The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Director: Scott Derrickson
Writer: Paul Harris Boardman, Scott Derrickson
Cast: Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Campbell Scott, Jennifer Carpenter

Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) was a college student who died in the care of her priest Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson). Moore now stands on trial for negligent homicide. His lawyer Erin Bruner (Laura Linney) tries to prove that Emily died despite Moore’s care, not because he attempted an exorcism.

I liked The Exorcism of Emily Rose much better than I thought I would. I really enjoyed that they pulled off an exorcism movie where you could choose whether you believed in exorcisms – or not.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose is not a perfect film. But it is an intelligent horror movie, which unfortunately is rare enough (intelligent films are rare as it is, but when you get a genre where most people don’t expect intelligence or think it necessary or even possible, well, then the number seemingly approaches zero).

I really enjoyed that it didn’t want you to believe that demons are real. Instead it told the story through the eyes of people who believe that – and then also presented the evidence against it. That structure only falls apart at the end where it leaned too much in the direction of “demons are real” for my taste.

Additionally, it does pull off its scares and has a great atmosphere. Sometimes the CGI gets away from them a little bit, but mostly its really effective.

The cast was great. Laura Linney really shines, as she usually does (that woman is seriously underrated). And Tom Wilkinson was great, too. Jennifer Carpenter does a great job with a difficult role and keeps Emily from being only a freak. Instead she also manages to show Emily’s vulnerability and her pain.

Summarising: Must see if you like horror.

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