The Exorcism of Emily Rose review
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[The Exorcism of Emily Rose]
Plot:A lawyer takes on a negligent homicide case involving a priest who performed an exorcism on a young girl.
My Thoughts:Almost as good as "The Exorcist"
Review:I've read alot of people and reviewers labeling this film as boring while others labeled it as frightening and terrifying.I have to say I fall on the side of the second opinion."The Exorcism of Emily Rose" as most people know is based on a series of events that really took place involving a girl named Anneliese Michel and a catholic priest,in which a young girl died during an exorcism and the priest who attempted to exorcise her stood trial as a result of her death.The film is a great look into what may or may not have really happened to Anneliese Michel during her exorcism.Jennifer Carpenter plays Emily Rose,just your average teenage girl who has just recently gotten a scholarship to college.However during her stay there,she comes under attacked by a demon and eventually becomes posessed.The film revolves around the trial itself where Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson) is on trial for Emilys demise,all the while telling the story to the audience via flashbacks.Laura Linney plays a lawyer named Erin Bruner who is assigned to the case and who isn't really the religious type of person (what lawyer ever is?).She just sees this trial as a way to shoot her up a few notches on the corporate ladder and to take a step up from being a junior partner at the law firm she works at.But Wilkinsons character Father Moore warns her that there are dark forces that are surrounding the trial.This film hinges mostly on it's performances by it's main three characters who are the focus of the story,Wilkinson,Linney,and Carpenter.Their wonderful performances make this film work and hold the viewers interest.Wilkinson comes across as an actual real life priest as opposed to an actor just playing one,thats how strong his performance is.His character is also a very selfless man,turning down a plea bargain and risking a long stint in prison just to tell Emilys story so that he can educate more people to be aware of the spiritual realm.Linney is also great to watch because as the trial goes on and things start to happen to her she has a religious awakening so to speak from the blatantly dismissive person she used to be.Another thing to like about this film is the performance of Jennifer Carpenter who plays the posessed Emily Rose with real emotion and makes 99% of her scenes very believeable.Theres one exorcism scene which takes place inside a barn that is one of the best and most eerily realistic scenes I've seen in a horror film involving religious faith since that infamous exorcism scene in the classic "The Exorcist".This film doesn't beat you over the head with the scares or force them into spots they shouldn't be in.It goes along at a very good pace lightly strolling some creepy and eerie scenes here and there before hitting you with something hella scary later on.The eerie silence in alot of those scare moments are what make them work so well.Theres not much music in this film which is a plus because a movie like this would suffer from a huge soundtrack or overplayed score."The Exorcism of Emily Rose" isn't preachy either.Theres no preaching from the religious side or the logic side.But rather a film that takes both and uses them really well as we watch Erin Bruner argue on the behalf of Father Moore and her opponent argue on the behalf of Emily Roses family.Both making good points and even when Linneys character starts to change from a total skeptic it's a believeable change and not a forced one,and it also still maintains the films pact of telling a story from two different points of view instead of preaching either as the overall "right" opinion.The ending works well and avoids being predictable or insulting the audiences intelligence.
This film is definitely worth your time and money.It's not non stop blood,gore,and action,but it's a very chilling retelling of a real life event,and is heads and shoulders above "Constantine",another film which dealt with exorcisms and the like.
Pros:Great performances by Jennifer Carpenter,Laura Linney,and Tom Wilkinson,and an overall sense of eerieness which lingers in the film from start to finish keeps the film from falling too deep into the realm of a drama.Great exorcism scenes also.
Cons:I wish they had given us a deeper look into Erin Bruners home life and what made her such a religious skeptic but thats a minor gripe.
Overall:Realism,good performances,strong story,and non-preachy."The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is one of this years better horror films.
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