Wednesday, January 04, 2006
However, it is a movie that makes you think. It concerns the case of a young girl who died after claiming to be possessed by demons, and the courtroom drama that followed. The majority of the movie deals with what happened in the courtroom, with flashbacks telling Emily's story. The central conflict is whether the priest who performed the Exorcism on Emily was responsible for her death or not. This is all based on a true story; the real "Emily Rose" (actually named Anneliese Michel) is pictured here.
Where I think the movie succeeds is that it doesn't take sides. It's never entirely clear whether what Emily is going through is genuinely due to demonic possession, or whether it is simply a medical condition. The horror movie elements come from seeing what characters experience, rather than an objective telling of what happened. Both sides in the courtroom battle provide strong arguments, and it is mostly left to the viewer to decide what's right.
Personally, I'm not sure. If Emily, her whole family, and her priest all genuinely believe that a demon is possessing her, and they were doing everything they could to cure her, should any of them be responsible for her death? Would the same controversy erupt if she died while undergoing conventional medical treatment?
The fact that the movie can give rise to deep questions like this makes it worth seeing. Just don't expect to be scared out of your mind, and it's an enjoyable, thought-provoking movie.