In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Two stories. One Lost Girl.

Anneliese Michel was a young woman who grew up in Bavaria. When she was sixteen, she was diagnosed with epilepsy. Anneliese and her family were extremely religious and as time went on, she came to believe she was possessed by a demon. In 1976, she died of exhaustion during an attempted exorcism sanctioned by the Catholic Church.

Requiem is the German adaptation of the tale of Anneliese Michel. 2005’s The Exorcism of Emily Rose was also based on this same tragic story. Even though the two films spring from the same seed of history, they couldn’t be more different in narrative.

Emily Rose focuses more on the ensuing court case after her death, rather than the plight of the girl herself and thus becomes more of a debate about science versus the supernatural. Requiem stays entirely with the protagonist and literally ends where Emily Rose begins. The lead actress (Sandra Hüller) in Requiem is with us in almost every scene. She has to convey what is happening to her by her reactions alone – without the benefit of the creepy CGI that freaked us out in Emily Rose. Requiem is ALL Hüller, and props to her for pulling it off.

Now, as a film, Emily Rose has more entertainment value, but it is its German counterpart that is the more accurate account. It also helps that Requiem takes place in the same locale and time period of the original event.

No matter which version you watch, this is some scary shit and it’s still not clear – and likely never will be – how much of a help or hindrance the family’s faith was to whatever ailed this poor girl.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, thought you might be interested in listening to a recording of Anneliese during an exorcism. It's 90 minutes long in Windows media format.

Click on "Download Kassette (90 minuten)

Personally, I think she sounds and acts too much like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. The film had just been released in Germany and she probably saw it. I also recommend the book "The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel" by Felicitas Goodman if you really want to get the facts. Movies aren't reliable sources in sensational cases like this. And "Emily Rose" is pure fiction. There was no speaking in tongues, no glowing eyes, no barn, no anything. Haven't seen Requiem, but it's probably a bit closer to the truth.