Analyse the cinematic techniques used in the "Exorcism Of Emily Rose". How do these techniques reveal concepts of justice?

Essay by AnishM June 2006

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The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), directed by Scott Derrickson, has elements of a number of genres, however chiefly it could be classed as a Horror/Mystery/Thriller. The main tagline is 'What happened to Emily?', suggesting that the viewer will be making up his/her own mind in relation to the events portrayed in the movie.

The movie stars Laura Linney, as defence lawyer Erin Bruner, an agnostic who represents Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson). Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) is deeply religious, as is her family. As she moves to college she begins to see demons, speak several foreign dialects and her body warps involuntarily. She begins medical treatment for epilepsy in tandem with psychosis, which seems to make her worse. Father Richard Moore is called in at this point, who recommends that medication be stopped, and that he can gain permission to perform an exorcism, to rid her of the demons. The procedure fails and shortly after, Emily passes away.

The movie was based on a true story of Anneliese Michel, however Michel was indeed epileptic and not possessed.

"The Exorcism of Emily Rose" (Exorcism) is largely a courtroom drama, both sides arguing their case for justice. However, as it was marketed as a Horror film, the flashbacks (juxtaposition of the horror scenes in the courtroom) which are contained in the case are quite dark, and a limited number of special effects are used. Justice could be seen as one of the main themes in the film, along with prejudice, particularly in relation to religious beliefs.

The choice of an agnostic lawyer to represent the priest, and the lawyer representing the people, Ethan Thomas (Campbell Scott) being a man of deep religious faith, was a fascinating one. He used strong emotive language to present his case, pushing for the...