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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing mix of Court Room and chiller
With such a recent plethora of movies based on torture and gore to achieve their chills, it is refreshing to find a movie that retains some intelligence and still manages to get a few spine-chilling moments, with barely a speck of blood or guts to be seen.
First and foremost, this is a court room drama. And yet there is an interesting twist, because the subject is...
Published on 20 Jun. 2008 by Mr. Stephen Kennedy

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good thought provoking film based very loosely on true-life events
I did some research on the true story behind 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' after watching the film. The possession was on a German girl and shokingly I found that the true events were much worse than the film's version. The girl suffered for something like 8 years and during that time she refused to eat because the spirits wouldnt allow it, beat and bit members of her...
Published on 4 Mar. 2008 by LK

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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 10 Jan. 2015
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Love this film! Perfect for horror lovers.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The (implied) rape of Emily Rose, 30 July 2014
J. D. Aspinall (South West England) - See all my reviews
The Exorcism of Emily Rose is about a girl racked with guilt because she is gang-raped and loses her virginity outside marriage. The film is (clumsy) Christian propaganda.

The key to this lies in the flashback scenes which come while hearing the testimony of the witnesses in court. Without carving up each flashback scene and attributing it to each witness, I'll give an outline of the story which the flashbacks represent and mention some scenes from the present in more detail.

A young and attractive farm-girl is jumping up and down on her bed - with child-like gaiety - because she has heard that she has won a scholarship to university. Her mother bursts in to her room and Emily stops her child-like behaviour and becomes serious, telling her far-from-worldly mother that a scholarship means "they pay for everything". This tells us from where Emily is coming: a non-sophisticated, non-metropolitan, simple background of good, honest work "down on the farm", Sunday-school and bible-class; in other words, a traditional God-fearing all-American background. (They're big on chastity, by the way.)

We then cut to a close up of a Martini - two olives, not one - on the counter of an ultra modern metropolitan bar. This is where the hot-shot city lawyers hang-out and drink expensive martinis. The place is chrome and glass and the exotic alcohol on the shelves behind the bar give the place colour. Its customers are sharp-suited city sophisticates, and Erin Bruner is first seen here, when she does a deal with her boss to take Fr. Moore's case in return for promotion. The point is she is clearly the opposite of Emily Rose. That is the first thing to note: The church-bake sale purity (Emily) in contrast to the slick, amoral lawyer (Erin).

Erin Bruner takes the case after making sure there is something in it for herself (a promotion) and her boss is happy because she recently won a case for a client (who is not featured in the movie, but is very relevant to Bruner's story arc and will be mentioned later) and is, therefore, on something of a roll.

Emily Rose finds herself away from the protective bosom of her family and attending university - there she is, out on her own in the big, bad world for the first time, and sleeping in a dormitory at university.
Some things need to be noted about the imagery used with the university. The place is, without doubt, the most poorly lit educational establishment I've ever seen represented on film. The place is ridiculously dark and yet universities are meant to be a place of, well, enlightenment.

I wonder why the university is portrayed this way? One scene, in which Emily has a vision of another student's face becoming demonic happens in a class-room with students at desks, and the room is sufficiently dark that you wouldn't be able to read your notes; in addition, this particular lesson, for reasons unknown, is taking place at night.
The non-subtle inference is that university is a dark and miserable place and should be avoided. This is ridiculous, but at least it breaks with Hollywood tradition, where college life is one long session of sex and booze.

What of Emily's first "weird" (sexual) experience.

She wakes up at 3:00am, disturbed by something, and wanders out into the hall to check. There's nobody about, but the door at the end of the corridor - or, if you think symbolically, the seal at the end of the tunnel - is flapping about, open.

This is not guess work. The director took the time to film that corridor and door, yet since when do demons use doors?

She goes back to her room and climbs back into bed. What is this girl, newly left-home and on her own in the adult world, wearing in bed? She doesn't wear a short, slinky night-shirt or cropped top and shorts - nothing like that, there's no dirty, shameful gratuitous flesh on display; no, Emily is wearing a passion-killing boring nightdress which no red-blooded frat-boy would ever strain his jock-strap for a chance to get into. So it's clear the good-girl from the good Christian home has kept to her roots and not forgotten where she came from.

This is when she gets attacked, for the first time, by the demonic entity. Invisible hands pull her covers away and an unseen weight holds her down. She is left, crying and shrieking on her knees at the side of her bed after this attack and the scene is exactly what one would expect after a rape. She runs from her room, sobbing, into the night.

Now, it needs to be mentioned that it is not only Emily Rose, in flashback, who is "visited" by demons, her priest's lawyer, Erin Bruner, is harassed by the forces of darkness in the present day. It is her contact with the demons which confirms what the entities require of a potential human host to gain access to that host. The answer is guilt.

The back-story is that Erin recently got a "not guilty", and that victory was one of the reasons for her boss offering her the Fr. Moore case. As Erin sits in her local cocktail bar - the sophisticated bar with all the glass and chrome and exotic booze - she sees a news story on the television about a man just arrested. That man is, obviously, the guy she got-off and - would you believe it? - he's only gone and killed someone; thus confirming that slick-lawyers are shysters and giving Erin a perfect reason to find the Christian goodness lurking under her weapons-grade ambition. This process of finding herself and changing her attitude takes the rest of the film, but is complete when she speaks to Fr. Barron for the last time, when she has, in a symbolic way, become a Christian and by definition redeemed herself.

The murder report on the television news gives Erin - crucially in terms of the movie's underlying theme - a reason to feel guilty about something.
After seeing this news story and realising she put a bad man back on the streets to kill, the very next shot shows the consequences of that guilt.
She comes out of a lavatory cubicle and approaches the sinks to wash her hands. There is, it appears, nobody else in there. Then she is startled by a loud crash and a tall, black-clad figure exits a cubicle and approaches the sink next to her. It is unclear if this figure is male or female, but, in addition to the black clothes, this male or female figure is wearing either a hood or scarf, obscuring its head. Erin gives this odd addition to the cast-list a quick, nervous look and exits the bathroom. The figure doesn't look at her, but we can clearly see that its eyes are hidden in dark shadows giving it an obvious and deliberately sinister appearance. This is a demon. The point of this scene is to show that the guilt she feels about getting a bad guy back on the streets is the doorway the demons use to get access to their victims; and the intensity of guilt is in direct relation to the intensity of the possession. Erin feels not much guilt about the guy she let off, so the demons can only clang a door here and there in her apartment.

Emily's guilt is significantly more intense.

Emily Rose has not one, but six demons inside her wreaking havoc, so one is forced to ponder what the poor love feels guilty about. Allowing for the clumsy imagery - which is: the door to the corridor being open (seal on the tunnel broken); her bed-clothes (still the innocent homely bed-wear of a virgin, which means she's innocent of sexual misconduct or leading anyone on, therefore it's a question of rape, not her being a trollop); the rape-like entrance of the demon (her being held down on her bed, covers ripped off, which is a way of entrance analogous the cause of the guilt: Emily gets entered by whoever rapes her, and that's how the demon gets into her; and that Erin washes her hands of a case, and the demon enters her world the same way, innocuously washing it's hands next to her) - a simple piece of Christian propaganda is (almost) subliminally slipped into the mind of the viewer.

Emily's Christian faith is strong. We know this from the court-room exchanges when an explanation for her speaking in tongues is given by the prosecution. This is offered, ostensibly, as a technical plot-twist - something which might weaken the defence case - but serves to tell us that Emily Rose took on plenty of Christian study to the point of part-learning languages such as - and how much more devout can you get than this? - Aramaic, the ancient language spoken by Jesus.

While possessed Emily has a vision and is told that heaven is not indifferent to her suffering. That's good to know. She is offered the chance to end her suffering by dying straightaway. How sweet. She is also told the demons will not leave her alone if she goes back to her body. The demons will not leave her alone because she will never get over the guilt and trauma of the gang-rape. Heaven does suggest that if she returns to her physical body, suffers at the hands of the demons for as long as she can last, others will learn from her example (in other words, the others will choose stay at home, bake cakes and read the Bible) and be inspired to come to Christ because, obviously, if demons exist and can do terrible things to us, it rather suggests that angels exist and we might want to take out some religious insurance. Her sacrifice is for the greater good and a lesson to us all. I'm sure I've heard that story somewhere before.

Emily Rose, in all but name, becomes a modern day messiah, her case bringing about an increase in people coming to the church and leaves everyone happy. Of course it does.

The film is clunky Christian propaganda while being blatantly anti-education (and therefore anti-thought) and suggests that Emily got what she deserved for daring to leave the innocent country for the debauched city.

This is an abnormally stupid and clumsy film.

One thinks of that splendid line from The Sopranos: No-one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 Jan. 2015
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A brilliant true story. I enjoyed it
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 27 April 2006
I think it wass a fantastic movie. It makes you think what really happened that day. Is the real Emily Rose had have face-to-face communication with Virgin Mary. Well, like what Attorney Erin said on the it possible? I think it is possible and I absolutely enjoyed this film. But first you need an open mind coz most of me mates didnt finish the film coz they thought it was just one of the rubbish horror film in the industry but its not. Excellent film
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good but scary film!, 4 Oct. 2014
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Good but scary film!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 July 2014
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very very well
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Jan. 2015
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Good Quality
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 5 July 2014
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Tense drama!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 26 Jan. 2015
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a bit scary
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Immature yet engaging!!, 23 April 2006
nmollo (London) - See all my reviews
"The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is an engaging Motion Picture and quite chilling at times. This film has an interesting mix of courtroom drama and traditional horror, which blended together works surprising well.

I really enjoyed the reasoning that accompanied the story. It is grounded in faith. I don't feel this film has any of the genius of William Friedkins' "The Exorcist" or the sheer terror but it is very well made and superbly acted by all the cast especially Laura Linney and Jennifer Carpenter. Tom Wilkinson as always is outstanding. The cast obviously had to work hard improving some of the clichéd dialogue and in most cases pulled it off.

Staple horror effects are employed at almost ever turn, the quick turn to the camera, the close-up then sudden reveal and I did notice a Japanese influence to the framing of many shots but this all seemed to work fluidly as the director obviously respects and loves the horror genre. A major criticism is the doctor's death, which seemed to confirm in a rather obvious and plagiaristic way the presence of the demonic. Suddenly the film became "The Omen" and this poorly executed moment was rather out of place with the theme of the whole. I do admire the minimal use of demonic make-up.

There are some major loopholes such as the introduction of evidence without disclosure, illogical courtroom examination and procedure and the argument surrounding the drug for epilepsy, which is ill conceived. The worst scenes are those between Linney and her boss, the final one being predictable and formulaic. The use of cats and snakes seemed rather ridiculous and unoriginal.

This Motion Picture smacks of immaturity yet this director may mature into a competent and reliable filmmaker.
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The Exorcism Of Emily Rose [Blu-ray] [2007] [Region Free]
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