Sorry this ain’t a Star Wars review, I haven’t seen it yet (cry). But last blog post before the new year and I hope you enjoy!
Today’s film is a horror from 2005 and it is called:
The Last Exorcism of Emily Rose
(Directed by Scott Derrickson)
I literally haven’t slept properly since watching this film, it’s that scary. I’ll admit, I’m scared of most things but this was in a league of its own.
I’ve been working on a horror film for uni and this was part of my research and damn did it teach me a lot about making horror.
Basicallllyyyyy the film starts in a bleak farm where a young girl called Emily Rose has just died after an exorcism. The priest, Father Richard Moore, who performed the exorcism is then arrested and charged with negligent homicide.
Enter Erin Bruner who is his (very confident and slightly sassy) lawyer, given to Moore by the archdiocese to negotiate a quiet guilty plea deal which is to be kept out of the public eye. Father Moore insists on pleading innocent and insists that he must tell his story, for Emily. The only heartwarming aspect of the film.
So a court case begins, and Erin fights prosecutor Ethan Thomas (the arrogant A-hole) who believes Father Moore is guilty. Thomas claims that Emily-Rose has epilepsy and psychosis and backs this up with testimonials form doctors. Meanwhile Erin frantically searches for witnesses to testify that Emily’s death was due to demonic possession.
Throughout the court case we see flashbacks to Emily’s possession and the lead up to her death. Now these are the bits that scare you senseless. She is attacked at night where her body convulses uncontrollably (nearly made me cry), the demons within her won’t let her eat so she becomes weak and peoples faces morph into pictures of evil.
After a failed, highly violent and terrifying exorcism, Emily weakens so much because of the demons within her that her body shuts down and she dies.
As the court case goes on, both Erin and Father Moore begin to feel a darkness creeping into their lives and they must fight it off whilst fighting for Moore’s freedom. Spooky.
Laura Linney plays Erun Bruner. Her performance is decent but a little too Jodie Foster for my liking. But she plays the role of a confident lawyer well, just not shamazingly.
Then we have Father Moore played by Tom Willinson. His haunted and wounded portrayal is pretty good; a little melodramatic at times due to the writing, but a good performance overall.
The real star is Emily Rose herself played by Jennifer Carpenter (Deb from Dexter if you’ve watched it). I have never seen a more haunting character in my life. Without any special effects or prosthetics she had the hair up on the back of my neck when she’s being possessed. Honestly she’s awesome. She can go from a timid, extremely scared 19 year old to the devil in the click of a finger and boy does it shock you!
Music can make or break a film sometimes and it certainly makes it in this. Sometimes it’s so subtle that you barely notice it which is when it’s best. Then at times there’s a dramatic score which really adds to the visuals.
Most special effects in the film are on point, you have to forgive and look past it’s slightly dated look though.
Was hooked on this film from start to end! Great narrative and is a true story! Makes it 10x scarier. It isn’t over dramatic or gorey like some horrors and just plays on messing with your mind. It has a major OMG factor.
The only negatives that I would mention is there’s maybe too much of the court room and we want to see more of Emily. Some parts in the court are truly gripping, but some bits could have been cut easily. Also her family in it play a family in mourning so well but we don’t see enough of them!
The film is a brilliant piece of horror, it chills you down to the spine. It’s full of suspense and scares. Defo watch it if you’ve got some spare time. A solid and very good 8/10.
Here’s the trailer to get you a little scared already: