yes, i spent my birthday in a darkened theater watching the exorcism of emily rose. before i go any further, i want you to know i'm the biggest horror weenie this side of the mason-dixon line and that i was 34 (yes, that was just this year) before i could force myself to watch an edited for television version of the exorcist, which was TiVo'd so that i could fast forward and mute the blasted thing. oh, and i watched the majority of it from behind a pillow, too. i had absolutely no intention of seeing this movie until...
1. i saw a documentary on the discovery channel about exorcisms and they flashed a few scenes from this movie. tom wilkinson played the priest. smockdaddy said, "you'll see it. even if it's only because your buddy tom's in it." i've been a huge tom wilkinson fan since the full monty. then the next scene showed laura linney. i'm also inclined to see anything she's performing in, too. talk about star power.
2. fast forward and i hear from mamaT that there's a good article about the movie and (i hope it's okay to spill the beans about mamaT) she confessed she might like to see the movie. further reason to see the film as far as i'm concerned.
3. then i found out that several reviewers were whining because it was a courtroom drama masquerading as a horror flick. ooo, courtroom drama. i like that.
4. the twins nursed at six o'clock and we wanted to see a movie that i could see and still be home in time for their next feeding ... emily rose started at six thirty. viola!
tom wilkinson is endearing as father moore, laura linney is perfect as his attorney, and it was refreshing to see mary beth hurt as the judge. young jennifer carpenter made me care for her emily and then totally freaked me out. i truly expected to be hiding behind smockdaddy through the exorcism itself, but my "maternal" kicked in and i ended up crying the whole time for emily.
people looking for brainless shock n' gore fest are going to be terribly disappointed. i think the biggest problem was the film's marketing -- it's trying to draw in a horror crowd, totally underestimating the draw of the intelligent viewer. of course, it pulled in a huge profit within its first few weeks, so i guess they knew what they were doing.
smock's bottom line: this is an intelligent movie that expects its audience to be equally intelligent and asks only that the viewer be open to possibility of the supernatural. it's worth the full price of admission.
by the way, another good movie that you can see tom play a priest in is molokai: the story of father damien . he doesn't play a major role, but it's a good movie and is also based on a true story.