The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) is an interesting, though fright-lite horror tale based on a true demonic event that for once I had nothing to do with.
Nineteen year-old Emily Rose got a scholarship and moves out of her wild Catholic home in the middle of farm f*ck nowhere. Once at college she starts seeing visions of demons in the faces of other students and in the shower steam on her dorm window. (Catholic guilt, workin’ its magic.)
Doesn’t take long before she starts convulsing into pretzel shapes (see “Frat Keggar”), getting sores on her face and screaming like someone just invited her to a frat keggar. The doctors pump her full of medication thinking she’s an epileptic. But the drugs are keeping her in a state of perpetual possession by not one but six demons, all of whom name themselves. (Again, not me.) But an eventual exorcism in a barn where cows recycle hay doesn’t go according to scripture and the girl dies.
The movie isn’t so much about Emily with six devils inside her (isn’t there a porn movie with that same premise?), but about the priest, put on trial for her demise (he counseled her to quit taking the medication) and the hot attorney (Laura Linney) who has to defend him.
As courtroom drama goes, it’s OK. (I’ve seen better “hang ’em high” trials on Perry Mason.) The added “demons are after the attorney now” stuff is annoyingly hokey. But it’s the closing statements that pour some juice.
Several fun facts: Emily’s night stand clock stops at 3AM every morning. This is explained in church-speak as the Devil’s way of mocking in reverse the 3PM time of day Christ rose from the grave. (So that’s why all those clocks in other horror movies stop at 3AM. I wonder if demons know how to set their watches to Eastern Standard Time?)
Also as interesting, Laura’s boss in this flick (Colm Feore), played the devil protagonist in Stephen King’s Storm of the Century (1999). The Hell you say.