Over the last decade or so there have been a ton of PG-13 horror movies. Most are pretty damn weak. Really a horror movie pretty much never has any business being rated anything less then an R. The studios try desperately to get movies out of the R range and into the PG-13 range to make more money. I suppose we should be thankful good R rated movies even still get made. Anyways, it's pretty rare when a PG-13 horror movie can be any good. This was one of those times.
The story here is largely told in flashback. Father Richard Moore is being charged in connection to the death of Emily Rose who died during an exorcism he was preforming on her. His lawyer is an agnostic woman named Erin Christine Bruner. Ultimately the jury finds him guilty but recommends the judge gives him time served which the judge agrees. This is supposedly loosely based on a true story, but I have no idea how close it stays to that story so I can't comment on that.
Despite it's PG-13 handicap the scary moments are genuinely scary. To get around the rating handicap the film relies mostly on creepy and disturbing imagery rather then full on violence or gore but it suits an exorcism story quite well. The film also tackles some interesting philosophical and theological questions in very thought provoking ways. But that can also work to the movies disadvantage. At times it gets too bogged down in these debates and loses track of the fact that this is suppose to be a horror movie.
All and all this is worth checking out for any horror fan. Probably one of the best PG-13 horror movies ever made.