The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005/Sony Blu-ray)
B Sound: B Extras: C+ Film: B
the Supernatural story seemed dead and pointless, a film like The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005) comes
along and shows how to do it. For one of
the few times in many, many years, it was a film good enough to make the “based
on a true story” claim and the result embarrassed the two horrid Exorcist prequels Warner/Morgan Creek
churned out, as well as embarrassing duds like The Skeleton Key.
plays attorney Erin Bruner, who must investigate the death of a well-liked
teenager named Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) who died under very mysterious
circumstances. Some thought it was
abuse, others drug use and more than a few believe it was demonic
possession. Rose’s church finds
themselves on trial while Erin tries to find psychological explanations in
place of abuse if the abuse charges turn out not to hold.
greatest thing about this film besides its exceptional acting is the savvy
combination of a demonic possession story and courtroom drama. To remain challenging, the film never makes
easy choices or gives easy answers, yet despite this, more than a few people I
spoke with in the last few years who saw the film and did not like it, simply
deciding to explain it away as non-supernatural. They all missed the point of the finer points
of the film, which went right over their heads.
the film is very explicit about the demon possession, shows it very graphically
and that in an unleashed form, can be deadly, undetectable and hard to
confront, with the script making the church powerless to an interesting
extent. Those who missed the film’s best
points should not think of it as Miracle
On 34th Street with a demon either, as this is a much smarter,
more mature, adult, intelligent work. It
is never condescending or pat and never forgets a human life was involved. It is one of the best films of its kind in
years and highly recommended.
is also a big plus, including Tom Wilkinson in another fine performance as the
priest at the center of the case, Campbell Scott, Colm Feore, Mary Beth Hurt
and Henry Czerny.
2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot in Super 35mm film by Director
of Photography Tom Stern, taking a break from his DP work with Clint
Eastwood. I liked the look of the film
when I first saw it in 35mm and it still looks good in this version, but a
slight softness beyond any stylization is here and that holds the image back
slightly throughout. The digital effects
are few and contextual. The Dolby TrueHD
5.1 has some good, strong surround moments, but this is a quieter film with
much dialogue and that is clear here, which is good, because you really have to
pay attention and the DVD did not do justice to the film at all either way. Christopher Young’s score is also a plus.
include the trailer, audio commentary by Director Scott Derrickson who is
either a good filmmaker or just got lucky here, deleted scenes with the option
of more of his commentary and three good featurettes: Genesis Of The Story, Casting
The Movie and Visual Design. I wanted even more, but if this becomes the
minor genre classic it may well become, this might not be the end of The Exorcism Of Emily Rose. It may just be a few years ahead of a revival
of the genre.
- Nicholas Sheffo