“The Exorcism of Emily Rose” – Demon Movie of the Month?

Just as it is very easy for rock musicians to communicate anger, and very difficult for them to inspire joy, so it’s difficult for filmmakers to avoid exploiting the power of darkness. It’s easy to jolt us, to scare us, to gross us out. It’s easy for evil to command our attention. Redemption, on the other hand, is a profoundly un-cool subject for the big screen.

In discussions about Christian artists currently working in Hollywood, the name Scott Derrickson keeps coming up. I look forward to interviewing him someday; he’s written some intriguing projects, working with Wim Wenders, Jerry Bruckheimer, Martin Scorsese, and others. Now he’s got a movie of his own: The Exorcism of Emily Rose. (Here’s the trailer.)

Will this be just another movie about demons? I doubt it. First of all, it’s based on a true story. Secondly, a story about demon possession written by someone who really believes in spiritual warfare would… you’d think… emphasize different things and explore different aspects of that conflict. It may be that Emily Rose stands out from the pack of recent horror films as a movie with something profoundly substantial to offer.

The last few years have seen a steady increase in the regularity of big screen horror films. More and more, it seems, audiences have an appetite for the darker side of spiritual matters. From the Exorcist prequels to Constantine to the Zombie Movie of the Month and the surge of Japanese horror-flick re-makes… we’ve got the demonic on our minds.

How does an artist depict a story of spiritual warfare without exploiting the intrigue-factor of the dark side? Let’s face it: As well-made as The Exorcist is, most people don’t go to it for spiritual insight. They go for the scare factor. We don’t hear movie buffs waxing nostalgic about the film’s questions of redemption. We hear them talking about the poor little girl’s head spinning around and the projectile vomiting.

Nevertheless, spiritual warfare is real. Demons cannot be explained away by modern psychology as mere imbalances. Why shouldn’t it be the subject of serious art?

It seems to me that the horror genre is capable of so much more than merely troubling us. If people are dazzled by darkness, than that does, in a way, glorify the darkness, making us more focused on our fears and less focused on sources of hope. Or it sends us away taking matters of the spirit less seriously, treating actual threats as just fantasy-world thrills. Art can, on the other hand, expose evil in a way that awakens the conscienc, and persuades us that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in contemporary philosophy.

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  • John Bennett II

    possession and psychology will always collide, for psychology (the thoughts of our flesh)is mans way of trying to explain what can only be understood in the spiritual realm. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness who seek to steal, kill, and destroy the souls of all that are weak. As someone who has counseled with demonized people and has been directly involved and led many prayer sessions in the past, for some who were into hard core Satanism, the occult, and cults, I found the movie to be the most true to life I have ever seen. The many ways of the priest’s dramas with the holy water, etc, and their Church’s ways have not the power to confront evil, but it is the name and authority of Jesus Christ that gives them the means to deal with Satan and his dirty demons. The time of three o’clock in the morning I found also very interesting to see in the movie. I have heard studies concerning this time as the apex, or most active in the spiritual realm. I choose to refrain from the the word exorcism, for it conjures up false images of what being a vessel for Christ is really about, and Hollywood images that do not have the slightest clue of reality. The authority a Christian has is only in Christ’s Holy name and the power of his holy blood being the ultimate sacrifice for mans sins and brings more power to anyone life who is humble enough to accept him and to grow. My friend, there is another dimension that exists. As likened to the wind in which we do not see, but never the less we feel it and see its effects all around us each moment of our lives, which makes it all the more real. The real Jesus Christ of the Bible is the answer that the whole world seeks, yet looks so many other places to fine him, and the hope he offers to those who sincerely seek him. Hear an amazing story how the power of God changed a mans life who was a coke addict, and ready to die. http://www.activeword.org/pastor-bob.cfm
    Spiritual warfare states that we are soldiers in a war. Soldiers have responsibility to keep themselves strong both physically and mentally.The scriptures state that Satan and his evil spirits want to destroy us by weakening our body, soul and spirit.
    “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies–the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world. So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will still be standing up. But to do this, you will need the strong belt of truth and the breastplate of God’s approval. Wear shoes that are able to speed you on as you preach the Good News of peace with God. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrow aimed at you by Satan. And you will need the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit–which is the Word of God.”

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    >>You say you have performed exorcisms and I do not doubt you.

    Whoah, there… no, I never said I’d performed exorcisms! Yikes! I said, “I and several of my friends have been involved, directly and indirectly, in situations where people were indeed possessed by demons.” I have never been present for an exorcism.

    >>I had no intention of offending you or your faith, only to provoke thought in the minds of people who cling to theoretical sciences and so-called facts.

    I am not offended (and I’m not sure what it would me to “offend my faith”). You relate a rather elaborate experience. You’re on your own distinct path, it seems. I am not offended. I was merely pointing out a difference in perspective between the two of us. No harm intended.

  • p.i.c.w.b.

    Jefferey: I had no intention of offending you or your faith, only to provoke thought in the minds of people who cling to theoretical sciences and so-called facts. Admittedly, I do have wavering faith. I struggle daily and I also remember daily. You say you have performed exorcisms and I do not doubt you. I’ve had similar experiences, the first and most intense of which was within myself. For many years before my horrifying experience, I mocked those who felt the need to pray. The first couple of hours during the initial attack prompted me to re-examine all that I had previously thought. I knew I was dealing with something separate from myself and I could either confront it or give in and ultimately lose myself. The imagery I was witness to was absolutely terrifying and inhuman. Not even the most depraved and gruesome horror flick could come close. The twisted forms and images of brutality were beyond the product of human imagination. Hollow whispers and archaic chanting drowned out the voice fo my inner-conscience.(I will not go into further details.) All that I was being exposed to was beyond my level of comprehension. During my ordeal I reluctantly began to read from the New Testament. At this time in my life I was unemployed and completely isolated living in the outskirts of my hometown. The Bible I pulled out of storage had been given to me by my Mother in hopes that I would eventually read it and after years of adamantly denying the existence of God, I was finally beginning to understand. The source of cruelty and perversity in the world that previously had me turning away from God was revealing itself to me. It was through the words of our Saviour that I found my faith. For two weeks I was tested and tormented by these unclean spirits, and for two weeks I held firm to the word of the Lord. The last few days of this humbling experience were the most trying. I was extremely terrified and severely exhuasted. Feeling close to death I was ready to give up and eventually I did. Within seconds of my surrender I began to feel the presence of something truly great and loving. An immense feeling of compassion and hope arose in me. Immediately I jumped to my feet and unlike the feeling of a sudden rush of blood to the head, I felt a great release of pressure from behind my brow. The sensation was that of a long, thick coiled rope being pulled through my sinuses from deep within my head, even a hissing sound like that of pressurized air being released through a small opening could be heard. This lasted just a few seconds ceasing immediately leaving me feeling completely free. I do not claim to know any more than you or any person who has found thier faith through religion. I do know that even if you abandon God, God will never abandon you. I continuosly struggle and I continuosly recieve guidance through Him. I do not consider myself a Christian, nor do I claim any religion, yet I still recieve His grace. Matthew 11:27, “All things have been committed to me by my Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” Jefferey, please understand I mean no offense. check Corinthians ch. 12-13.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    >>First we are taught that we are mammals with a mind; then we are taught that we are powerless creatures of God, unable to obtain the answers for ourselves.

    Hmmm. Perhaps that’s the case in some religions, but it’s certainly not what Christianity is about. No need to become a threat to the darkness when Christ has already won that battle for us, and all we need to do is serve him in rightful humility and gratitude. For from him all things come, through him all things live, and for him all things exist.

    Good luck with that astral projection stuff. But the Lord is my shepherd, and I shall not want for anything. I’ll stick to that path. It is what sustains me.

    >>Most religions teach that we posses a soul or spirit of some kind-an invisible, indescribable form of energy. We are told to believe this mysterious concept without question, but are offered nothing as evidence-no facts, no logic.

    If you are troubled by religions that tell you certain realities exist ‘without question’, then why do you insist on using words like “undeniable” and “fact” for the rather mystical claims YOU are making?

    Personally, I do not have FACTS to prove God’s love for me. I have faith, and doubt is an essential part of faith. I have questions. Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet believe.

  • P.I.C.W.B.

    The physical world we focus upon is but a tiny fraction of the universe. In reality, the physical forms we see around us are only the thin outer crust of the universe-the epidermis layer of the entire multidimensional universe. Fact:The human eye is sensitive to only a narrow band of radiation. We see only the wave length between .00007cm. and .00004cm.; the rest of the electromagnetic wave spectrum remains invisible to us. Each of us is visully aware of only three-one-hundred-thousandths (.00003) of a centimeter of the energy radiation around us. Many of our physical-based scientific theories of cosmology, evolution, and the structure of matter are seriously lacking in vision. This occurs because current scientific theorems rely entirely upon physical observations and speculation. A classic example of this shortsightedness is displayed by the long-standing scientific assumption that consciousness is the direct result of chemical and electrical reactions occurring in the brain. The universe is far more expansive and complicated than current physical science can even begin to comprehend or explain. As millions of people every year have out-of-body and near-death experiences, the reality of the multidimensional universe and its energy reactions will be recognized as observable fact. The multidimensional nature of the universe logically explains the existence of present-day mysteries such as extrasensory perception, telepathy, precognition, channeling, psychokinesis, apparitions, and faith healing. In fact, all psychic and spiritual phenomena are the direct result of the energy interactions between the physical dimension and its parallel energy counterpart. For example, apparitions and poltergeist activity are simply the natural result of a nonphysical inhabitant lowering its personal vibrational frequency (density) so that it can temporarily be seen or interact within the denser physical dimension. This and all “paranormal” events are quite normal and to be expected in a multidimensional universe. There exists an undeniable relationship between quantum physics and mysticism. As physics evolves in its recognition of the frequency like nature of the universe, the connection will become even more apparent. Most religions teach that we posses a soul or spirit of some kind-an invisible, indescribable form of energy. We are told to believe this mysterious concept without question, but are offered nothing as evidence-no facts, no logic. We are told to have faith, for the answers are in God’s hands. Many religious leaders would have us believe that we are practically powerless to obtain the answers to the mysteries of our existence and of life. The end result is a massive, double indoctrination. First we are taught that we are mammals with a mind; then we are taught that we are powerless creatures of God, unable to obtain the answers for ourselves. There’s only one problem with these conclusions-they’re built entirely upon the limited range of our physical senses. Years ago I firmly believed that the physical world we see and experience was the only reality. I believed what my eyes told me- life possessed no hidden mysteries, only countless forms of matter living and dying. The facts were clear: there was no evidence or proof of nonphysical worlds or our continued existence after death. I questioned the intelligence of anyone softheaded enough to accept the illogical concepts of heaven, God, and immortality. In my mind these were fairy tales created to comfort the weak and manipulate the masses, for me, life was simple to understand: the world consisted of solid matter and form, the concepts of life after death and heaven were feeble attempts to create hope where none existed. After all, if something myserious was there, science would certainly be aware of it. Driven by curiosity and the need to prove I was right, I attempted astral projection. After repeated daily attempts, I began to feel a little ridiculous. I became convinced that this subject was nothing more than an intense or vivid dream stimulated by the so-called out-of-body techiques. I WAS WRONG. I invite you skeptics to try for yourself. I took me about a month to achieve my first actual out-of-body experienc. The world of the skeptic is extremely dense and dark compared to the vision of reality that lies beyond our physical senses. Ignorance may be bliss, but the more energy blocks(ignorance) we remove, the brighter our light shines and the higher our natural frequency rate becomes in the multidimensional universe. The recognition of this principle is important to your immediate evolution. When your physical body dies, you will automatically go to the energy level(frequency) of the universe that correspondes to your personal vibratory rate. As you will discover, this is a natural energy process- the shift of consciousness from one frequency to another. Those individuals who have recognized and eliminated thier energy blocks and raised their personal frequency rate will experience the full magnificence and light of the kingdom of heaven. To quote Einstein “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his/her eyes are dimmed.” Thank you Alex Harman, for inspiring me to comment on this subject: true- there are charlatans-true- there is corruption in religion-true- there are falsities mixed with truths in cinema- I do not type this to spite you, but rather to invite you. If you simply want proof of the demonic, then illuminate yourself and become a threat to the darkness. Then you’ll see…

  • Anonymous

    Satan and his demons , as Jesus said, rule this world currently. But his time is short as Jesus said he will return(the 2nd coming)
    Demon poccession and influence can be seen all around.
    From Hitler, to Jeffrey Dahmer, to
    terrorist bombers, etc..etc..To the less obvious pornography and the addiction to it.
    If you say you don’t believe in Satan, demons, or demonic poccession than you are also saying you don’t believe in the very words and teachings of Jesus and his disciples.

  • Anonymous

    Jesus believed in Satan and demons.
    As he and his disciples cast out demons from people. Jesus spoke much on this topic. Just read the New Testament.
    Are you saying Jesus lied ? Or Jesus was deluded ?
    Or is it you just don’t believe the New Testament to be accurate ?

  • Anonymous

    It should be obvious that certain areas of the brain manage perception of visual information, and that many of these perceptions, including the feelings associated with them, are either stored or assembled from pieces of “thought” which exist in the brain in some pattern or another. Thus when a person dreams, especially a bad dream, there are images and feelings which have a sense of total realism, but they do not exist in reality, but merely in thought. Even dogs dream, and I know this is true, watching my terrier lie on the carpet as her paws move sporadically, almost in an epileptic event, and she barks out softly. She must be running after something.

    Consider the feeling left over when a nightmare is experienced, or if you’ve ever felt very paranoid when walking in near total darkness in the woods, or in an unfamiliar house. These are emotions which are contained in brain structure. It is possible to stimulate parts of the brain surgically and elicit such feelings or even “visions”. Drugs like LSD evoke such visions and emotions. People with unstable brain electrical activity experience epileptic spasms but must also be vulnerable to extraneous stimulation of other brain regions, even the ones which control fear, perception of motion, paranoia.

    I had a client who during more delirous states described hearing voices and seeing frightening images, or felt people were directing threatening expressions towards him. Perhaps the feeling of demonic possession is somewhat akin to this kind of unstable brain activity, only more intense.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Art is intended not merely to entertain, but to provoke and change us. That process practially REQUIRES that we discuss it, agreeing or disagreeing, and work out what we think of it. While I don’t think the discussion should sour and turn into mean-spirited volleys of verbal missiles, I also don’t think movies would be very rewarding or interesting if we just kept our thoughts to ourselves.

    “For the sake of mankind,” please DO speak your mind. With respect and grace. Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t believe everyone takes the time to put too much effort on a movie. For the sake of mankind, just keep your thoughts to yourself and enjoy the movie for what it is worth.

  • Neb

    I haven’t seen this movie yet, but I’ll be interested to hear what reputable reviewers have to say about it (like Jeff).

    On the realism (or not) note, Emily Rose aside: for what it’s worth, I have several friends who have been involved in deliverance work, and it doesn’t have much in common with the way Hollyweird treats it. A lot less theatrical, but way creepier. Sometimes goofy behaviour is just mental illness, but when it’s supernatural just chanting some rote phrases and throwing holy water is a waste of time.

  • Anonymous

    I think the movie is true. For those of you who want to find a scientific explination for every srange situation you guys just dont believe! Science can’t explain everything. Can you explain a girl running around speaking a language she never heard of? Pissing on the floor, cutting her face (not crying or in pain when she does this), seeing demon faces and eating for weeks? Human being can’t survive the long just eating tiny insects! So its posibble that demons exist. Can people of the catholic faith prove their existence? No we can’t, but can science prove they don’t.

  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    This “conversation” is lacking in the grace I’d like to see on this blog. Cease with the name-calling and the arrogant attitude of these posts, or, no matter how much work you’ve put into them, I’m going to start deleting the debate. This blog is a place to discuss things with respect. Name-calling and cheap shots will not be tolerated.

    As for me, I and several of my friends have been involved, directly and indirectly, in situations where people were indeed possessed by demons. The demons spoke, knowing things the person could not know, in languages the person could not know. The demons were compelled by Christ’s power to give their names, and they were, by God’s grace, cast out through a process of prayer, fasting, scripture reading, and relentless attention and sacrifice. The individuals who suffered are free of the burden today, although they remain cautious and vigilant. It is a mystery I do not claim to understand, but it is certainly different than mental illness. When someone who is caring for this person walks through a bookstore and books from the occult section start flying off the shelves and hitting that compassionate person in the head, that’s not mental illness… and that didn’t even happen to possessed person, but merely someone who was trying to help them.

    Of course, I cannot PROVE this any more than I can prove that you have sat down to share your thoughts with us. I have only experience, and faith. So no matter how much you turn up the anger and the cheap shots and the accusations, that will not change what I have experienced. It will only change our impressions of you. So please, proceed carefully and with respect, allowing for the fact that all of us have something to learn. Otherwise, a-deleting I will go.

  • Anonymous

    I guess I was right about the logic of your arguments. Here are the facts: Most of the Eastern Asia has been brought up Muslim; the majority of the population is Muslim. Most of the people in India are brought up Hindu and the majority of the population is such. I don’t think you know too much about socialization. Check out the facts. The majority of people who are brought up a certain religion, maintain that religion throughout their lives. Check the statistics if you’d like. Ofcourse there are converts and atheist and thinking people for that matter. Ever hear of the words “standard deviation?” My guess is no. This applies to most of the world obviously; there is a small populus that thinks and chooses his or her own beliefs. Make atleast an attempt at a valid argument next time or I shall not even bother. Don’t point out the 1% of the world that doesn’t follow and ignore the 99% that do. That’s like saying I’m a navy officer and so that’s proof that I see daemons. Although I’m actually quite sure that you probably do see daemons. I know the pathological consequence of being a “warrior.”

  • Anonymous

    How rare that there are billions of people in this world most of whom have never seen a possession and yet you have seen several. I would find your “story” quite more believable if you had said you’ve witnesses one or two maybe (please note the sarcasm). And what does being a US Navy officer/sociologists/historian (not sure if I buy all that either) have to do with your credibility or “proof.” That’s not “proof.” Being a scientist (and as a sociologist- if that’s what you really are- you should know this) proof is found in the scientific method. Not even gravity is “proven,” but theoretical. I don’t mind that you believe in daemons, hey have fun with it, do your thing, man. I just question your ability for drawing logical conclusions. And why “spare us the details?” It’s the details that would provide a logical “if then so” scenario, not claining your a US Navy Officer. This does not follow… “I am a USNO hence there are daemons…because I believe in them.” Get my point?


  • Anonymous

    and also, religion is not merely a consequence of birth and geography. the refutation is that the statement made is without evidence and more than likely biased. in addition, this does not explain converts. these religions go all over the world, regardless of birth or geography. they are not brainwashing, well, ok some are. many are not. do some hardcore research into history, without bias, and only use credible sources. I will probably not recheck this post, but I have done my own research and have found that Christianity checks out, as a relationship. History, archaeology, bears this out in oh so many ways. Upbringing and religion combined do not make brainwashing, as a matter of fact, with out the choice (which automatically negates brainwashing) when hard times come the person lets go of what doesn’t sustain them, what they haven’t chosen. In combat, only what the soldier, sailor, Marine, or airman has chosen, which is their training and their comradship, remains under fire. Only what is chosen, not what is “imprinted” will remain.

  • Anonymous

    One more thing, the neurosis Alex referred to is called “Mythomania” or “Daemonomania.” This is where people (typically zealots) come to believe via neurological disorders that they are possessed or hearing and seeing daemons. Such seems to be the causes of the tragic witch trials in Europe and Northeastern America, ie Salem MA. Are there people out there that really believe these children, too, to be tormented by those they had murdered? It’s called hysteria and is a symptom of religious fervor. Ergo, so many supposed “possessions” occur in those that are pre-disposed to such notions as possession and devils.

    Wouldn’t your God protect these people and have those lost and “weak” souls such as myself taken over by devils? Your arguments are illogical and lacking thought. Read a book (not the bible dammit- a science book).


  • Anonymous

    knock off the name calling. it’s exceedingly immature. here’s the deal. demons exist. fallen angels. i’ve seen the effects, the possession if you will, in friends of mine. no neurological effects, no diseases, nothing of the kind. My family has extensive medical training, not to mention the fact that I knew each of the people “possessed” personally. Plain and simple, the occurrances are not physical or mental. And as sherlock holmes said, once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, is true. As a historian and sociologist by training, I am well aware of evil in multiple cultures and religions. And with the strictist research, disregarding even my own experiences (i’ll spare you the details), the conclusion reached is that demons are spiritual beings. While many instances can be explained by sickness or imagination, that does not eliminate the fact (yes, fact) that demons are real. And if anyone needs more “proof” of how thorough and unbiases I am/can be, I am a US Navy Officer. I am trained by occupation to be wary of assumptions, indeed to disregard them and make conclusions based only on what evidence I have. I’m a warrior, a leader of warriors, a historian, and a sociologist. And my conclusion, through personal research and through personal experiences, is that demons (disregarding the false incidents of sickenss and imagination) do indeed exist in reality.

  • Anonymous

    And I have seen no mention of this girl speaking in long forgotton languages. They did refer to her as “speaking in tongues” or rather babbling incoherently and speaking with accents, but not using languages previously unknown. Check you facts before you post and then call someone who actually cites sources and presents information logically an idiot, you idiot.


  • Anonymous

    Hey Alex,

    You are dead on, and I don’t care where your sources came from. I was just about to post that it seems that one pre-disposed to supernatural mumbo-jumbo will present this movie quite differently than say an analytical physchologist or neurologist. This poor girl died from starvation…let’s not forget that simple fact. Nothing supernatural about that. If you don’t eat, you die. If you do not take your emaciated daughter that cannot walk from self-mutilation, to a hopital, she will die. This is the real tragedy, although I expect the movie to be quite sympathetic to family and clergy alike. Wether or not they (or you) believe that this girl was possessed, feeding her would have saved her life! Either way, I’m a horror fan buff and psyched to see the movie, presented in any way. Horror movies are hot right now and bring in the green; that’s why this film was made.

    And for Mr. Tan…your comment about daemons being real and that people just aren’t “educated” on them is quite humorous. I suppose you have irrefutable proof? Perhaps you are a daemon? I wonder how “educated” you are on the history and development of religious faith and mythos. For example, are you aware that there are significant parallels between paganism and the old and new testaments? By incorporating these parallels, the transition of faith was easier for the masses. And when you talk about education and religious backround (I myself believed in Catholicism until I was old enough and wise enough to think for myself), let me guess, you were taught this garbage when you were a child and your brain was not yet fully developed, and yet, you still accept it as irrefutable to this day…. just a guess.
    Use your brains people. That’s why they are there. Would you believe the same things if you were borne in Pakistan and taught the Koran. Religion is a symptom and consequence of birth and geography. If you were brainwashed by Muslims as a youth, you’d believe in Allah. Simple, honest fact. Refute it if you can.


  • Anonymous

    Hey Alex, Why not post your own thoughts instead of copying and pastying stories you find on the internet you baffoon, word for word no less.

    You say it was epilepsy, or rather the article you forgered did, what explains the speaking in tongues of languages that haven’t been spoken in thousands of years? I suppose she took the class is what you will say? Idiot.

  • Allen from Louisville

    You know if you really want to know the truth!!!! Look at some of Lester Summeral’s books and recent films on as they say “casting out the devil” He was filmed in St. Louis exorcisms of the late 60’s and early 70’s. these were true films done by TV station there in St. Louis. They also filmed some of A. A. Allen stuff too!!! (Some say the character of the priest in Exorcist was that of Mr. Summerall, though he was not a priest) He past away not too long ago!! Wether you believe in it or not!!! it will scare the hell out of you!!! Because these are not actors but the real people!!! Watching the the saliva crawl on the floor like it had life will get you bad!!! The voices will get you too!!! Check it out!!! I believe it was KMOX station in St. Louis. I will look it up and post it for you soon!!! Also you can go to the station and they will show you in private!!! I saw these in 1983 and still have nightmares about it!!! Doing a paper article and needed some research, this is how I came across it.

  • Anonymous

    The Catholic Church prides it self in being “Christian”….Anyone can be a christian but not everyone can be a child of God. There is a difference. The Bible states you will cast out Demons in my name…not Mary’s. Stand on that and it will be…..How is it that a person needs to die to be rid of pessesion. Please….Do we have so little faith in our God. The dark side of life is taking over our world as predicted in the book of Revelations….we can not save this world but we can save the people that live in it. Treat the problem and not the symtoms. Hopefully this movie will enlighten people and give another look at faith in God the Father,Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. The only way to God is thru Jesus not Mary and Holy Water. Some Catholic nuns and priest are realizing it and they are changing. All we can do is Pray.

  • Anonymous

    you people think too much. lol either you like it, or you don;t…it sounds really good & scary but then again, previews are misleading.

  • Anonymous

    The sad thing is people are uneducated about this subject of demons. Anyone who comes from the back ground of not believing in God of course thinks that physical illness is just a random occurance. What they don’t know it is caused by something non-physical. I could go in to depth about this, but I want to make a point about all of the “excorcist” movies more than I do the other subject. The fact is, demons are very real, but anyone who has no supernatural experience nor spiritual experience of course does not know of such. I am educated on it. The sad thing is, the “excorcist” is an opposite patrayal of what the Bible says. Every single excorcist movie is this way. Thanks to most Catholic ministries being RELIGOUS, instead of Godly, they don’t know about excorcism. The Bible never says to sprinkle “holy water” on a demonically possessed victim. Nor does it say to get your ass kicked by it and someone has to die in order for the casting out to take place.(movies) It says to just “cast them out in the name of Jesus”, and boom, done. Graditude going to the Catholic Church to screw it up somehow and making a religous process. I had personal encounters with some demonically possessed, and it is nothing like the movies. I think this movie will show somewhat insight into the spiritual, but not as much as it could. With standards and practices being excercised you can only do so much, without it looking like it is in comparison with “religion”. I don’t completely shit on all Catholic ministries, but most, because frankly, they just always add crap in. To summarize what they do, thats it in a nutshell. And a movie of a Catholic minister being involved is typical in this scenario. If you look at all of the other practices that they just add in such as: praying to mary, praying to saints, “steps” to priest hood, ect. No wonder an “exsorcism” is to the point of insanity when it comes to complication. This why these people go crazy when they see some “miracle” when they see the “face of mary” in cookie and it makes world news. But again I say, I don’t completely disreguard all Catholic ministries, because a few are actually doing things right.

  • Alex Harman

    “Will this be just another movie about demons? I doubt it. First of all, it’s based on a true story. Secondly, a story about demon possession written by someone who really believes in spiritual warfare would… you’d think… emphasize different things and explore different aspects of that conflict.”

    I rather doubt that a filmmaker who “really believes in spiritual warfare” can do justice to the true story of Anneliese Michel: that of the negligent murder of a young woman suffering from temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) complicated by a dissociative disorder (what the popular press imprecisely likes to call “multiple personality disorder”) by religious fanatics whose faith led them to share her delusion that she was possessed by demons. TLE seizures frequently result in vivid hallucinations, the details of which are heavily influenced by the patient’s religious or spiritual beliefs. It was Anneliese’s misfortune that her seizures brought her visions not of God or angels (like those of Joan of Arc, who was probably another victim of TLE) but of the dark side of her religion’s supernatural mythos, and that she was never examined by any psychiatrist conversant with TLE’s effects. Because TLE patients from different religious backgrounds have equally vivid hallucinations which conform to their own beliefs (Christians encounter God, angels, or demons, Muslims encounter Allah, Muhammed, or djinn, Buddhists encounter Buddha or bodhisatvas, New Agers encounter benevolent aliens or nature spirits, etc.), TLE seizures can safely be discounted as evidence for the veracity of any particular belief. Unfortunately, the patients, and very often their families and friends as well, are typically unaware of this and mistake their experiences for real communications that prove the existence of whatever supernatural beings they believed in before becoming ill.

    You complain that Hollywood uses supernatural
    horror for entertainment without taking it seriously, but the real problem with Hollywood’s portrayal of such subjects is its credulity — they take supernatural claims far more seriously than they deserve. (Witness the recent remake of The Amityville Horror, still misrepresented as being based on a “true story” which has long since been discredited as a complete fabrication by the Lutz family, who sought to cash in on the murders of the previous owners and four of their children by their oldest son, Ronald “Butch” DeFeo Jr. See http://www.csicop.org/si/2003-01/amityville.html for details of the hoax and the real crime that inspired it.) Filmmakers never display the healthy skepticism needed to get to the bottom of a story like Anneliese’s, nor the courage to seriously examine the corrupt Catholic priesthood that pontificates about its own moral superiority even as it conceals and perpetuates the sexual abuse of children by many of its members. Whether Anneliese Michel was a victim of such abuse will never be known, but her extremely religious upbringing would have brought her into contact with numerous priests, one or more of whom may well have molested her; the type of mental illness from which she suffered is very often associated with childhood sexual abuse, and priestly molesters have been known to use the idea of demonic possession (of themselves, their victims, or both) to intimidate their victims and excuse their crimes.

    Ironically, the release of The Exorcist in Germany resulted in outbreaks of mass hysteria related to the ideas of demons and demonic possession, and may have contributed to Anneliese’s delusional state. The priests who “exorcised” her also contributed, as in “testing” her for possession, they inadvertantly taught her how to give the appearance of being possessed (by their criteria, of course). Their attempts at exorcism only made her condition worse, and she ultimately died of pneumonia exacerbated by fasting and praying for hours on cold stone floors as the priests required her to do. Based on the film version’s trailer and website, I seriously doubt that it will do anything to educate people about the true tragedy on which it is based, nor to prevent other Catholic victims of mental illness from suffering and perhaps even dying at the hands of exorcists in the future.
    Alex Harman

  • Peter T Chattaway

    I’m looking forward to the film, too — as I mention at my own blog, I’ve met Scott Derrickson and, his love of horror films notwithstanding, he told me his favorite film of all time was Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru! So I think there is the potential for something more “spiritual” here.

    And I say this as one who really likes the original Exorcist and always has, precisely for its spiritual significance. That film masterfully evokes the increasingly mechanized and dehumanized nature of our society — the way we have lost any sense that things have meaning — and then it throws one of the most powerful presentations of evil in our faces and dares us to say that this, too, is meaningless. And of course, we can’t; at least not initially. (Alas, extreme depictions of horror always run the risk of going so over-the-top that they become campy, and we have seen this in The Exorcist‘s many sequels and imitators.) The best write-up I’ve seen on this, FWIW, is Thomas Hibbs’s Shows about Nothing: Nihilism in Popular Culture from The Exorcist to Seinfeld.

  • Credo

    I just watched the preview. Very effective except the sound was too overwhelming. Maybe its because my speakers aren’t the best, but the sound was frightening for the wrong reasons. I love the introduction with the tape though – I look forward to this.

  • Credo

    When I heard that the exorcism of Annaliese Michel was going to be filmed I was struck at the possibility. This is an interesting, and ultimately tragic, case where possession and psychology collide. What I found most interesting was the potential that the Annaliese/Emily’s story had to be mishandled. Personally (I haven’t seen the teaser yet) I’m afraid that the filmmakers will go for the cheap gore of the “horrible faces” that plague Annaliese/Emily. I hope that instead they go for a much more psychological approach and use shadows rather than cgi.

    After all, the devil has very little to do with Lucasfilm (SW prequels notwithstanding…)

  • Jeff Tan

    Horror themes in “the arts” these days are there for entertainment. Just another way in which people are conditioned to disbelieve in the Devil — which works to the Devil’s advantage.