Filmmaker Scott Derrickson seemingly woke up nostalgic for his 2005 possession movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose this week, sharing a pair of behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the movie. It's previously been reported how much of star Jennifer Carpenter’s performance in the movie wasn't enhanced by CGI or other effects means, but now Derrickson has revealed that her work in the movie was one of the reasons the film almost got slapped with an "R" rating. Luckily for the director this was something that he appealed to the Motion Picture Association of America to have altered, and surprisingly the ratings board actually relented.
On the matter, Derrickson tweeted: "There was a scene in The Exorcism of Emily Rose where Jennifer Carpenter contorted her own face so disturbingly, the MPAA gave the film an R rating. I appealed in writing and they refused to back down, so I cut it because I wanted a PG-13." You can find an image from the particular scene that Derrickson mentioned in the embedded tweet below!
There was a scene in The Exorcism of Emily Rose where Jennifer Carpenter contorted her own face so disturbingly, the MPAA gave the film an R rating. I appealed in writing and they refused to back down, so I cut it because I wanted a PG-13. pic.twitter.com/qPdl4D7Y2T— N O S ⋊ Ɔ I ᴚ ᴚ Ǝ ᗡ ⊥ ⊥ O Ɔ S (@scottderrickson) April 19, 2021
The director also revealed that before they knew Carpenter could do her own contortion movements that a puppet was created to achieve the effect they wanted. He added:
For this dorm room scene in The Exorcism of Emily Rose, we had built a puppet with these body contortions. When Jennifer Carpenter saw the puppet, she said “I think I can do that.” It took her maybe 15-20 minutes, but she did it. That is all her. pic.twitter.com/CjWa6Qwmw1— N O S ⋊ Ɔ I ᴚ ᴚ Ǝ ᗡ ⊥ ⊥ O Ɔ S (@scottderrickson) April 19, 2021
Released in 2005, The Exorcism of Emily Rose marked Derrickson's first theatrically released feature film (having previously helmed the direct-to-video Hellraiser: Inferno five years prior) and it put him on the map, grossing over $140 million worldwide on a budget lower than $20 million. Though the director would wander off to non-horror projects with big-budget studio movies like The Day the Earth Stood Still and Doctor Strange, he's always returned to it in one form or another. Not only did Derrickson bring us Sinister in 2012 and Deliver Us from Evil in 2015 but has recently wrapped production on his next feature, a horror film titled The Black Phone.
(H/T Bloody Disgusting)