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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.
The commercials do an excellent job of misleading most people on what this movie is actually about. It's not a horror movie. Ok, yes there are some creepy scenes, and yes there are some moments that make you jump, but it's not The Exorcist by any means. There's no pea-soup vomit or 360 degree head spinning or levitating.

Ultimately this is a courtroom drama that deals with some pretty touchy subject matter. The actress that plays Emily does a terrific job, and has a promising future as a contortionist if the Jim Rose Circus ever passes through town. Most of the truly creepy scenes are presented in a flashback format, and most of the evidence is presented in such a way as to allow you to draw your own conclusions.

Emily is already dead when the movie begins. This isn't exactly a spoiler since you learn this in the first 45 seconds. The priest who performed her exorcism is arrested and put on trial for negligently causing her death. He's less interested in being found innocent than in getting "Emily's Story" out to the world. The prosectors argue that she was a psychotic epileptic and that by denying her the medicine she needed (and not feeding her) that he ultimately killed her. The movie presents "evidence" in a way to allow you to see both sides of the argument, but doesn't give you the answer. You're on your own for that one.

Most of the supporting cast is pretty one-dimensional. The priest is somewhat compelling, his lawyer is agnostic (with "demons" of her own... a twist). The judge seems sympathetic, and inclined to listen to some pretty far out testimony from the defense. The prosecuting attorney is a very devout christian (another twist) and the courtroom scenes take up almost as much time as Emily's story, which is told in a pretty disjointed fashion with very little of the actual exorcism being shown, and almost none of the days that followed it and led to her death.

Being a PG-13 movie, there's only so much they can get away with, but I certainly can't think of any 13 year olds that I would allow to see this. It is a little disturbing after all. Personally, I think they should have gone ahead and strived for an R rating... maybe add a little more horror to it. It seems like the movie was headed for an R, but just didnt manage to pull it off. I certainly don't think the intent was to target young teens as an audience.

This wasn't a particularly memorable movie, certainly not in the way The Exorcist was. (Let's face it, these comparisons are unavoidable!) I'm doing good to get this review out, since the details are already fading. I remember more about the popcorn, come to think of it. Posted on Friday, September 9, 2005 9:34 PM Reviews | Back to top



Comments on this post: Review: The Exorcism of Emily Rose

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