It all started with a single movie released back in 1973 and during the following decades it grew into something much, much bigger. The movie is, of course, The Exorcist and the sub-genre that it created is one of the most recognizable in cinema history. There have been many sequels and attempts to recreate the original sense of terror and evil, but most of them failed miserably. However, at the turn of the century something happened and a couple of great movies were released (Exorcist: The BeginningDominion: Prequel to the Exorcist), including the rightful heir of the throne. The Exorcism of Emily Rose is based on true events, much more so than other movies claiming the same thing. Here, some alterations had to be made but overall the story is pretty much accurate. The young girl that was “possessed” was Anneliese Michel and her troubled life was adapted for screen a couple of times. There are even audio tapes of her exorcism, so I will leave a couple of links after the review if you want to learn more about her. Directed by Scott Derrickson, who perfected his skills shooting Hellraiser: Inferno, this is a perfectly balanced horror movie with scenes that will stay with you for a long time.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose [2005] Movie Review Recommendation PosterEmily Rose was a young girl, just 19 years old when she died due to the wounds she self-inflicted and malnutrition. She was hearing voices and had trouble eating, but that was only the beginning of her problems. Soon, she started to suspect that a demonic influence might be meddling with her well-being. Father Moore is accused of negligent homicide after he performed an exorcism on Emily. He recalls the story during his trial and it is a horrible one…

There a few problems with this movie, but they are so small that I’m not going to bother mentioning them. They even addressed the whole “exorcism is not a legitimate healing method” aspect through the trials, however, the real meat of this movie is it’s very visceral and frightening depictions of possession and demonic influence. These scenes were truly frightening with fast-paced editing and infernal sounds that only amplified what was going on. Featuring unbelievably good performances from Tom Wilkinson and Jennifer Carpenter, Exorcism of Emily Rose is one of those movies that will keep scaring you in the years to come. The iconic barn scene is simply unforgettable, although movie lost some of the momentum afterwards, and this pacing issue may be the only flaw that I noticed right away.


Director: Scott Derrickson

Cast: Jennifer Carpenter, Tom Wilkinson, Laura Linney, Campbell Scott

Wiki about real Emily Rose: Anneliese Michel

Fun Facts: Since this film’s release, a persistent urban legend has sprung up amongst students at the University of Minnesota. According to the legend, Pioneer Hall, an allegedly haunted dormitory, was where Emily Rose was first “possessed,” as seen in the film. However, as Emily Rose is a fictional version of Anneliese Michel, a German woman who never attended the U of M, this legend is obviously false.


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