Movie Review-The Possession

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Coming to Home Video on January 15th

I remember as a little child seeing The Exorcist the first time, and being so young and naïve that the film scared me so bad that I had to have a light on every night in fear. I remember when 20/20 around that time were making possession seem like something that was happening more and more. You really thought it would happen to you, and all the media sources at that time were still gasping from the horror of Charles Manson and now it has the fear of demonic possessions that the catholic church would come and exorcise the demons out of your family members. So, here we are 30 years plus later, and every month we get a new possession film and each one seems to be geared towards entertaining teenagers more than fear or scaring us. The Possession does take a little turn than the normal, well beside this not being a found footage film, it explores the Jewish side of possession. We learn of Jewish folklore like a malevolent spirit called a Dibbuk. The film deals with one that is referred to as a taker of children. The film opens with a backstory of an older Jewish woman who dies while her son tries to open the front door to save her. The kill in the beginning was decent enough to keep an interest to see what is coming next for this possessed spirit in the box.

This film is about Clyde who is a basketball coach at the local school, who dreams of going back into the big time of coaching for a major school, so much so that this caused his marriage to end and his two little girls to be not so much a priority for him at times. Well, things change when he takes his two girls to a yard sale, and Emily or Em as he is calls her sees the mysterious wooden box and wants her dad to buy it for her, and he does. Right from the get go, we see inside the house of the people doing the yard sale and they are not right. Well, almost instantly the box takes possession of Emily and things start to change. The film offers a lot of the things we have seen a hundred times before, like the clueless family members that see her behavior and what she is starting to be able to do, and act like it is her being sick and not thinking to react immediately. The film offers things as well that are a little creepy and get under your skin, like the obsession with Moths.

The film does get sort of heavy with the family drama, and the harping on divorce and how it effects kids. And some of the dialogue was just really bad, “ Don’t you ever go near my daughters teeth again”. I am not sure how many of us would have that kind of argument with anyone. The possession scenes were fun, esp. when she got her hands on her mom’s boyfriend and at times the possession scenes were creative when she tried to create the image of her father abusing her to others. This is from Sam Raimi’s Ghost House and the guy who was responsible for Nightwatch, so you know like Nightwatch, he will put relationship between the characters in the forefront and draw upon them to create the backstory you will need to get into the story.

The film has some flaws, the final twenty minutes of the film was pretty laughable. I think the film really wanted to try and keep it within the PG parameter and it was such a fail for being so safe, though it had a few decent little minutes here and there, it just felt like they should have tried to really deliver more than the pathetic CGI and the laughable possession battle. The very end scene was pathetic and I bet in that packed theater of non horror fans and kids hanging out talking thru the whole film made quite the splash, that they had to text all their friends. I am not dogging out PG or even PG 13 horror, I am at times a fan of films of both ratings. Jaws and Poltergeist are PG, and I love both films a lot and consider both horror classics. I just am not a fan of what PG horror is these days. This film has enough to like about it, but it also has just as much to dislike. The story was half way ok, the characters were fun enough to keep your interest, and it has plenty of little creepy moments to keep you involved in it, and it was supposedly based on a true story, well aren’t they all these days?

7 out of 10