Prayer Focus
Movie Review

THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic material including intense/frightening sequences and disturbing images

Reviewed by: Kenneth R. Morefield, Ph.D.
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Drama, Suspense, Thriller
Length:
1 hr. 54 min.
Featuring: Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Campbell Scott, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Jennifer Carpenter
Director: Scott Derrickson
Producer: Tom rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Beau Flynn
Distributor: sony Pictures
Copyright, Sony Pictures
Copyright, Sony Pictures
Copyright, Sony Pictures
Copyright, Sony Pictures
Copyright, Sony Pictures
Copyright, Sony Pictures
Copyright, Sony Pictures
Copyright, Sony Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Sony Pictures

DEMON POSSESSION AND INFLUENCE—Can Christians be demon possessed? In what ways can Satan and his demons influence believers? Answer

Is SATAN a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

Demoniac (Web Bible Dictionary)

Exorcist (Web Bible Dictionary)

Satan (Web Bible Dictionary)

Demons (Web Bible Dictionary)

Miracles (Web Bible Dictionary)

Mary (Web Bible Dictionary)

Angels (Web Bible Dictionary)

Michael (Web Bible Dictionary)

DOES GOD REALLY EXIST? How can we know? If God made everything, who made God? Answer

a biblical examination of the apparitions of the “Virgin Mary” and other supernatural activity reported on the rise


Emily Rose could have been your sister, daughter or best friend. What happened to her could have happened to anyone. This is her story.

Plot

“Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) is a devout Catholic who undergoes a shocking transformation while at college. Her family asks Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson) to perform an exorcism. When Emily dies, Moore is charged with criminally negligent homicide. Laura Linney plays Erin Bruner, the lawyer hired to defend Moore.”

Warning: Some plot spoilers in this review.

“The Exorcism of Emily Rose” is a film that asks its audience not to believe that Emily is possessed by demons but that it is “possible” she could be.

In her summation in defense of Father Moore, the man who presided over Emily’s exorcism, Erin Bruner says that either God exists or He does not—and either proposition can be terrifying to contemplate.

Short on plot and long on big ideas, Emily Rose complements rather than competes with “The Exorcist”, extracting its chills more from the ideas it explores than the scenes it actually depicts. Its PG-13 rating is telling; with no sex or nudity and minimal use of profane or obscene language (Moore says a demonic apparition “scared the hell” out of him), the film clearly announces its intentions to be something more (or is it less?) than a gross-out horror fest.

The plot centers less on the events leading up to Emily’s exorcism than the trial for criminally negligent homicide of the priest who presided over it. Campbell Scott plays the District Attorney, a man of faith who nevertheless argues that Emily was epileptic (and perhaps psychotic) and that Moore was responsible for keeping her from medical help that would have saved her life. Laura Linney plays Bruner as a “woman of doubt” who nevertheless asks the jury to believe that it is “possible” that Moore and Emily’s family were correct in believing an exorcism was her only hope for deliverance.

Both do a good job, but the film’s ultimate success is due to Carpenter, whose self-effacing performance proves that acting can still carry a movie in the age of special effects. Carpenter says she “trained like an athlete” for the film, and it is easy to believe it. In order to leave the question of what happened to Emily open, the film eschews the visual representations or manifestations that were a central part of “The Exorcist”. In the hands of a lesser actress, the scenes of Emily writhing and screaming might come off as tame or even silly. Carpenter is able to contort her body and modulate her voice in such a way, however, that the horror of what Emily is experiencing, whether it be a demonic possession or an epileptic fit, is never far from the audience’s mind.

That the film leaves the question open of whether Emily is actually possessed is both a selling point and, ultimately, a weakness. It is certainly understandable that the filmmakers don’t want alienate mainstream viewers with prolonged, theological discussions, but the necessity to provide credible but non-definitive theological explanations for Emily’s behavior puts a strain on the script, limiting it to pointing at important issues or questions rather than brining any insight to them.

Particularly problematic is a scene late in the film in which a possibly possessed Emily has a vision of the Virgin Mary who explains (maybe) God’s purpose in allowing her to remain possessed and offering her a choice that makes more dramatic than theological sense. Derrickson, a professing Christian, understands that this scene may be problematic for some Christian viewers, stating for the record that “I do not believe that a spirit-filled Christian can become demon possessed.” Some Christians may look at this statement in conjunction with the film’s ending and see no other plausible explanation than that Emily—as presented in the film—is not possessed. Derrickson clearly does not want viewers to read it that way, though, arguing that for “every one” of the “theological rules we like to systematically create there are often exceptions.”

I would stress that I see the film’s forced ambiguity as an artistic, not just a theological, flaw. While commercial art can and does try to remain scrupulously neutral to appeal to the widest common denominator, most great art comes from and embodies a particular perspective. Audiences may not share that perspective—it may shock, anger, or infuriate them—but they usually find something in the way that a point of view is presented in great art that provokes them to examine it rather than reject it out of hand, even when it conflicts with their own beliefs or ideas. In that sense, “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” is a very commercial film, seeking first and foremost not to lose any potential viewers with controversial or dogmatic assertions, and only secondly asking (but not requiring) that those viewers go beyond the film to think about the ideas or subject matter embodied in it.

For some Christian viewers (and critics), asking audiences to consider the possibility that demons—and God—exist, may be enough evangelical prodding for the film to justify itself. Others may wonder whether or not the film ultimately hurts itself by diluting its subject matter in order to make it more palatable to a mass audience.

“The Exorcism of Emily Rose” is a film that is just good enough to make me hope that Derrickson eventually gets (and takes) the opportunity to make a more personal film, one that probes issues of faith in greater depth, presenting the audience not just with tentative “possibilities” (a favored word in the film) but with penetrating insights into faith or some element of the human condition.

To be great, a film about ideas needn’t be dogmatic, but I don’t think it can be neutral.

My Grade: B-

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Year of Release—2005 / USA release: September 9, 2005 (wide).

Copyright, Sony Pictures

Have you read our reviewer’s report on his personal interview with the Christian Director Scott Derrickson and actresses Laura Linney and Jennifer Carpenter? - READ


Viewer Comments

POSITIVE

Positive—Very well done filmmaking. But more than that, it also makes a strong argument for faith, albeit an extreme case involving demon possession. This story uses the demonic spiritual world for entertainment, but also effectively includes a well thought-out argument for faith versus fact. The drama is very well played, well acted and overall spiritually provoking. Didn’t care for the focus on prayer to Mary and the angel Michael, but there was also a good amount of references to Jesus Christ amidst the confrontation with evil. More than anything, it’s a brave tale helping prove the existence of the spiritual world. Great conflict. Excellent acting.
—Chris Monroe, age 32
Positive—This movie made me have chest pains! I really felt ill. The things that happened during the priest’s trial could NO WAY have been coincidental. The devil was trying VERY hard to foil the case. He did NOT want Emily’s story told! We all need to be aware that this earth is also a SPIRITUAL place. There are good and evil spirits here. Beware!
My Ratings: Excellent!/5
—Barbara Daniel, age 45
Positive—This was, overall, a good movie with some very scary scenes. Emily’s story is now reaching millions of people, however, it’s important to realize that is was also a Hollywood production. Viewers need to realize the lines drawn when watching this movie from what was based on actual fact and what was conspired by Hollywood to have a more chilling effect. Also, any parents bringing children to see this film need to realize this is a disturbing film. In many scenes Emily undergoes many convulsions often ending in grotesque still poses.
My Ratings: Better than Average/3½
—Tony, age 19
Positive—I came into this film with no real expectations other than to be entertained and possibly, hopefully, see an intelligent film on the subject of spirituality. I think some people are turned off by the movie because they go in expecting “The Exorcist” or “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” thankfully Derickson does a much better job of depicting true to life events better than those two. The movie very clearly states it is a courtroom horror/thriller film. And it delivers.

The actors all do a top notch job, Linney especially depicts a typical agnostic very well and I think Derrickson is very fair to both sides of the spiritual debate. He intentionally leaves the question up for the viewer to really decide, as it should be, but I think the ultimate fate of the priest in courtroom…

Some of the events depicted are reminiscent of films like the Omen and Amityville Horror, but, to be fair they added to the entertainment value without taking away too much from the realism and real questions the film brings up for each of us to consider.

Hollywood very seldom depicts Christianity in a good light or makes real statement about spirituality, This is one of the good ones. I highly recommend it.

*SPOILER*** That being that he is found guilty and yet set free reflects wonderfully on the idea of God’s grace given to mankind. We are all found “guilty” and yet pardoned.
My Ratings: Good/5
—Glen, age 28
Positive—I wish the film would have explored what caused her to become possessed. Was she involved with Ouija boards or other occult activity to cause this to happen? I didn’t see any possible reason why she was picked to be possessed—just because? I don’t think so. It was very good though, and I would recommend people see it.
My Ratings: Good/5
—Tracy Oetting, age 45
Positive—I went into the film not really knowing what to expect. I had with me 3 other Christian friends. We all thought it was a powerful film. First, it’s a high quality filmed movie. Second, whether or not the film reflects accurately the true events of this story, the film is very believable, moving and provocative for Christians and non-Christians alike. As a believer, it bolstered my belief in the Supernatural without shaking my understanding of the natural. I think a message that I took from the film is that the natural realm of creation is not contrary to the Supernatural Realm of God because the young girl involved in the movie could have had a medical condition yet was obviously possessed as the film portrayed her. Yet, while the natural realm is perceived through the natural senses and thus is explained by natural reason, the Supernatural realm of God can only be seen and entered into with the eyes of Faith.

Facts (which is one of the movie’s themes) can only take us so far in seeing the truth. Faith takes us all the way to the Truth. And this was the conflict that the movie set up: man’s struggle of living in the natural realm while being challenged to see the Supernatural realm of Good and evil through the eyes of faith. In less technical terms, the film was awesome and I highly recommend adults (not children) to see it.

…So, a good quality film that had me on the edge of my seat, made me catch my breath a few times, drop a few tears and affirmed my belief even more in the reality of hell and how merciful God is to save us from evil.
My Ratings: Good (morally POSITIVE and contains NOTHING offensive)/4½
—Joseph Gallaher, age 33
Positive—I and a fellow minister went to see this film. I always read the movie review from Christiananswers.net before going to the theater. Once again, they were right on. This movie contained two curse words within the first few minutes of the film as a group of lawyers were discussing the case. There were no other curse words during the remainder of the film. This movie did a very good job of making the humanist medical society (who want to make Christians appear to be ignorant and extremist) look bad and very close and narrow-minded. When I left the theater, I was very pleased that the film made a very convincing case for the existence of both good and evil in the supernatural spirit realm. Any non-believers or sinners in the crowd at the theater would be very inspired to pray. No sexual content. Very little language. Recommend it to your friends. Too scary for children.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Pastor David McDaniel, age 33
Positive—Wow, that was a great movie. I have actually looked deeper into the actual story of Emily Rose whose real name was Anneliese Michel. You can read her story here www.moviesonline.ca/movienews_1253.html There were definitely things that I disagree with from a Christians standpoint, such as the question that is raised, Can a born-again believer be demon possessed? My answer to that question is a resounding NO! It is my belief that while Christian and Satanic entities can co-exist in a particular place (I believe that is a good definition of what is taking place in spiritual battle that we as Christians face every day.) So again while I believe they can co-exist in, let’s say a room, I do not believe that they co-exist in a body. I believe your body cannot physically handle that kind of spiritual battle within itself, you would die. Well, I am getting off subject. I would not recommend this movie for young children, not because it is morally offensive but just because of the depiction of demons and what they are capable of doing. However, I would recommend this movie for all ages 16 and older. I also recommend that if you are a born again believer and going to see this movie that you are grounded in your faith and know what you believe.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4½
—SPC Nathan Fleischaker, age 20
Positive—I think it is a good film and it creates some impact on the demonic possession issues. While it is not as strong as “The Exorcist”, it still has its moments of scare and some visions of spirituality.
My Ratings: Average / 3
—Cyril Thomas, age 27
Positive—I found this movie to be unusual because it contained both horror and courtroom drama elements, which to my recollection, have never existed together side by side in the same film.… the movie doesn’t teach that Christians can be demon possessed. What the film does force the audience to do is to take sides. Was it possible that Emily Rose suffered from demon possession or was her condition merely a physical ailment? The creators of this film leave this decision for you to decide. A second question can also be raised. Does a person viewed as a “Good Catholic” or for that matter, a “Good Christian,” by others make them a true believer? Ultimately, only God and that particular individual can render an accurate answer. Hence, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12) carries with it a sober responsibility on the individual to weigh and decide if they truly are being used as an instrument of righteousness.

As a Christian who was raised Roman Catholic for the first eighteen years of his life, and ultimately left Catholicism after reading the Word and accepting Christ as his Savior, I understand the dissention over the apparition of Mary in this story. Still, one has to process the information. Just because the individual portrayed in this film believed she saw the “Virgin Mary” doesn’t make it true. Furthermore, it doesn’t mean the makers of this film believe or want their audience to believe that this is true. Again, they leave the decision up to you to decide. They just presented the written account of what supposedly happened to this girl on film.

As a Christian, I view demon possession as a real possibility. Demon possession in everyday life may not always be depicted as Hollywood portrays it on screen but it’s a worldwide phenomenon. (One only has to read the Gospels and Acts to see this to be true.) However, just as there are only a few Christians, who could probably withstand a real encounter of demonic possession, there seems to be some believers better off for not seeing this film.

For those who experienced fear from viewing this movie, I have but one question to ask. Did Satan deliberately attack you because you watched this movie or was it your weak faith in Christ, or something in between? Don’t try walking on water if you can’t keep your eyes focused on the One who can. This film may not be for everyone, but just because it’s not for you doesn’t mean it can’t be used to bring others out of darkness and into the Light.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Albert Anthony Buonanno III, age 49
Positive—I have seen this movie in it’s entirety twice, and each time I get the urge to watch it over and over. I was once a strong and faithful church goer, and even though I don’t attend church now as strong, I still believe, but watching this movie was still a test of faith. All that’s required is faith the size of a mustard seed, and that’s all it takes to watch this movie.

True enough, the devil and God cannot be within a body or spirit at the same time; however, it was once told to me that a believer of God are the ones Satan attacks first because we “know better.” Especially those that know the Book “inside and out,” Satan is looking to attack God’s followers because he is testing our faith. He’s testing our faith to see if despite of knowing what’s right, are we going to do it anyway? In the event with Emily, she knew God VERY well, and because of that Satan manifested himself into her. (During her exorcism when the devil was questioning God’s power, that’s what he does to us everyday). By the film she had a choice as to stay in her sinfilled body or go home with the Lord, and she chose to stay. In that sense, I would have chosen to go home with the Lord, but she wanted to illustrate how REAL Lucipher is.

In everyday life Satan may not attack us in the same way, but he’s steady trying to find ways that would possibly make us surrender to him instead of our Heavenly Father. Every day that I stray away from the righteous path I know I should be taking is the time where Satan knows he’s pursuing his dreams within me. I know so because I know that this life I’m living is not the one destined for me; but right now I can give a testimony that Nero, Cain, Lucipher, Legion, Judas and Belial are ALL real. Even though Satan carries many names and faces, all of them are the same person. No it may have not been Biblically correct, but for people like me who were once in church and have strayed away, it shows that we’re fighting a battle every day…
My Ratings: Better than Average / 4
—Shay, age 21
Positive—I found this movie to be very well made. The director was trying to show the different possibilities of an eldged “demonic possession.” It gave a Christian perspective and a scientific view point as well. The most interesting thing about this movie and the actual account is the fact that science still cannot explain the demons Emily saw and felt. The possibility of epilepsy was very very minimal. I have seen and experenced several exorcisms, I have seen some of the things the devil can do. …I believe in God and Jesus as my savior, yet I was demonically attacked because I didn’t have my quiet times enough; trust me the feeling you get when you know your being demonically attacked is horrible. You feel violated, extreme discomfort, you heart will weigh heavy, read God’s word and be prepared for all things…
My Ratings: Excellent! / 5
—Anonymous, age 21
Positive—…WOW! Eph 6:10-17! Put on the full armor of GOD! Oh, I agree with some on this post that if you are a born again christian you could not be possessed, but something to think about that going to church and just having a church view is NOT enough. Only a personal relationship with Jesus. Are you saved, set free from powers of darkness? Col 1:13-14! This movie was well made. I do like the fact it makes non believers think! Also keeps HIS people alert! Keep trust in JESUS! Oh, would not allow kids 13 or under to view!
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Eric, age 33
Positive—I wasn’t even interested in seeing this film until I read the review on this and another Christian Web site. I was surprised that I liked it. In addition to the lack of vulgarity and rude language that others have noted here, I also appreciated the respectful, honest way the characters talked to one another. Sure, there was some mockery in the courtroom on the part of the so-called “man of faith,” but it never disintegrated far into the sort of contempt with which filmmakers frequently address issues of faith. The scene with the Virgin Mary bothered me a little, as did the idea that a believer can be possessed by a demon. Attacked? Yes. Possessed? No. However, I got the sense that Emily’s choice to stay and fight rather than to go home to her heavenly Father was one of sacrificial love. The result, of course, is that you and I have heard her story. Whether anyone will actually come to Christ as a result of hearing it is another matter entirely. It’s an entertaining film, not an evangelism tool.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 3½
—Ashley, age 42

NEUTRAL

Neutral—…I must say that I found it to be very scary. I think what was so frightening about the film is the idea that one who is religious can be possessed by Satan or Demons, no matter how strong your faith is. I personally do not believe in that at all. I don’t think that one can be possessed if you are true to God and not weak in faith.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4½
—Allison, age 29
Neutral—This movie left me disturbed. I was very bothered by the fact that people who don’t know much about the Bible, were left to believe that a Christian can be possessed. What made it even worse to me was that not only was this girl looked at as a saint, but that God put her in that place. If I didn’t know the Lord, I wouldn’t want to serve the God represented in that movie. I felt the poor girl was mentally ill, not possessed. I wouldn’t take my seeking friends or family. “The Exorcist” was a much more believable story. If I wanted to open someone up to spiritual conversation by scaring the tar out of them, that movie is the one. Not, Emily Rose.
My Ratings: Average / 3
—Nicole, age 33
Neutral—I agree with some of the folks on here that said Christians can’t become possessed. How did Emily become possessed after she grew up in the Catholic church? Didn’t they teach her how to defend herself from being possessed? If Christ lives in us, then how would Satan ever make it? I also felt that there was this fear of never being able to make the demons leave. The Name of Jesus works!! I am definitely more aware of my spiritual side after seeing this; it reminds me that I need to pay more attention and pray earnestly and without ceasing. I am glad I saw this movie!!
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Marie, age 25

NEGATIVE

Negative—This film is not in keeping with the the Word of God and with Christian beliefs. Demonic possession requires that the will of the individual is usurped and the will of an evil entity prevails at some stage. As told in the story of Job in the OT and the parable of the lost sheep of Jesus, God would not allow the will of His faithful to be usurped as an example to others. They may go through pain and hardship but never will their will be compromised.
My Ratings: Offensive / 2½
—me, age 27
Negative—We …have Jews for Jesus, or Firefighters for Jesus. Now, according to the message of this film, we have, Demon-possesed for Jesus! The concept that is pomoted in this film, but which is totally unacceptable from the Biblical point of view, is that one, even a Christian, can become demon-possesed merely by being “hyper-sensitive,” and then that can voluntarily accept to continue to be demon-possesed for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom!? The Bible says that one cannot be under the power of Satan and under the power of Christ at the same time. The movie presents the concept that only the physical body of a person is demon-possesed while her spirit is still in union with Christ. The Bible says that it is the person that is possesed not merely the physical body. Jesus Christ came to deliver people from the power of Satan, that’s salvation, right? This film promotes the idea that Emily Rose is a saint who deliberately choses (sacrifice for God!) to remain demon-possesed in order to turn the attention of the world to the spiritual matters. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so serius an error. I wonder, at the end, what comfort and security do Catholics (if this a Catholic teaching) have if they hold to the teaching that any one of them can become possesed by demons simply by walking down the street, or a hall, and being “hyper-sensitive”? Totally unbiblical film…
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Enoch, age 40
Negative—First off, I have not seen this movie. I was very disappointed and offended that so many people call this a positive movie, and that it was given a better than average rating. I know there is spiritual warfare, but we do not need to see it in a movie. Satan likes to deceive people. I myself have gone through a lot of this, and there is no reason a true born again believer should go see this movie. It will only damage instead of build up. If you want to see demons and spiritual warfare, go to the Word. I take a harsh stand against all demonic movies because they do mess you up. This is no joke, and we as Christians need to fight this instead of support it by spending money and going to go see it…
—Joel Friesen, age 21
Negative—I have to admit, after my husband and I saw this movie we discussed how “good” it was; meaning well done from a production stand point, and we thought it had a very good message. That being, there are forces of good and evil and non-Christians should be aware of that.

HOWEVER, as many people have already posted, a true believer of Jesus Christ cannot be possessed. As long as the Holy Spirit dwells in us, there is no way Satan and his followers can enter us. Also, an individual has to allow or do something to allow darkness inside of them.

With that said, I have had nightmares and fear since seeing this movie. I know 100%, because of God’s grace, that I am a follower of Him and as in Romans, nothing can separate me from the love of Christ. I know that this fear is from Satan and watching this movie, even as a believer, has created an opportunity for Satan to plant these ideas of fear in me. I am now praying way more, which I should have been doing anyway’s, and putting on the full Armor of God every day. I am now focusing on memorizing Scripture more, which is our sword for battle.

I just felt led to write this because I as a believer never should have seen this movie and I strongly caution believers who have not seen this to think twice and pray fervently before attending. All it did was put un-biblical ideas in my mind that has created fear. Although this movie was made to target non-Christians, we as believer’s must be on guard at all times. Someone needs to make a movie that follows Biblical principles and we as believers need to pray for the people seeing this movie, that they will seek Biblical counsel and know the Truth. God bless and peace to all.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Aimee, age 23
Negative—…take a look at how much idolatry is going on! Holding and kissing a crucifix, calling on angels for help, statues of Mary. What ever happened to CHRIST ALONE! Idolatry: image-worship or divine honor paid to any created object. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;” I am Extremely Offended by the amount of Roman Catholic idolatry in this movie. I’m not trying to discourage you from watching it but be warned it is NOT Biblical!
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4½
—Logan, age 21
Negative—As others have noted, this film is “technically” well done. However, in regards to Christian entertainment, that should not be the main point. This film is filled with lies and knowing that Satan is the father of lies that should be reason enough not to see this movie. …I am very sorry I saw this film. First of all, a truly born-again cannot be possesed by demons. What disturbed me the most is this: Emily consented to the exorcism at first. When her father was injured during the exorcism it was stopped supposedly to be resumed later. Unfortunately, Emily then had the vision of the supposed Virgin Mary who told her she could either come with her and escape or she could stay in the state she was in so that people would know demons exist; her choice. So after that, Emily refused to undergo another exorcism. Has no one else realized what actually happened there? We are told in scripture that Satan can appear as an angel of light. I believe that is exactly what happened to Emily. He lied to her and made her think she was doing something righteous when actually he was cutting her off from being set free from his demons!!! This poor girl died in a possessed state. Jesus came that we might have LIFE and have it more abundantly.

The whole film pointed to demons being real. A Christian film should not be focused on demons, but should be focused on the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of His death and resurrection! The power of the name Jesus does have the power to cast out demons but you’d never get that from this film. The gospel “Good News” is all about Jesus, not demons. Before I was saved, I loved scary movies so I fell for Satan’s lie that a little movie like this won’t hurt me. Shame on me! I recommend that people, especially Christians, stay away from this movie.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 4
—Tami, age 46
Negative—This movie is an extremely sad commentary on the state of affairs here in the U.S. and around the world. Especially when christians lay claim to a movie that not only usurps the glory that is for our Lord and Savior and bestows it on the liar of all liars. I am ashamed to admit that I did go and see the movie, unfortunatly, I was not right with Jesus at the time and nearly paid a very severe price for letting myself be tempted into exposing myself to a tool of Satan. Wars are being fought every moment around us for the souls of humans. Anyone who does not believe has only to dabble in the occult to find this out. Satan is not after the sinners who have shunned God, he already has them. He is after those who believe, have slipped in their faith, or are being called. He is good at what he does; he knows when to strike and how to strike. A movie aimed at young people, not to lead them to God, just the opposite—what a powerful weapon!

Another thing advertised on the commercial, actual sound recordings from the exocism. The voices of Satan and his minions in thousands of theatres across the nation, speaking to people—no one finds this slightly unerving to say the least? Do NOT dabble in the occult; keep Christ tight within your sights, in your heart and on your mind always in all things, and do not be temped to dabble in things you do not understand, and you will be fine. I believe with all my heart that this movie is another way satan is trying to get at those who have slipped.…
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Wendy, age 31

Comments from young people

Negative—First off, despite the negative rating I gave this movie, I have to say this movie was very well done, the acting was top notch, the overall moviemaking quality was excellent with the exception of a few special effects here and there which certainly left a lot to be desired. If you look at it from a purely logical view point there’s nothing wrong with it, e.g. no profanity, sex, violence, but from a more spiritual viewpoint I couldn’t recommend it to anyone. The overall feel of the movie is totally satanic and the spiritual content is not consistent with what the Bible teaches about the spiritual world, the predominant spiritual force depicted in this movie was satanic, which give the type of movie I wasn’t really surprised, what I had the problem with though was that I felt that when the name of God was used in confrontation with the demons the power of God was hugely underplayed which is inconsistent with what we’re taught in the Bible. I ended up walking out shortly after the exorcism scene, because I was feeling so uncomfortable with the feel of this movie, I couldn’t justify watching anymore of it before God.

I don’t think any Christian needs to see anything like that even if you can manage to endure it. It exposes you to the extremes of everything we as Christians stand against, and I’m also totally convinced that exposing yourself to this sort of stuff can leave you wide open to spiritual attack.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4½
—Ben, age 17
Positive—This movie is a really good suspenseful movie for anyone wanting to see it. I don’t remember them using any cuss words; there’s no dirty scenes, and nothing really bad about it. It’s just a freaky movie that will make you jump! They mention how the girl with the spirit can only be cured with the help of God, and not with medicine. And when the evil spirit tries to attack the priest or shows itself to the Priest, he quotes scripture and commands it in the name of God to leave him alone. So it’s biblically accurate and a pretty good movie. I enjoyed it.
My Ratings: Excellent!/4
—Gloria, age 17
Positive—Wow. I went in to this movie with my best friend, and we were both expecting it to be a cheesy slasher movie—in no way was it. It scared us both a LOT. I was almost ready to leave the theater, the actress who portrays Emily Rose is so convincing that I had to avert my eyes in some gruesome scenes! This movie really made me think, and also inspired me to pray a bit more than I have been. I know a lot of things in the movie are incorrect, but it still scared me when I was all alone in the dark at 2:58 a.m. This movie had such an effect on me that I’m not sure if I liked it or not.
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—Ellen M, age 14
Neutral—I was born a catholic, was baptized, had communion, reconciliation, and confirmation and I go to a catholic high school, but I am not a firm believer in God. I find a lot of the beliefs and teachings of my/our religion out-dated and too conservative. I am more of a person who believes in fact and explaination but something about this movie changed my mind and made me start thinking and many things about it are controversial. At the end of the movie I discussed it with my aetheist girlfriend, and I found myself getting really motivated and proud of being Catholic for whatever reason. Maybe it was the fear of having something similar happen to me that made me feel that I should be more religious but the whole way home I couldn’t stop thinking.

Now what I thought was that there were too many coincidences during this movie (it said it was based on a true story afterall) that to say God does not exist is just wrong. How everything during this film worked out in the end, for the most part anyway. Which led me to believe that in life everything works out too perfect to have happened by chance as modern science tells us. How there is life and how evererything works together. It is too perfect to all be by chance that God must exist.

The only downfall of this movie is how a devout Chrisitian was possessed by not one, but six demons! From my point of view evil is the absence of good (just like how cold is the absence of heat). How could someone so pure and good be overcome by evil? Well, maybe that would explain why it took 6 demons 2 attempts to take over her soul and that the devil himself was one of them. Overall, the movie was very entertaining, and I liked how it made me think.
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Zakk Bartsch, age 17