When a younger girl called Emily Rose (Carpenter) dies, everyone puts blame on the exorcism which was performed on her by Father Moore (Wilkinson) prior to her death. The priest is arrested on suspicion of murder. The trail begins with lawyer Erin Bruner (Linney) representing Moore, but it is not going to be easy, as no one wants to believe what Father Moore says is true.
Runtime: 122 minutes
Release Date 2005-09-09
Tagline: What happened to Emily?
During the trial for his events, a lawyer tries to help her client, a priest, seek the truth about what happened to the young woman who died under his care while performing an exorcism to cure her of a demonic possession and eventually lets the truth about it be known. This wasn't anywhere as bad as it could've been. The film is really split into two halves here with this one being basically helped greatly by its really good possession and shock scenes. The opening scene that sets her up to becoming possessed is one of it's best sequences, as the long hallway and the unearthly voices floating around give it an unearthly feel while the first scene in the classroom where she sees a demonic face appearing in the window through a cloud of mist and turns around to see a student's face turn into a distorted demon's face giving off an unearthly roar makes it quite shocking. Running out into the rain and seeing more demonic faces give off the same unearthly roar is a bit clichéd, but it still helps to sell the mood while the finale in the church giving this a quite creepy conclusion. The different manners of how she’s become afflicted are quite memorable moments with the frenzied bug-eating, speaking in tongues or just contorting her body into such impossible positions that it really becomes obvious something is wrong with her, and the long, suspenseful and chilling exorcism is the film's selling point, coming off with any number of creepy ideas and scenes in such a drawn-out style is one of the best scenes in the film. Otherwise, beyond the shocks and the exorcism, there isn't much else to like about it. Therefore, everything else in it doesn't really work which is only relegated to the courtroom battle drama. It's marketed as being a supernatural possession film, and the best moments come from those scenes, but the fact that the majority of the film is a courtroom battle with the supernatural elements coming in the form of flashbacks is a real misstep and is likely to confuse those coming in expecting the other kind of film. It's not that they're boring or anything, it's just that it's out of nowhere that it becomes that way, and it can be a disappointment. The fact that these are slow and really long don't help matters, extending this out far longer than it should. This could've easily been an hour and a half, or maybe a little longer, but the two hours running time forces it to keep the courtroom antics going for no reason other than to extend the running time. A few extraneous scenes could've been snipped as well, including the introductory scenes at the bar that repeat information we already know and also keep the running time going, and most of the time simply elicit a feeling of wanting to move along and get to the good scenes. These really harm the film. Rated PG-13: Language, Mild Violence and intense demonic and spiritual themes.