The Exorcism of Emily Rose

  • 15
  • Scott Derrickson (2005)
  • US
  • 114 min
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

Perry Mason meets The Exorcist in director Scott Derrickson's unusually intelligent genre piece. Both thoughtful and thought-provoking, this classy chiller - loosely based on the 1970s case of German teenager Anneliese Michel - stars Laura Linney as an ambitious, high-flying defence lawyer who takes on the case of a Catholic priest (Tom Wilkinson) charged with negligent homicide. Was Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) demonically possessed when she died or was it just a psychotic-epileptic disorder as church-going prosecutor Campbell Scott claims? This believable spine-tingler is a compelling courtroom drama first, a gripping science fact versus religious faith debate second and an intensely effective horror movie last (the genuinely powerful exorcism is a transfixing frenzy of hand-held camerawork and old-school special effects). Expect to engage in heated debates about possession as a valid phenomenon in western society after seeing this serious and seriously creepy movie.

Plot Summary

Horror drama based on a true story, starring Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson. A teenage girl who believes her increasingly violent fits are signs of demonic possession decides to seek help from her family priest. But when she dies following an exorcism, Father Moore is charged with negligent homicide. It falls to lawyer Erin Bruner to prove the priest's innocence during a courtroom battle in which the Christian faith itself comes under the spotlight.

Cast and crew


Erin Bruner
Laura Linney
Father Richard Moore
Tom Wilkinson
Ethan Thomas
Campbell Scott
Karl Gunderson
Colm Feore
Emily Rose
Jennifer Carpenter
Judge Brewster
Mary Beth Hurt
Dr Briggs
Henry Czerny
Dr Adani
Shohreh Aghdashloo
Joshua Close
Dr Mueller
Kenneth Welsh
Dr Cartwright
Duncan Frazer
J R Bourne


Scott Derrickson

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Columbia TriStar
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 25 Nov 2005
Certificate 15