Who Cares Who Killed Emily Rose

(Thanks to felecofcornwall, a reader of the SearchIndia.com blog, for recommending The Exorcism of Emily Rose.)

With bulging eyes and dropping jaws we watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose (directed by Scott Derrickson & starring Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson and Jennifer Carpenter) on our television set this morning.

A work of extraordinary beauty, The Exorcism of Emily Rose is the beautifully crafted tale of a 19-year-old young girl Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) who falls victim to demonic dark forces that take over her body (or maybe suffering from epilepsy), the exorcism done to drive out the demons, her suffering, eventual death and the trial of her priest Father Richard Moore (Tom Wilkinson).

The movie is an enticing amalgam of fine photography, solid screenplay, powerful dialogs, superb acting and deft direction, in short everything that our pathetic Bollywood or Kollywood isn’t.

Based on a true story, Emily Rose speaks to us – and the jurors, of course – from the grave through the voice of Father Moore, who is on trial for negligent homicide in the young woman’s death:

In the end, good will triumph over evil.
The realm of the spirit is real.
Through my experience, people will know that demons are real.
People say that God is dead.
But how can they think that if I show them the devil.

Besides the powerful story and screenplay, the highlights of The Exorcism of Emily Rose are fine performances by the trio of Laura Linney (who plays Father Moore’s lawyer Erin Bruner), Tom Wilkinson and Jennifer Carpenter.

Of the three, it was Tom Wilkinson who impressed us the most as the priest devout in his faith and hell-bent about getting on the stand to tell Emily’s story.

The narrative never sags even for a moment as Emily’s story is narrated in flashback in the course of the trial and interspersed with brief court room scenes and prison cell visits by the lawyer to see her client.

While the exorcism scene, initially in the room and later in the stable, is well executed, it’s not one that’ll scare the bejesus out of you. But then Emily Rose is really not a horror film in the strict sense though some have mischaracterized it as such.

Apart from the court room scenes, much of the movie is filmed in the dark under low lighting, a technique that adds to the allure of this dark movie.

Personally, we think all these tales of possession by demons are hooey.

But that’s besides the point because irrespective of whether Emily’s problem is auditory and visual hallucination (psychotic epileptic disorder is the term the prosecution uses in the movie to describe the girl’s condition) or the work of dark forces, you can’t help but be impressed by this fine movie.

So, no matter whether you are a man of faith or a man of facts contemptuous of demons, whether Emily Rose was killed by the demons or priestly negligence, it doesn’t matter because you are sure to enjoy The Exorcism of Emily Rose for its gripping story and the entertaining drama that unfolds on the screen.

If you live in the U.S., you can get The Exorcism of Emily Rose from Netflix or Blockbuster. Outside the U.S., this fine movie should surely be available at your local DVD rental store.

15 Responses to "Who Cares Who Killed Emily Rose"

  1. beni   November 23, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    This movie was super scary.
    And i second that guy who asked you to review Manichithrathazhu.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    We’ll see if we can get Manichithrathazhu.

  2. SRINIVAS   November 24, 2008 at 1:41 am

    There are many such good scary / Horror movies in Hollywood … By Hollywood standards ..this cannot be called a good movie …

    Bollywood or Kollywood dont know how to make horror movies …its limited to creaking doors ..all sorts of strange noises .. so called scary makeup’s etc

    Manichithrathazhu & Chandramukhi both are an example of the above … not recommended if you are used to watching Hollywood movies .. otherwise its ok ..you may like both ..

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: Bollywood or Kollywood dont know how to make horror movies …its limited to creaking doors ..all sorts of strange noises

    We skipped Phoonk but watched Bhoothnath. Beyond pathetic.

  3. gandhiji   November 24, 2008 at 2:34 am

    Isn’t jennifer a bit too old for portraying a 19 year old.. i like her in “Dexter”.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: Isn’t jennifer a bit too old for portraying a 19 year old

    She was alright but the real hero of this fine movie is the powerful story and screenplay.

  4. satya   November 24, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Did you wake up at 3.00AM after watching this movie!!

    It happened to me and many people who watched this movie 🙂 . The movie is very engrossing and beautiful acting by laura linney.
    Especially she keeps waking up at 3 in the morning and starts hearing weird noises coming from somehwhere. She cant understand why she wakes up at 3:00 AM daily. Later While interrogating the Priest in the court Room, The priest tells How the first time Emily gets possesed. Emily would’ve been possessed at 3:00 AM as it is called the “Witching Hours” and during this time DEMONS make a mockery of God. Written somewhere in bible.It is only at this time Ghosts are usually very Active!!. This statement hits the Lawyer like a thunderbolt. You should see the Expressions of Holly hunter, Amazing Acting.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. You write above: Did you wake up at 3.00AM after watching this movie!!

    Not yet. We have a ready mantra…Jai Hanuman.

    2. You write: You should see the Expressions of Holly hunter

    You mean Laura Linney?

    3. Maybe Hillary’s 3:00AM Ad against Barack Obama was a subliminal attempt to evoke the the fears and dangers of Emily Rose.

    • rama dasa   July 16, 2011 at 7:30 pm

      i have a better mantra for you:”namo bhuteshwara”! it’s one of shiva’s names as lord of ghosts/demons

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      We like Namo Gomateshwara better.

  5. mihi_rex   November 24, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    this is off topic but did u listen to that new Kanye West album ‘808s & Heartbreak’? that album is pretty tight yo!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    No…Busy writing our first short story.

    • boopalanj   July 16, 2011 at 5:55 pm


      Do you write short-stories? Where are they?

      You mostly stick with reviews. Is that because your short stories supposedly did not make good reader base?

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      If and when we finish our collection, we’ll try to sell them.

  6. singgakutty   November 24, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    watched this movie when it first came out.. nice movie.. but for me, Exorcist is the best horror movie of all time.. 2nd best is all vijaykanth’s movie.. just joking..

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Ajith Beats Vijaykanth handily.

    We’d say the worst horror film must be Aegan.

  7. asdf963   November 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    short story?!!! whoa!! now this is big!!! when are you guys planning on finishing it?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: when are you guys planning on finishing it?

    Hopefully soon. This is a first for us…so it’s hard to give a more precise timeline.

    We’ll publish it on this blog as soon as we are done. 🙂

  8. gandhiji   November 25, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Aegan was worse than Drona? Chennai Kaadhal was pretty horrifying. Kaalai.. the list goes on.. it’s an abyss.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: Aegan was worse than Drona?


    However bad, Bollywood films have a certain sophistication/slickness that Tamil movies completely lack.

    Most Tamil movies are disgustingly crude. It’s like a bunch of neanderthals are behind and in front of the camera.

  9. gandhiji   November 26, 2008 at 12:42 am

    Are short stories considered for Pulitzer prize?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Since Jhumpa Lahiri won it for her collection of short stories, the answer is yes for a collection.

  10. felecofcornwall   November 26, 2008 at 5:20 am

    Thank you SI for reviewing.

    As you rightly noted, this is not a true horror movie at all. It’s based on the true story of a 19 yr old girl in Germany called Anneliese Michel.

    The wonderful screenplay and dialogues are the strong points and they make the movie most enjoyable to watch.

    At times I wonder if its really so difficult for Bollywood/Kollywood these days to make movies that can at least come close to the brilliance of such a film.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: At times I wonder if its really so difficult for Bollywood/Kollywood these days to make movies that can at least come close to the brilliance of such a film.

    No, because our filmmakers and actors are cocky idiots.

    And therein lies the tragedy because the cocky are capable of wondrous exploits and the idiots can accidentally accomplish feats that may surprise even the doer.

    But from cocky idiots, not much can ever be expected.

    To describe the korangus (monkeys) in Bollywood or Kollywood as filmmakers or actors would be to engage in grotesque mutilation of the English language.

  11. zed   December 1, 2008 at 3:53 pm


    This is the first time I am writing into here. I have always read your reviews with great appreciation and agree with your reviews (most of the time).
    I totally agree Bollywood is at that stage where they just don’t want to move ahead with other film industries.

    I believe there is not enough directors in Bollywood that are willing to experiment, but I also believe that the viewers/public are also to blame in a way. They are happy to go along with movies every week that they call ‘paisa vasool/time pass’. But what you get with that is exactly that.

    Coming to this review I watched this movie when it came out in Cinema and i actually quite enjoyed it as there’s so many so called horror type movies that just dont do anything for me, this movie had a good message and the acting was truly brilliant.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write above: I believe there is not enough directors in Bollywood that are willing to experiment, but I also believe that the viewers/public are also to blame in a way

    We don’t have any issue with the first part of your above sentence but the latter part about apportioning some blame to the viewers is a difficult theme to address (As the Americans would say, it’s above our pay-grade).

    While movies are always to some extent divorced from reality, Bollywood movies these days are completely divorced not only from reality but also from commonsense and any semblance to art. We have buffoons like Abhishek Bachchan and Ajith (Tamil star) masquerading as actors and starlets like Priyanka Chopra and Nayanthara (Tamil) who are clueless about the basics of acting.

    No one seems to give the least importance to the story and screenplay in Bollywood or Kollywood. They are an afterthought to the stars. NO wonder, most Bollywood movies are crappy and fail at the box office.

  12. gk   December 9, 2008 at 10:24 am

    saw “the sixth sense” today…i thought it was brilliant…whats your take?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Yes, Sixth Sense was a decent movie.

    We watched it back in the VCR days when Blockbuster was still a force to be reckoned with in the U.S.

    Perhaps, Night Shyamalan’s best.

  13. 13ghosts   December 15, 2008 at 9:49 am

    I’d watched this a few years back, found it a bit boring for my horror-movie tastes. Will revisit again.

    Some movie suggestions:

    Vertigo( Hitchcock classic)
    Oldboy (on which ‘Zinda’ was based)
    Seven Samurai (by Akira Kurasawa)
    City of God (based on Rio de Janeiro’s drug-slum connection)
    Cloverfield (a handycam take on ‘Alien’)

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