A pious rural lass (Sandra Hüller in an impressive screen debut) wants to spread her wings by attending college, but she has to contend with a more vexing problem than catty cliques or fractious frat boys: she's besieged by demons majoring in advanced blasphemy. Based on the same sad facts as The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Hans-Christian Schmid's film positions itself as the anti-Exorcist, prosaic in style and devoid of head twirling and spider noshing. The nonsensationalistic results are also somewhat ho-hum—and oddly less convincing than Friedkin's lurid mess, let alone the elegant satanism sagas of Tourneur and Polanski. In interviews Schmid and screenwriter Bernd Lange have discounted the case's supernatural dimensions, though the film leaves the question open. In German with subtitles. 93 min.
By Martin Rubin