I saw this film in the middle of a tour with my old band. By this point in the tour we were somewhere in Virginia and had played to a string of empty rooms and were looking for the first distraction we could find. A nearby theater was playing this film and one other. We picked this one knowing it was going to be awful — maybe even bad enough to be funny.
It wasn’t funny, fortunately, but in fact a great take on the genre, focusing primarily on the legal drama and not the exorcism itself, which somehow actually works to underscore the exorcism segments. And while I feel the exorcism story line goes a bit off the rails and cliche as it draws on, lead actress Jennifer Carpenter is an absolute BEAST and a blast to watch. Story goes that all of the crazy positions and poses you see her in are really her and not effects, and that she would practice for hours alone in a room with mirrored walls.
The film was also apparently riddled with “strange occurrences” where several actors and crew members reported unexplainable things happening to them on and off set.
For me, this is the best exorcism film to have come around in some time. Most exorcism films end up being a parody of themselves and rely on many of the same tropes (and I just cannot forgive the ridiculous digital effects on the voices).
The Exorcism Of Emily Rose doesn’t necessarily break any new ground, but it is a viable and enjoyable film in a sea of so, so many terrible ones.