The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Cast: Tom Wilkinson, Laura Linney, Jennifer Carpenter
Director: Scott Derrickson
Certificate: Cert 15, rt 117 mins,

The Exorcism of Emily Rose is truly creepy and its up to you how much you believe its based on true fact, but those desiring a no-holds barred Exorcist movie for 2005, are best advised to look elsewhere because this isnít really it. Itís a certificate 15 (rather than 18) for a start.

The good stuff : Laura Linney playing a lawyer Erin Brunner representing a Catholic priest Richard Moore (Wilkinson) who performs an exorcism on a devout catholic student Emily Rose (Carpenter) who believes she is possessed and accepts the treatment from her priest. Emily dies during the process and the film is largely centring on the following court case, as to whether the priest is guilty or not. Early on, the creepiness is good as through flashbacks we see Emily being overcome by powers unknown Ė yet the debate is of course, was she suffering from something truly terrifying or a medical condition that should have been treated ?

That part is where cinemagoers will come in since director Scott Derrickson rightly wants viewers to decide whether Moore was right as a Priest to do what he does, or not. There is a verdict at the end, no clues given here.

The bad points are these Ė purely that this is not really a horror movie. Itís a chiller yes but itís more talk, less action, a film that wants to engage you in the debate and is less interested in providing two hours of edge of the seat stuff. Thereís also free association with epilepsy, which epileptics may not care for, given that in centuries past, epilepsy was seen as a form of demonic possession. Thankfully the world has moved on since such wild theories abounded.

The performances of Tom Wilkinson and Laura Linney are convincing and the film itself directed tautly so curiosity may get the better of some interested in the debate of when does a Priest have a right to take over in a case and who judges whether a personís health is better served by an exorcism or through medical suppressants and closer observation ?

Matt Arnoldi

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