Ok, now this is a horror-genre movie I've been looking for.
First of all, it has to do with religious mysticism. I'm not sure why, but I love the movies that have anything to do with that. Raiders of the Lost Ark is of course my favorite movie of all time, which could have something to do with it. I equally like possession movies in the genre, like Rosemary's Baby, The Omen and the original Exorcist. Of course, I'm not religious in any way, but still I think the power of these movies is that so many people are religious. Makes it a bit more believable than a horror movie like The Blob.
This movie is supposed to be a true story. The Exorcism of Emily Rose starts with the investigation and pending trial around her death. The rest of the story is told by way of flashback. I found the format to be very effective and interesting, it kept me riveted until the end. I have no idea of the original story, and I'm sure a lot of creative license was taken to make the possession seem scary. Yet, this was still an effective movie.
Bonus: it has Laura Linney in it. Laura Linney is at the top of my list of Hollywood hotties. Plus, she's also a great actress. If you haven't seen You Can Count On Me (2000), you should. It's an excellent and truly underrecognized movie and completely not a horror movie. It's about a couple of adults who, as kids, lost their parents in a car crash. The movie is a character piece, there's very little plot except that the brother comes home to visit the sister. Mark Ruffalo was also great in that one as the brother.
Anyway, back to my favorite subject of this post: Laura Linney. One thing I wonder about her is if she is a firm believer in the supernatural, or if she just keeps getting typecast for these movies. What was up with her being in The Mothman Prophecies? That movie was complete shit. Why would someone with such a good acting resume be in that? Did she want to get with Richard Gere (if so, she's off my hottie list). Anyway, she does a good job here, given the nutty supernatural material, except for one scene with her lawyer boss that falls really flat. It must be hard to deliver lines that are pretty ridiculous.
The style of the movie is done well. I really like the first five minutes. There's very little dialogue, but it's a pretty powerful scene. I kind of wish they had stuck with that tone instead of going crazy with the special effects and makeup. But, I'm sure the dummies at the studio thought that the only way to market the movie was as a typical teenage horror flick, so they inserted all of the FX.
BTW, have I ever mentioned how Hollywood marketing works? Basically, the marketing people at the studio don't know anything about the movie. They barely care what it's about. Their motto is "You make it, we'll sell it in the genre where we think it will be most successful." That's what happened to this movie. They probably equated it with I know what you did last summer, rather than trying to formulate a remarkable horror movie like Rosemary's Baby.
That's probably the only major thing I can criticize about the movie. Overall, very well done.
RATING: Good/Bad. Go ahead and rent it or PPV it.