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One can look at THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE ($29) is an excellent, character driven, courtroom drama that is built around an engrossing supernatural premise. However, when one factors in that said film is based upon true events and an actual court case THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE becomes a somewhat more disturbing piece of unconventional horror cinema. The strength of THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE comes from the subtly in which the horror elements play out; there is never a truly definitive answer as to whether supernatural forces are at work or not. All the audience ever really knows for sure is that certain characters believe that the title character was a victim of demonic possession and that she died during the course the exorcism ritual- the audience is never privy to the events as they actually occurred, instead, only seeing flashback recollections of those individuals involved.

THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE stars Laura Linney as attorney Erin Bruner, who finds herself assigned to a high profile case involving a Catholic priest accused of negligent homicide in the death of a young woman upon undergoing the exorcism ritual. Tom Wilkinson portrays Father Moore, the priest unwilling to take a plea deal, who wants the truth to come out about Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) and the ordeal she underwent. Campbell Scott is prosecutor Ethan Thomas, who is determined to prove that Emily Rose was a mentally ill young woman, who died from neglect, and not as the result of demonic possession, as the defendant asserts. As I stated above, THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE does not give any definitive answers… the courtroom drama provides credible arguments on both sides- so the audience is left to draw their own conclusions. The cast of THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE also includes Colm Feore, Joshua Close, Kenneth Welsh, Duncan Fraser, JR Bourne, Mary Beth Hurt, Henry Czerny and Shohreh Aghdashloo.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentation is very, very good, although this title isn’t a showcase for the format. The image is very crisp and provides a very nice level of definition, as well as, more than respectable dimensionality. Surface textures and fine details are well rendered. Colors have a fairly realistic level of saturation, while the flesh tones are quite natural. Blacks appear accurate, as do the whites. Contrast is generally very good, shadow detail is a bit hit or miss, but this seems intentional to what a given sequences requires. The elements from which THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE has been transferred are perfectly clean. Grain is noticeable, but falls within expected levels.

THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. Considering that much of THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE is talky courtroom drama, the mix is very good. During the horror moments, the sound effects are generally well deployed and make good use of the outlying channels. At other times, the sound design proves to be nicely atmospheric. Fidelity is pretty terrific. Music has a very strong presence, plus the bottom end of the track has sufficient weight. Voices are warmly recorded, plus the dialogue is always completely understandable. French and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby TrueHD are also encoded onto the disc, as are Thai and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai and Bahasa.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc’s interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some extras. Director Scott Derrickson is on hand to provide a running Audio Commentary. Featurettes include Genesis Of The Story (twenty minutes), Casting The Film (twelve minutes) and Visual Design (eighteen minutes). Deleted Scenes with optional director’s commentary and Bonus Trailers for other Sony titles close out the extras.

THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE is an entertaining mixture of courtroom drama and horror that benefits from strong performances from the leads. Sony’s Blu-ray release looks and sounds very good. Definitely worth checking out.



The Exorcism of Emily Rose [Blu-ray] (2005)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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