The Exorcism of Emily Rose, (or, to be more accurate, the Exorcism of Anneliese Michel), is a American dramatization of the famous 1978 trial concerning the aforementioned German woman, Anneliese Michel. Despite being a controversial case, it remains well embedded in worldwide discussion and judiciary surrounding religious rights. (SPOILERS ahead)
In the movie, the defense, primarily in the form of Laura Linney's character Erin Bruner, attempts to convince judge and jury that Father Richard Moore, (portrayed by Tom Wilkinson), was blameless in Emily's apparently demon-infested death. The opposition, on the other hand, calls on the scientific testimony of doctors indicating that Emily's death was a tragic combination of epileptic seizures, malnutrition, and a lack of medical attention - believed to be intentional - on the part of Father Moore.
Interspersed throughout the trial are recollections of Emily's worsening conditions from the perspective of family members and Father Moore himself. However, when the movie moves away from courtroom scenes, the underbelly of the beast is revealed. Erin's part in the trial takes on a more significant role out of the court when demons - the very ones that haunted Emily - doggedly toy with her everyday life. The entire defense is under fire as the case opens into a scientific debate over the topic of Emily's supposedly supernatural demise.
Unlike many scary movies, The Exorcism of Emily Rose follows an alternation of eyewitness and professional accounts - with varying religious and scientific convictions - recalling Emily's final days. As each account is relived, the audience is exposed to a number of perspectives on Emily as she slowly but surely succumbs to a unpleasant affliction.
The movie is sure to provoke heated discussions if one entertains an audience with mixed opinions and standpoints. I spent a fair amount of time debating family and friends about exorcism, and many of our conversations were poignantly heated. However, in the end, every person I speak with agrees the movie certainly provides a good spook, no matter their religious perspective. If you enjoy a thought-provoking, poop-your-pants inducing movie as much as me, then you'll love The Exorcism of Emily Rose.