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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2005), PG-13 [PG-13*] (1hr 54min)

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
September 8, 2005
64 out of 100

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Christian Long Distance

(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2005), PG-13 [PG-13*] -- ... more of an examination of Spiritual reality ...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Lakeshore Entertainment, Firm Films
Distribution (US): Screen Gems Inc
Director(s): Scott Derrickson
Producer(s): Paul Harris Boardman, Clint Culpepper, Beau Flynn, Andre Lamal, Gary Lucchesi, David McIlvain, Tom Rosenberg, Julie Silverman, Tripp Vinson
Written by: Paul Harris Boardman, Scott Derrickson
Cinematography/Camera: Tom Stern
Music: Christopher Young
Film Editing: Jeff Betancourt
Casting: Stuart Aikins, Sean Cossey, Nancy Naylor, Nancy Nayor, Kelly Wagner
Production Design: David Brisbin
Art Direction: Sandi Tanaka
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

The "based on a true story" The Exorcism of Emily Rose is not another Exorcist. The Exorcism of Emily Rose presents an evil theme to be sure but it appears to be more of a courtroom examination of Spiritual reality. If you watch it, don't lose focus -- it is entertainment. We are all familiar with Hollywood's use of "...based on..."

The Exorcism of Emily Rose is an "Americanized" version of the story of 19 year old German, Anneliese Michel, a University of Wurzburg student. This version is based here in America and uses the name "Emily Rose." These and likely other adaptations of the true story leads one to wonder how "based on" this film really is.

The story opens in 1976 as a man (Terence Kelly) arrives at the rural Rose home in Crescent County to be greeted by a figure that peeks from behind a second story window curtain. After no answer at the front door the man turns to walk away when the door creaks open and a voice asks "You the medical examiner?" Nineteen year old college student, Emily (Jennifer Carpenter) lies dead in her second story bedroom.

Medical treatment was unsuccessful at saving Emily. She was diagnosed as suffering psychotic epilepsy and anorexia. Emily's convulsions, hyperextensions of her body far beyond the normal range, rigidity and completely unnatural and violent movements such as rising to her feet without standing continued to worsen. She had even experienced what was best described as an invisible body pressing on hers as she lied in her dorm room bed. She began to speak, rather bellow, in fluent Aramaic and Latin with voices not hers. Yes, voices.

Evil and demon images appeared to Emily in the clouds, in the condensation on windows and even on the faces of people. Physical manifestations have been causing her injury. Even her eyes changed, dilated beyond possible. Gambutrol was prescribed but nothing seemed to help Emily. The family priest Father Richard Moore (Tom Wilkinson) sought and received the sanction of the archdiocese to conduct an exorcism, coincidentally on Halloween.

The exorcism failed and Emily died. Father Richard Moore is convicted of negligent homicide with the death of Emily since he suggested Emily stop taking the medication and to trust in her faith in God to intercede for her. A noted anthropological psychiatrist even blamed the Gambutrol for disabling any attempts to exorcise the demons from Emily.

Emily was possessed with six demon spirits: Cain; Nero; Judas; Belial; Lucifer; a sixth the name I was not fast enough to catch in the captioned foreign language Emily was speaking. Most of the names are familiar to anyone reading this but the one most unlikely to be familiar is Belial {bel-e-yah'-al}. Belial in the Old Testament is the name for one who is worthless, good-for-nothing, base or wicked. The New Testament use of Belial <955> {bel-ee'-al} (or Beliar {bel-ee'-ar}) also means a worthless or wicked one but includes being a name of Satan, the father of lies.

The archdiocese provided Father Moore with legal counsel in the initially agnostic and upwardly mobile Erin Bruner (Laura Linney). In a public relations move, the archdiocese wanted Moore to accept a plea bargain deal made by the district attorney's church-going, choir-member prosecutor, Ethan Thomas (Campbell Scott) by pleading guilty to lesser charges. It is Bruner's job to convince Moore to accept the deal. Father Moore refused. Not because of being afraid of jail, but because he wanted to take the stand to tell Emily's story. In essence, Emily died so her story would be told.

Sidebar Note: Maybe there is something to say the film portraying a church-going, choir-member prosecutor defying and even denying God's Word. God warns us that many will show an air of godliness but will have false hearts. [2 Tim. 3:1 - 5]

Some interesting issues were revealed surrounding Emily's faith. A physical manifestation of Mary, the mother of Jesus, speaking to Emily was only one. The manifestation of Mary gave Emily two choices: to go with her to Heaven or stay here and suffer more of what she had suffered in order to be a beacon for others in the Truth of God's Word. Emily chose to stay and serve others.

Another tidbit presented by the writers is 3:00 AM. Most of the evil events happened at 3:00 AM. Father Moore explained that 3:00 AM is, for the lack of a better term, the "bewitching hour" and the time of the heaviest evil activity since 3:00 AM is the reciprocal or opposite of 3:00 PM, the hour at which Jesus is said to have given up the Ghost on the Cross at Calvary. I cannot confirm the accuracy of this claim nor will I try.

While I believe in angelic possession I have never seen a demonic possession nor known of anyone who has been demon-possessed to the extent Hollywood portrays. However, I believe demon possession exists because the Master Exorcist Jesus Himself cast out demons as did His disciples. Master Exorcist? Absolutely! All Jesus had to do to cast out demons was to say "Go!" And they went, pleading for their existence on the way. [Matt. 8:32]

A little trivia to round out the matter. In the trailer, a physician states "There are no injections against the devil." The cut of the movie I saw did not have that line. This is just to let your know, again, that the trailers are not always true to the parent film and are therefore not always "What you see is what you get." That is a significant point for parents who would like to trust trailers to be honest and accurate.

The strongest of influence in this film was many unholy, Satanic matters but only one use of God's name in vain which was without the four letter expletive. The Offense to God investigation area revealed enough invasive programming for the film to lose all 100 starting points in Offense to God. Next up the ladder of scoring loss was the programming applicable to Drugs/Alcohol which earned an arena score of 47 out of 100. Drugs/Alcohol was narrowly led by Wanton Violence/Crime with an area score of 50 out of 100. Next up the scoring ladder was programming applicable to the Impudence/Hate investigation area with a score of 85 out of 100. Both the Sexual Immorality and Murder/Suicide investigation areas were free of offensive programming and each earned the highest possible score of 100 out of 100.

Foul language found by the Impudence/Hate investigation area was limited to only five uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary which is most atypical of PG-13 films nowadays. [Prov. 22:11] Thespian demonstrations of sexually immoral deeds were completely absent which is even more atypical of modern PG-13 films which typically include some form of intercourse and/or nudity. [1Tim. 4:12] There was a notable amount of drinking of alcohol in this PG-13 which should alert mom/dad since the American College of Physicians proved that presentation of drinking in and as entertainment leads to abuse of alcohol by the youthful crowd. [Eph. 5:18]


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • 2 Tim. 3:1 - 5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection [homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, pedophilia, etc.], trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce [brutal, sadistic], despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof [Sunday-only and counterfeit Christians]: from such turn away.
  • Matt. 8:32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • 1Tim. 4:12 Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. [Young Jennifer was a fine example of not demonstrating any sexual immorality (OR foul language) while still delivering a powerful performance.]
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. ["Wine" can be any intoxicating substance. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk or to drink in defiance. A study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) has found an undeniable link between the presentation of alcoholic beverages and tobacco in and as entertainment and abuse of them by adolescents. And teaching/causing youth to abuse alcohol/tobacco by emboldening youth with them in and as entertainment invokes Luke 17:2]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it].
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among you], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. ["Offend": skandalizo - to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away. "Little ones": mikros - little;, small of age; younger which can include at-home teens].
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary/
    Commentary section.

    The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • sequence of deep sorrow due to death of young girl
  • anticipation terror, repeatedly
  • hysteria
  • explosive startle
  • sounds of human horror
  • physical violence, twice
  • graphic pedestrian death
  • injury gore, repeatedly

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • five uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • none noted

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • desire to get drunk
  • bar/booze, repeatedly
  • smoking, once

    Offense to God (O)
  • unholy events, repeatedly
  • demon possession with extreme physical manifestations, repeatedly, frequent
  • demonic images in clouds and on windows and faces, repeatedly
  • ultra-exaggerated body movements by demonic forces, repeatedly
  • door opening by itself
  • suspicious figure
  • unnatural voices, repeatedly
  • eating insects
  • unnatural body rigidity due to demonic forces
  • demonic manifestations of various nature
  • demonic cackling and mutterings
  • Crucifix made to hang upside down

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

  • Christian Educators Association International



    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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