2005 ****
Original Theatrical Cut runs 119 mins.
Unrated Cut runs 122 mins.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose is really in a genre all its own. It's easy to see why critics and audiences were split, kind of unsure what to make of it. On one hand, it's a horror film, dealing with the possession of a young girl who died after her exorcism failed. On the other hand, it's a courtroom drama, as the priest who suggested she go off her epilepsy medicine after performing the failed exorcism is put on trial for her death. I, for one, found this duality of the film to be quite fascinating. It's different than what Hollywood usually gives us when it comes to exorcism-related films. Rather than go overboard on makeup and special effects, it tells its story through courtroom testimonies, the courtroom being the main location of the film. It's a horror film that is actually smart in a lot of ways, relying more on realism than shock and gore factors, just like the quintessential film on this subject, The Exorcist. A sharp focus on reality in a horror film always makes it much more horrific. However, I felt many aspects of the court case could have been handled differently. Having grown up on John Grisham and Ally McBeal, I tend to have a legal-minded way of thinking. The defense could have presented its case in so many other ways that would have been much more effective and successful. Seeing as how this is inspired by a real case, which took place in Germany in the 1970s, much of the case may be lifted straight from there. I don't know. Either way, this film is still an exceptional work for those with open minds.
Original theatrical aspect ratio: 2.35:1 (Super 35)
Rated PG-13 for thematic material including intense/frightening sequences and disturbing images.

Laura Linney + Tom Wilkinson + Campbell Scott + Colm Feore + Jennifer Carpenter + Mary Beth Hurt + Henry Czerny + Shohreh Aghdashloo

Written by
Paul Harris Boardman & Scott Derrickson

Directed by
Scott Derrickson


Motion Pictures