The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) - Unrated Version [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Crime / Drama
Sony || Unrated - 122 minutes - $28.95 || July 22, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-07-16


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Scott Derrickson
Writer(s): Paul Harris Boardman & Scott Derrickson (written by)
Cast: Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Jennifer Carpenter, Colm Feore


Theatrical Release Date: September 9, 2005


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Genesis of the Story
  • Casting the Movie
  • Visual Design
  • Deleted Scene
  • BD-Live


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby 5.1 TrueHD), French (Dolby 5.1 TrueHD), Portuguese (Dolby 5.1 TrueHD), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Thai (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese

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.::THE FILM::.

The film opens up with a young woman dead (Jennifer Carpenter; TV's Dexter); while her priest, Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson) being arrested and charged with her murder. In enters Erin Bruner (Laura Linney) who dreams of getting her own office and becoming Senior Partner; accepts the job of defending Father Moore with the promise that all that will be hers if she wins the case. After establishing herself as an agnostic to Father Moore, Erin soon feels the presence of demons and starts to actually believe what Father Moore is telling as truth.

There are a lot of things in the film to like. First the acting here is nothing short of amazing. Jennifer Carpenter who portrays Emily Rose does an amazing job of acting as a normal teenage one moment and Lucifer the next. Her performance is the exorcism scene gave me shivers and easily topped that of Linda Blair from The Exorcist. Both Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson do fine jobs as well although I could have done without Campbell Scott's portrayal of the sleazy lawyer.

My only real problem with the film is it feels a little bit too much like an episode of ďLaw and OrderĒ. While the flash backs are amazing, some of the court room scenes can drag on just a little too much and takes away from what we really want to see in the film - the exorcism. They are rather effective in creating an environment where we, as the audience, try to figure out what to believe, but I could have done with a little less court room scene and bit more of Emily Rose.

As a fan of The Exorcist, itís no wonder this film was often compared to that. While there are a great amount of similarities (exorcism, young girl being posed, priest, contorting bodies etc.), that's where most of the similarities end. While the exorcism is a focal point for the film, itís really about the trial itself and the difference between science and faith. While I ultimately believe the young girl was possessed, the film ends in a way to where doubt can be cast (stigmata).

The Exorcism of Emily Rose is a powerful movie and easily of 2005's finest. While some may be drawn away due to it sounding like a horror film - itís really not. The film has it share of scare scenes, but most of the film is told through flashbacks and trial footage. While The Exorcist is often regarded as the scariest film of all time, Emily Rose managed to capture my interest much more by going into greater detail on why and how someone can be possessed.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

All features are presented in SD.

Commentary with Scott Derrickson - For being alone, this is actually a pretty good commentary. Scott discusses many topics, most of which are actually covered in the three special features below. I'd actually recommend listening to this commentary instead of watching the special features (if you had a choice).

Genesis of the Story (19:48) - A very good look (with interviews with cast and crew) that discusses the origin of the film as well as some behind the scenes information.

Casting the Movie (12:23) - Apparently filmed at the same time as the Genesis featurette, this takes a look at the characters and why they were cast and their feelings about the script.

Visual Design (18:58) - Another well-thought out featurette that discusses the various colors used in their film (and their meaning and feeling). Pretty interesting actually.

Deleted Scene (2:41) - A very short scene that adds very little to the film. I had high hopes the deleted scene would be a flash back of some sort, but instead we get Erin picking up some guy at the bar. Comes with optional commentary.

BD-Live - Sony has advertised 'BD-Live Enabled' on the back of the case but I cannot find it present anywhere on the disc. Urban Legends, which is being released on the same day, has the BD-Live option clearly labeled and shown on the special features. Iíve looked throughout every option possible and there is simply no BD-Live present on the disc. I will update this if/when I get a response from Sony.

Again we have a Sony catalog title on a 50GB disc and all the special features are in SD. Very disappointing. With all that extra room (and space saved now by using TrueHD instead of PCM) there is no reason why the special features cannot be in HD.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose is presented in its Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 on a 50GB disc. I'm a little bit disappointed in the picture quality here. The film appears to be incredibly soft, and only a few scenes made me realize I was actually watching a Blu-ray disc and not the DVD up-converted. Very few times do we even see much color in the film (due to it being typically in a court room or through flashbacks that are often sprinkled with rain and darkness) so maybe that's why I feel itís just not a strong transfer. Blacks appear to be a bit too grayish but oddly enough white (a scene where Erin is walking through the snow) looks spectacular. It's not that this is a bad transfer; itís just not very strong compared to other Sony catalog titles that I have watched. Even Urban Legends, a film which is 5 years older, appeared to look better.

Sony has included a very strong Dolby 5.1 TrueHD tracks in English, French and Portuguese as well as standard Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in Spanish and Thai. Unlike the picture quality, the audio is simply amazing. Rain has a tremendous effect and the typical 'cat jumps from the closet' stuff really creates a great atmosphere. Several times during the exorcism sequence various languages are being heard all around. Simply an amazing track for a catalog release.



.::OVERALL::.

If you go into the film thinking itís a horror film you ultimately will be disappointed. While Emily Rose has its share of scares and moments of tension, the film is really about deciding if you believe if the women was actually possessed by Lucifer or was just sick and in need of help by a doctor and not a priest. While Sony has ported over the entire special features from the DVD (in SD), the picture transfer itself could have been a bit better. However the audio is easily one of the finest I have heard coming from a Sony catalog title. Without a doubt I would recommend a purchase of The Exorcism of Emily Rose on Blu-ray if you are looking for a film that not only will make you think, but a film that is sure to get replayed many, many times.