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Scary blend of science and logic



HORROR YARN: Exorcism of Emily Rose.

Exorcism of Emily Rose
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: Scott Derrickson
Cast: Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Campbell Scott, Jennifer Carpenter.
Storyline: Did the devout 19-year old Emily Rose die because of demonic possession or because she stopped medical treatment?
Bottomline: The perfect date movie.

For every two-dozen attempts that Hollywood makes in manufacturing horror, it succeeds once or twice every year. ``Exorcism of Emily Rose" is among the rare horror flicks that succeed in spooking you out, even if it's just a little.

Though based on the true story of Anneliese Michel, the epileptic German girl who died in 1976 believing she was possessed by demons, the movie dramatises and even heavily fictionalises incidents that, at least, momentarily make you believe that evil exists.

While the Church had declared that Anneliese was not really possessed as she believed, here the writer-director goes the extra yard to convince you about the supernatural.

But what is most fascinating about this horror yarn, apart from its super slick technical brilliance, is the intellectual content that's rather hard to find in the genre.

If Robert Zemeckis' ``Contact" was about the conflict of science versus religion, Derrickson's tale here attempts to be a more balanced conflict between doubt and belief. Unlike Eleanor Arroway (Jodie Foster in ``Contact") who was an atheist, Erin Bruner (Laura Linney) here is agnostic.

So when you see the whole story of Emily Rose through the eyes of an agnostic, you tend to get involved in the tale with the right mix of doubt and logic. You begin reading up on the true story of the `Exorcism of Anneliese Michel.' And, you begin to think of the possibilities. That is where ``Exorcism of Emily Rose" succeeds.

Apart from the doses of intrigue, there are moments guaranteed to scare you. College girls shriek, huddle close and giggle at every jolt of horror. The others try hard to laugh out loud just to ensure that they don't get sucked into the tale. The fake laugh in the audience is evidence that the movie does have a pretty neat scare quotient.

With the neat blend of horror, science, logic, scares and thrills, the movie is perfect for a date.

SUDHISH KAMATH

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