The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

May 30, 2012

Well, I know it's a little too late to watch this movie. But, I've just found the dvd and it's a 7 year old movie, and I was 10 that time, so do not blame me for not watching it fresh. I guess, it's better too late than nothing.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)
"What happened to Emily?"

In this blend of psychological thriller and courtroom drama, Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) is a 19-year-old college student who begins displaying bizarre and troubling behavior; as her actions become increasingly destructive and shocking, Emily begins speaking in strange tongues and destroying religious symbols that surround her. Emily's parents believe that their daughter has become possessed of the devil, and the Catholic Church agrees to authorize an exorcism of the young woman. As Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson) attempts to drive the demons from Emily's body, the girl dies in the midst of the taxing ceremonies, and Father Moore finds himself charged with negligent homicide. Attorney Erin Bruner (Laura Linney) is hired to represent Father Moore against prosecutor Ethan Thomas (Campbell Scott), who intends to prove there were concrete medical explanations for Emily's behaviors, including epilepsy and schizophrenia, all leading to a heated courtroom debate between the notions of faith and science. What really happened to Emily? You'll find out soon after you watch the movie.


"This film is based on a true story." A lot of movies use that kind of tagline, "Based on a true story" whatsoever to attract more viewers, but admit it, we really do interest on those kinda movies right? I will admit that I am. Because of that, I watched this movie that really was based on a true event about the exorcism of a German girl named Anneliese Michel. She believed that she was possessed by multiple demons, including Nero, Hitler, Judas, and the most powerful among all, Lucifer. In 1975, several years after Michel had started suffering from unexplained behavior (eating spiders, drinking her own urine, avoiding Jesus's painting, self-mutilating, and the ability to speak multiple languages that she had never learned), two priests then performed 67 sessions of exorcism at least once a week for ten months, until, in July of 1976, Michel died of starvation and serious dehydration (she had claimed for months that the demons would not allow her to eat). Anneliese’s parents and the priests who perform Michel’s exorcism, were brought to trial on charges of manslaughter, and sentenced to six months in prison. Michel's grave has since become an ad-hoc holy site for devout believers, even though the Church later issued a statement denying that Michel had ever been possessed.

Anneliese Michel, before she was being possessed and the day she died

the real audio sounds of Michel's exorcism [this video may be found disturbing, so beware before you actually listen to it]

First thing to say to you who expected this movie to be a seriously scary and jawdroppingly shocking, well you may find yourself dissapointed. This movie was more like a court-room drama. It's rare to see a horror movie that mixed with a melodrama confliction in a courtroom. And that was the best thing about this movie, that we could see a possession itself as a real deal, whether it was really a religious event or was it just another undefined medical condition. Scott Derrickson did a really great job of managing those two aspects as balanced and almost believable. The struggle and the doubt of the characters, especially the faithful Father Moore and his theory of a possession and Erin's lack of belief in those thing and yet, that she had to defend it, whether it was out of her sane theory or that she was just denying her natural experience against it. It was thrilling, both the exorcism and the situation in the courtroom itself. The intelligence, the argument, the theory and the judgement inside that courtroom were interesting to be followed. It actually put us on the jury's position, whether to believe it or not, whether it could be explained in science term or not, Derrickson let you decide. And there was a moment when you had that thought of doubt, like "Is it true, that she was possesed by demons? Or she was just incredibly sick? Was Father Moore innocent? Was it all make sense? Who will win the case?". It was intriguing you know, that a horror movie could be presented with such intelligences, that scary wasn't the only thing that matters.

Father Moore : "Once you've looked into the darkness I think you carry it with you for the rest of your life."

The Exorcism of Emily Rose was intriguing, despite the story itself that had been built with pieces from Michel's true event. We could feel the tense in the courtroom, the debate, that lead us to the unknown fact behind the death of Emily Rose. That curiousness, that thrilling moment of Emily's appearance as a possessed person were thrilling, jawdropping, a real tense. We could feel a lot of confusion, a lot of doubt, a lack of belief in such intriguing ways. And the people behind the characters did such a great job to make it believable, especially Jennifer Carpenter who roled Emily. She nailed the role, as she could deliver the change of a sweet girl into a freakish and scary girl that was being possessed by several evil demons. She could deliver the tense well, the expression she had on her face, the grieve screams, the unexplained behaviors, she nailed it. She did a really great job on that.

Emily Rose : "And I am Lucifer, the Devil in the flesh!"

Overall, The Exorcism of Emily Rose gave you that enlightment about the possession itself. It's on you, whether to believe that demons are exist or not, whether to believe that Emily was being possessed or she was just simply sick, it's all on you. And this, so far, is the best movie about exorcism I've ever seen.

Father Moore : "Demons exist whether you believe in them or not."


Emily Rose : "I am the one who dwells within."

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