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Based On A True Story|Based on a True Story.
|A thrilling, horror film based on a true story about a single lawyer (Laura Linney), who takes on the church and the state, when she fights for the life of a priest (Tom Wilkinson), who has performed a deadly exorcism on a young woman. Linney must battle the cocky state lawyer (Campbell Scott) as well as her own demons, as she realizes that her career so far has not led her to fulfillment.|
"...a thought-provoking, well-acted courtroom drama about the intersection of religious belief and the law. Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer
"...an unusually intelligent genre item that manages to mix full-bore horror with courtroom drama. Derek Elley, Variety
"...the thinking person's demon possession movie, which presents a chilling case history that's hard to explain away. Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"...a modern-day inversion of "Inherit the Wind," highlighting an astonishing shift in the American legal system over the last 80 years. Peter Debruge, Premiere
"...a superior performance vehicle and on that count alone is never less than riveting. Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post
Editor's NoteBased on a true story, this film is both a riveting courtroom drama and a first class chiller. A Catholic Priest (Tom Wilkinson) is on trial for homicidal negligence after performing a failed exorcism on Emily Rose, devout college girl (Jennifer Carpenter) now dead from assorted wounds and malnutrition. Laura Linney plays Erin Bruner, the priest's defense lawyer, and Campbell Scott plays the chief prosecutor, who argues persuasively that Emily was likely suffering from psychotic epilepsy and could have been saved with hospitalization and medicine. The demonic possession unfolds in a series of spine-tingling flashbacks and as it does so, the initially doubtful Erin is visited by evil forces and her own soul seems to be at stake. More than a criminal negligence case, the trial becomes about the importance of recognizing the limits of rationality and the possibility of a world beyond the visible. In portraying the extent to which wildly different belief systems have splintered modern society this film couldn't be more relevant or timely. Linney and Campbell are first rate, as is to be expected, creating great depth for their characters even though the script grants them almost no personal lives; it's a very "stick to the facts" sort of tale. Each character lives a life of apparent near-isolation, which adds to the cumulative effect of unease. The house where Emily grows up is spookily oppressive, the scenes of possession are truly scary and a dark sense of foreboding may follow viewers long after the credits have rolled. Carpenter earns a place as a 21st century scream queen with her hair-raising, fearless performance; Mary Beth Hurt plays the judge.
Cast & Crew
|Christopher Young - Original Music By|
|Clint Culpepper, et. al. - Executive Producer|
|David Brisbin - Production Designer|
|Jeff Betancourt - Editor|
|Paul Harris Boardman, et. al. - Producer|
|Scott Derrickson - Director|
|Scott Derrickson, et. al. - Writer|
|Tom Stern - Cinematographer|
MTV Award (2006)
|Jennifer Carpenter, Winner, Best Frightened Performance|
|Jennifer Carpenter, Nominee, Best Breakthrough Performance|