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The Exorcism of Emily Rose in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Laura Linney • Tom Wilkinson • Jennifer Carpenter
DIRECTOR: Scott Derrickson

Inspired by true events, Laura Linney portrays Erin Bruner, a lawyer who defends a Catholic priest, Father Richard Moore (Wilkinson), who is accused of negligence, resulting in the death of a 19-year-old girl, Emily Rose (Carpenter), during an exorcism.

U.S. RELEASE: September 9 2005, Nationwide • Rated: PG-13


“I was curious if the suspense of a courtroom drama could co-exist with the fear of a Supernatural Horror film. Also I was very interested in the whole idea of a woman who was dealing with secular personal demons, put into a context where she has to confront religious demonology – that was interesting to me.”

“You can’t out-exorcist The Exorcist. You can’t say we’ll take contemporary special effects and do a state-of-the-art film that’s the same strategy. Our strategy was much different, to go back to this realism factor. Part of our inspiration from looking into real exorcisms, and seeing how bone-chillingly scary the experiences of these people are, was we wanted to get our story back to the psychological personal experience that is not about special effects.”

“Directorially, it still becomes daunting how you can make exorcism scenes scary and not feel derivative of ‘that’ film, and the thing that really afforded me the opportunity to move away from that was Jennifer Carpenter, because she came into her call back audition, and what she did was so terrifying and so surreal and counterintuitive to look at, it made me feel afraid.”

“I suggested Jenny for the role. We did The Crucible together (on Broadway). I have never been more impressed with anybody as I was with her, in rehearsal and on stage. And I knew Emily Rose with the most critical casting in the whole film, so I threw her name into the pot knowing how physically and vocally talented she is, and thank God they listened and called her in. What she does in this movie is a fraction of what she’s capable of doing.”

“The role was really physically demanding. Half the time I was running on adrenaline, so when I finally saw the rough cut and saw my body going in all those different directions, I was just as surprised as anyone else.”

“My knee-jerk reaction, my instinctive response, is I do not believe in any of this. And then when you’re confronted with the research, and you have to investigate it and reevaluate it, I don’t have any answers about the great mysteries of life. I’m open to the possibility. I want to believe in a greater good in some sense, but I don’t want to believe in evil, and an evil that is outside of us. I hope that evil is manmade.”

“I think why this movie is so scary is because it’s not saturated with special effects. It’s about how much you’re willing to lend your thinking to new information, new possibilities, and the possibilities themselves were scary enough. And the fact that it’s based on a true story and true events is enough to strike up a little fear in me.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official The Exorcism of Emily Rose site
Images above © Screen Gems
Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #662, October 2005 cover

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