"The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is a Must See!


This movie is based on the true story of Anneliese Michel who died during an exorcism performed in Germany in the late 1960s and the trial of the priest who was accused of her murder.  Some details have been changed for the movie but the heart of the story remains  Science takes on religion in a gripping courtroom throw down.

Starring Jennifer Carpenter, now of "Dexter" fame, as Emily Rose a smart and centered farm girl who goes off to college only to be either suffering from a number of medical conditions or possessed by demonic spirits.  This movie is stocked with a roster of very accomplished actors such as Tom Wilkinson as the accused Father Moore, Laura Linney as his attorney, and Campbell Scott as the prosecutor.  The story is centered on the trial of Father Moore and uses flashbacks to tell the story of Emily Rose and the circumstances surrounding her death.

 The prosecution contends that Emily was suffering from something called psychotic epileptic disorder.  Which would explain her hallucinations, her trance-like states, and violent seizures.  While Father Moore is a loving and caring priest with a perfect record did he willing put Emily at risk by ignoring her possible medical conditions and relying on faith alone?  Father Moore does tell Emily to stop taking her medications because it clouds the mind and prevents the exorcism from working. When Emily dies the official cause of death is dehydration and malnutrition.

Defense attorney Erin Bruner takes the case with the promise that she will be made a full partner at her firm.  She is coming off a huge win in which she got off another murder suspect.  She meets up with Father Moore in prison he refuses to take a plea deal, wanting it to go to trial to tell Emily's story (good thing or there wouldn't be a movie).  Erin lives alone and after taking the case strange things start to happen every night at 3 am, the witching hour, leaving her to start examining her faith. 

The story investigates both sides of the case and each does have very good arguments.   Science has been batting religion since the beginning of time and this movie doesn't give any easy answers.  The acting is top notch and takes the issues seriously.  It all depends on what you believe and goes to the core of faith itself.  It is one of the better movies out there on the subject of demonic possession.  It does have a lot of good scares and is loaded with a creepy and ominous feel.  "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" is widely available on all formats and is a great watch so check it out!

For more information on the real case of Annaleise Michel Check out this Link http://www.chasingthefrog.com/reelfaces/emilyrose.php

"The Devil Inside" Needs to be Unleashed


Simply put "The Devil Inside" could be described as "The Blair Witch Project" meets "The Exorcist".  It's also quite similar to "The Last Exorcism" which I previously reviewed.  "The Devil Inside" was in theaters at the beginning of the year and took in a pretty impressive $33 million its first weekend.

The movie opens with a 911 call and a woman saying she has killed three people.  This is Maria Rossi and the main question about her and about possession cases in general is that is she really possessed? or just mentally ill?  Maria is taken into custody and is eventually sent to a mental hospital in Rome.  We then pick up the story of her daughter Isabella, played by Fernanda Andrade, who has teamed up a documentary film crew as she is about to visit her mother for the first time.  Luckily Isabella and the whole cast for that matter are all attractive and easy to look at (since this is a "real" documentary and all).  It's also a great coincidence that everybody in Italy speaks English and is easy to talk to (just sayin').  Isabella does visit the very real Exorcism School at the Vatican and meet up with a few young priests who help them along the way.  Also, the idea of multiple possessions and of demonic transference is brought up and plays a part later on.

All minor annoyances aside this really is a pretty frightening movie.  The acting is pretty incredible, starting with Maria (Suzan Crowley) who plays crazy and possessed like she is actually crazy and possessed.  Rosa (contortionist Bonnie Morgan) has a short scene that is the stuff of nightmares but with a dash of humanity. Despite what she has been through in her life Isabella is pretty well adjusted and lives a normal life.

Isabella and the group perform a sort of unsanctioned exorcism on Maria at the mental hospital and things get pretty intense.  Something happens that makes this exorcism movie unique.  I won't spoil it but it makes for an interesting third act.  Personally, I think the ending is pretty awesome, but a lot of people hate it.  Since this is a found footage type movie you'd expect this type of ending.  Its abrupt, ambiguous are leaves a lot of questions.  What happened next?  More than likely with the amount of money it took in a sequel can't be far behind.  "The Devil Inside" is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download so give it a shot.

"The Last Exorcism" Will Leave you Possessed


The exorcism movie has been a staple of the horror genre ever since "The Exorcist" debuted in 1973.  It has experienced a resurgence in recent years with several such films hitting theatres and DVD, mostly boring and tired retreads but a few have really moved the genre forward.  "The Last Exorcism" is one such movie.  It takes on a faux documentary style with handheld camera work, a small budget and unknown actors to really drive home an authentic feel.  Produced in part by horror icon Eli Roth, this film has a great pedigree and hope for greatness.  While costing only a few million dollars it brought in more than $40 million at the box office.  With results like that it's no surprise that a sequel in on the way.

Growing up with a southern pastor as a father Cotton Marcus (played by Patrick Fabian) has followed in his footsteps ever since he was little and now after years of being a pastor himself, he is ready to get out of the business.  He has a documentary film crew follow him as he "performs" a typical exorcism.  He wants to give away all of his secrets and how everything is staged and nothing but a big sham to bring in some extra cash.  He answers one of the many letters he gets asking for help.  Upon driving to the Sweetzer farm he meets a very sweet and innocent teen girl named Nell.  He does some "tests" and agrees to do an exorcism on her.  This goes like planned and he has another happy customer; until.   Nell mysteriously appears in Cotton's motel room in a trance-like state.  Cotton doesn't believe in demonic possession and thinks that Nell is suffering from some sort of mental illness and takes her to a hospital. 

The story is very effective in establishing Cotton's character and his motivations.  He has lost his faith and wants to show us how fake his job can be.  Obviously, exorcism movies rely heavily on the possessed victim and the performance by Ashley Bell, who plays Nell, is spot on.  She gives a fantastic performance showing fragility and vulnerability while also showing a devilish side that is quite shocking.

 Cotton goes back to the farm and finds himself confronted with a potentially real possession case.  Nell has some obvious problems but are they demonic in nature?  The third act of the film really kicks it into high gear and introduces another bizarre element to the story.  The ending is loved by some and loathed by others, but this is one horror film that needs to be seen.  "The Last Exorcism" is currently available on Netflix watch instantly.