessed by the Devil. The prosecutor Ethan Thomas (Campbell Scott) is a man of strong religious beliefs who finds himself convinced that the girl was an undiagnosed epileptic who died because she was denied nutrition, medical help and the medication to control her seizures. This collision of church and state creates more than sparks as Erin discovers disturbing evidence that Father Moore may be right. She's further disturbed when strange things begin to occur to her just as they did to Emily and to Father Moore after the death of Emily. A warning though to fans expecting gore galore--this isn't your typical horror film like "The Devil's Rejects" or "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Instead, it's more of a suspense thriller using elements of the horror genre.
A thought provoking film filled with intelligent performances, some genuinely scary sequences and many unanswered questions, "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" may come across as a bit too pat at its conclusion but the ride itself makes the film worth it. This unrated version runs about 3 minutes longer than the theatrical version.
"Exorcism" doesn't have the heavenly glow of the many brightly colored epics and comic book films we've seen this year and that works to the film's advantage. Filled with moody cinematography, striking images and plenty of mystic fog the transfer looks very good. There are some minor issues with compression particularly during one sequence involving heavy fog but, on the whole, the film captures the stark and scary look of its theatrical debut. The 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround soundtrack becomes genuinely spooky during many of the scenes involving Emily and Father Moore but the more tense court room scenes come across as much more passive involving only the ambience of the court. That stark contrast between these two worlds and experiences make the scenes involving Emily's "breakdown" and exorcism all the more riveting.
We get a featurette that examines the history of the film and how the real event inspired the filmmakers to tackle such a daunting project with such an unusually intelligent approach. There's also a featurette that focuses on the visual approach for the film this is interesting as the director is, essentially, telling two different stories from two different points of view. As I mentioned before very few films have balanced the thriller aspects with those looking at the role of faith in our society and "Exorcism", like "The Exorcist", manages to transcend the limitations of the genre. We also get a single deleted scene that, although important from a character development point of view, clearly would have slowed the narrative down and was wisely extracted.
The commentary by director/co-writer Scott Derrickson focuses on many aspects of the production from the elements they borrowed from the real case to those of performance and integrating visual effects into the film in a believable fashion. The latter was missing from both "Dominion" and "The Exorcist: The Beginning" and, hence, undermined both those films from becoming little more than a footnote in the suspense/thriller/horror genre. In many respects, Derrickson's film acts almost as a "sequel" to "The Exorcist" (as that film was also based on a real life exorcism they share an incident that occurred as the basis of their projects). Derrickson's comments are intelligent and thoughtful about the project and the challenges he and his cast faced in making the story both compelling and believable.
The unrated version (which is the version I saw)doesn't appear to me to feature any more gore than the theatrical version. My guess is that it features scenes that run just a tad bit longer but weren't included in the theatrical version. While the film sputters a bit by the time of the conclusion, the two hour journey was still more than worthwhile. A warning though to fans expecting gore galore--this isn't your typical horror film like "The Devil's Rejects" or "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". The film manages to combine elements of "The Exorcist" and shows like "Law & Order" into a compelling mix all its own. Drawn into the darkness that consumes Emily both Father Moore and Erin are changed forever by their experience.
Stephen B. O'Blenis | Nova Scotia, Canada | 11/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In a little under a month (as of this writing) one of the year's best movies, "The Exorcism Of Emily Rose", will be coming out on DVD. It's coming in two formats - the theatrical edition and the unrated edition, which presents something of a dilemna. Normally I Always go for the full uncut version of a movie, even if it means waiting a long time, but now in the case of two movies I've seen at the theater this year (this and "Dark Water") there are unrated editions coming out of what was perfect the first time around. My curiosity and my instincts are to go with the extended editions ("Underworld", "Dawn Of The Dead" etc. would Not have been as good with Any of the material in the Unrated Extended Editions absent), but there's a vague fear of 'why tamper with perfection' in this case? I don't know, maybe I would have felt the same if I'd first seen "Underworld" or "Dawn" in the edited theatrical versions, although I can't think of anything that could have been cut from either of those movies that wouldn't have diminished their greatness. Anyway, the theatrical version is what I've seen, so that's the edition I'm reviewing.
First of all, if you have any qualms about not seeing this movie because of it true life connections (as opposed to "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", which despite the hype was only Very loosely based on real events, the basis of the story having already been formulated - according to Tobe Hooper - before he ever heard of the Gein case) I'd urge you to see the movie anyway. I admit to having had some uneasiness myself, unlike with a series such as "Amityville" which was launched with the support of the people actually involved in the real (I suppose I should say supposedly real, although I find the story credible) events. "The Exorcism Of Emily Rose" was based on undeniably real events - whether or not you believe in the possession angle - involving real tragedy, so I did have my doubts.
Suffice it to say that the first half hour of the movie annihilated those doubts completely, and not just because of the super quality of the movie. I can't be specific without risking spoilers, but I'll say that "The Exorcism Of Emily Rose" proved to me that not only was it based on events where it was acceptable to make a movie out of it, but advisable.
Juxtasposing the horror movie, the courtroom drama, and the 'theological/philosophical/ethical issues' movie as if it were the most natural thing on Earth, "The Exorcism Of Emily Rose" tells the tale of an exorcism gone wrong (not a spoiler; that's apparant from the first five minutes) and the ensuing criminal case charging the priest who presided over the exorcism with negligent homicide. Told, in about equal ratios, in two timeframes - one leading from the aftermath of Emily's death through to the court case and beyond, the other from before Emily's initial possession through to her eventual death - the movie perfectly brings to life a cast of characters that it's impossible not to care deeply about (helped in no small part by the universally brilliant performances). The battles in and out of the courtroom are heated, but ironically there are no human 'bad guys' in the movie. The prosecuting attorney believes in his position, actually more strongly than the defending attorney does in hers, at least initially. The 'bad guy' element is provided by what happened to the Emily Rose character. In pursuing the route of an actual possession, few movies have ever come close to being so terrifying in their depiction of true, literal Evil. And yet at the same time there is an abundance of brightness and inspiration in the tale. Unbelievable suspense and some unforgettably horrifying moments mixed so fluently with the other side of the coin is in itself a great achievement, and "Exorcism" hits all the other marks with equal force: outstanding production, incredible visuals, tremendous musical score, superb character interaction, the whole range of everything you could ask for.
Truly one of the greatest movies of all time, definately one of 2005's very best."
Movie Buff | 11/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was more then a horror-suspense movie. Although some may say differently, this movie WAS based on true facts of a 19 year old girl, whose name was Anneliese Michel, and it happened in the late 1970's. This movie just grabs you by the neck and sucks you in. After you've started watching it, hold on for dear life, you're in for one "hell" of a ride. It's been a long time since I walked out of a movie crying and shaking for 30 minutes. I can't wait for it to come out so I can just keep watching it. It's like not wanting to stare at someone getting in trouble, but just not being able to tear your eyes away from it. I'm not sure it's the best movie for a someone under 15 or so, but for those adults out there who KNOW there's something out there that has more power over us, it's a must-see. I reccomend this to ANYONE who wants to see a movie that is not only scary on many levels, but a movie that gets right into your head and shakes things up like they've never been shaken before. It's incredible....many bows to the director and actors of this "documentary" unlike any other. "
People are missing the point
Rusty Shackleford | 04/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great film. If you are looking for mindless gore and obvious scares, look elsewhere. The horror in this movie is something requires a bit of thought, it doesn't literally jump out at you.
I have read quite a few reviews from people complaining that the film doesn't spoon feed you the truth. Hello? That is the entire point. No one knows the truth except perhaps the people who were there and maybe they were misinterpeting the events.
If you need everything spelled out for you, and a clean ending, this is not your movie but happily there are literally thousands of movies out there that not only do not require any thought, or a double digit IQ, but actually hope you don't think about it. This is not one of those movies.
It is very well acted, well directed and paced nicely. What you get out of it depends on how much you think about what is happening and how much you can challenge those thoughts."
Not just a great horror film, but a great film period.
Michael C. Cheng | New York City | 03/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In an age filled with "horror movies" that belong in the comedy section, The Exorcism of Emily Rose was certainly an exception. A combination of great story-telling, production, acting, and music places this film at the #1 spot in my "favorite horror films" list (replacing Silence of the Lambs).
There are 2 main reasons why this film is great in my eyes:
1) Realism - Most horror movies simply take things too far to the point where it's laughable. Rotating heads, superhuman strength, and monster faces effectively remind us that "it's only a movie" and snap us back into reality. While there were a few instances in The Exorcism of Emily Rose that were unrealistic, the vast majority of the occurances were scientifically explainable.
The reason why such realism makes it scarier, in my opinion, is because it provokes a different type of fear. Rather than making us look over our shoulders for slashers, boogiemen, and zombies, this film provokes a fear that we all have and can't escape from: The fear of losing our minds.
The fact that Emily Rose was either epileptic/schizophrnenic OR possessed raises the question regarding whether or not there's a difference between the two at all. Could it be that those that are supposedly "possessed" are in fact crazy? Or could it be that those people that are supposedly "crazy" are in fact...possessed?
2) Intelligence - This is a very intelligent film. Although I'm not sure as to whether or not it was intended, the film's thought-provoking development made me realize something: While this film is BASED on the POSSESSION OF EMILY ROSE, it actually DEPICTS the POSSESSION OF ALL PEOPLE.
This film illustrates how we're all possessed in our own unique ways and how our beliefs tend to take a back seat to those things we really want. In the film, each of the main characters were possessed by something that led them to do "crazy things."
Father Moore was possessed by his need to tell Emily's story. This led him to risk his freedom and his priesthood.
Erin Bruner, the defense attorney, was possessed by her career, which led her to take the case despite the fact that she didn't believe in religion.
Ethan Thomas, the prosecutor, was possessed by his career too, which led him to take the case despite the fact that he was a man of faith.
Jason, Emily's boyfriend, was possessed by love, which led him to stay by her side even though he was terrified of her.
The irony and metaphoric depictions in this movie, whether they were intentional or not, made this movie deserving of 5 stars."