Exorcism movies are few and far between-I can only think of a handful of films minus the weak Exorcist sequels. 2005’sThe Exorcism of Emily Rose is the most recent theatrical release dealing with possessions by you know who.
The exorcism is uniquely contained entirely in flashbacks and court testimony, a very intriguing concept from director Scott Derrickson (Hellraiser: Inferno). Instead of an opening exorcism movie and a closing court room drama, the two are merged together. As witnesses recount Emily’s experiences,
The Exorcism of Emily Rose’s saving grace is Tom Wilkinson’s Father Moore. He is the character on which the film is rightfully centered. We know enough early on to realize evil bad, priest good. We want him to win the case and prove his exorcism beliefs justified. Based on his position alone, we believe his version of events to be true. Wilkinson perfectly hits the balance between the mission of truth and the anguish this whole sequence of events has caused. I’ve seen him previously in comedic films like The Full Monty. We like him despite the weight of the situation simply because
Again I come back to the split personality nature of the film. Looking at the effects and lack of scares, The Exorcism of Emily Rose isn’t really a horror film. Then again, intelligent law watchers will think the exorcism flashbacks ridiculous. Religious audiences might enjoy the moral and faith debates presented, but the ethical scenes are few and far between. A mature young adult church group might enjoy a good analysis of Emily Rose, but kids and prudes should avoid the naughty possession scenes. The only scene I found scary was Emily’s initial demonic encounter. Alone in a dorm hall at night any number of horrible things can happen. Pseudo rapeage by invisible evil I suspect is the worst.