Well, here come the reviews!
Watch for mine, featuring an in-depth interview with Scott Derrickson, here at SPU’s Response. (It might not be up until late Friday.)
Ebert turns in an intriguing response. He says:
The movie was directed by Scott Derrickson and written by Paul Harris Boardman and Derrickson. The screenplay is intelligent and open to occasional refreshing wit, as when prosecutor Ethan Thomas makes an objection to one witnesses’ speculations about demonology. “On what grounds?” asks the judge (Mary Beth Hurt). “Oh…silliness,” he says.
Somehow the movie really never takes off into the riveting fascination we expect in the opening scenes. Maybe it cannot; maybe it is too faithful to the issues it raises to exploit them. A movie like “The Exorcist” is a better film because it’s a more limited one, which accepts demons and exorcists lock, stock and barrel, as its starting point. Certainly they’re good showbiz. A film that keeps an open mind must necessarily lack a slam-dunk conclusion. In the end Emily Rose’s story does get told, although no one can agree about what it means. You didn’t ask, but in my opinion she had psychotic epileptic disorder, but it could have been successfully treated by the psychosomatic effect of exorcism if those drugs hadn’t blocked the process.
And Steven D. Greydanus digs deep at Decent Films, which, by the way, is about to get an extreme makeover.