The Possession has more than it’s fair share of similarities to that other possession film from the 70’s, The Exorcist. You have your standard girl possessed by demon, weird voices, people getting thrown around by some unseen force and finally, an exorcism. I suppose what I just wrote could be tied in with any film that involves demonic possession, but The Possession offers up enough spooky scenes and an interesting demon, to make this one a fun watch. If you would like to know more, please read on…
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl’s father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.
As I’ve already mentioned, The Possession has a lot in common with The Exorcist, especially once the movie nears the end. However, this isn’t your cliche Christian demon story, instead, we get to dive into the Jewish culture and how they deal with those pesky hellions. The idea behind the movie, is the trapped evil that resides in this mysterious box, gets released upon opening and looks for the perfect host to take over and when it takes over, it literally lives inside you. The idea leads to some very affective scenes that will creep you out (the MRI scene for example was creeptastic). However, the movie does take it’s time telling the story and it doesn’t go all out with the possession and special demonic powers, which may put off some people. You will get a few scenes with the demon throwing people around and in one strange scene, removing a person’s teeth, but overall, the story takes it slow and focuses on the father’s plight to save his daughter.
Jeffery Dean Morgan plays the father, Clyde, a man who is struggling with his ex-wife, kids and job. Throwing a demon in the mix only exasperates his problems and Morgan does an admirable job at playing the everyday guy, who’s love for his children knows no limits. As for the already mentioned possessed daughter, her name is Em and is played by Natasha Calis. I greatly enjoyed her tangle with the devil and the talent that she wrangles up. She spooked the hell out of me with those creepy eyes of hers and a lot was asked of her and she passed with flying colours in my book.
Something I found interesting with The Possession was the lack of dialogue throughout most of the movie. Instead, scenes are played out with only a musical score and nothing else. It was an interesting decision and one that I think played in the movie’s favour. It intensified scenes that would otherwise come off dull and avoided any needless exposition and just let you soak in what you’re watching. It’s also nice that the movie avoids most of those cliche jump scares that are predominantly present in most movies of this kind. You will have a few here and there and they most certainly will make you jump, but for the most part, the film decides to show you right away what you should be scared of and it works effectively.
Before I wrap up this review, I should mention that The Exorcist wasn’t the only movie I was reminded of when watching. Early on in the film, we get a nice little dash of Hellraiseresque qualities, with the mysterious box with no obvious ways to open it, more than echoing the Lament Configuration puzzle box. I was really reminded of that in one scene, where our soon to be possessed girl, takes ownership of the box and on one stormy night, sits on her bed and starts messing around with it to see if she can open it. I was half expecting that familiar chime to start playing and seeing chains flying everywhere.
So, it’s look like it’s mostly positives for this one. I can’t say it will be for everyone, as the average viewer might be thrown off by the lack of action and the spaced out scary scenes, but I enjoyed the slow build up to the pretty intense ending. If you happen to stumble upon The Possession, give it a chance, as it just might be one film that gets deep inside you (hmm, that sounded way dirtier than I wanted it to).