15 Creepy Facts About “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”

Demonic possessions movies and courtroom dramas seem about as far apart as two different subgenres can get.

However, back in 2005, one movie managed to blend them perfectly.  The Exorcism of Emily Rose delivered on the horror, but also gave audience something to think about.

It remains one of the smartest and philosophical horror films, while never going too surreal to do it.  In honor of its 15th anniversary, we thought it would be fun to look at 15 fun facts, one for each year since its release!

1. The “true story” was based on the real life exorcism, death, and subsequent trial around Annaliese Michel in West Germany in the 1976. Much like the movie, the real life priests were found guilty of manslaughter via negligence, and were given a very light sentence of 3 years’ probation.

The real life defendants, who despite being found guilty, claim that they were only trying to help the victim.

2. Director Scott Derrickson would go on to have quite the career in horror, directing movies like The Day the Earth Stood Still, Sinister, Deliver Us From Evil, and even Doctor Strange for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

3. During the exorcism scenes, Jennifer Carpenter was able to contort her body on her own without the need of visual effects.

4. She was allegedly so creepy in her audition that she was offered the part on the spot.

If she did this at the audition, it’s very easy to see why!

5. Scott Derrickson claimed that he related a great deal to the prosecutor character, Ethan Thomas, because Derrickson is also a Christian.

6. In fact, the reason Derrickson chose Paul Harris Boardman as his co-writer is because Boardman in a skeptic, and he thought this would create a good balance.

7. All the scenes of Emily Rose at college were shot at the University of British Columbia. Other famous films that filmed there include The Butterfly Effect, Tomorrowland, The 6th Day, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

8. During filming, Laura Linney claimed that she experienced strange phenomena, including her TV randomly turning on in the middle of the night.

In the movie, her character is warned that by accepting the case, she’s opening herself up to paranormal activity. Perhaps the same happened to Laura Linney when she accepted the role in the movie…

9. Jennifer Carpenter also experience something similar. She reported her radio turning on in the middle of the night and waking her up.

10. Derrickson claims that Dario Argento was his biggest inspiration for the movie’s style.

11. It remains the only horror movie that is styled as a courtroom drama.

12. The Exorcism of Emily Rose received generally positive reviews, with many critics (including Roger Ebert) praising its smart, intelligent approach to the subject matter.

It’s so much more than most other possession movies!

13. It was also a huge box office success, grossing $145 million on a $19 million budget.

14. Jennifer Carpenter wasn’t done with dark subject matter, as only a year later, she was starring on Dexter, as the titular serial killer’s sister Deb.

15. The movie won the Saturn Award for Best Horror Film.

Which of these did you already know?  Which ones surprised you?  Let us know in the comments!

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One thought on “15 Creepy Facts About “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”

  1. There’s a traditional Catholic priest on a website that did a review of this movie and LOVED it !! He said it was way better than The Exorcist, because it has no profanity, nudity, and treats Father Moore and his beliefs with respect. He was proud to be wearing his Roman collar when leaving the theater.


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