A Movie Review on The Possession (2012)
The Possession adds to the long list of movies related to supernatural and/or demonic possession and exorcisms which includes The Devil Inside (which was terrible), The Last Exorcism (which was pretty decent), and of course The Exorcist. Many will make ties between this movie and The Exorcism of Emily Rose for their non-reliance on blood and gore, the typical shocks you find in movies like these, and basis off a true story of demonic possession.
The Possession, based off a true story, chronicles the 29 days of horror that a family is forced to deal with after they come into possession of a Dibbuk Box, which in Jewish Folklore is said to hold a spirit or demon, called a Dybbuk, inside. In the movie a young girl, Emily, purchases an antique box from an yard/estate sale and proceeds to take it home and opens it, not knowing that it is in fact a Dibbuk Box. The young girl becomes obsessed with the box, while strange things begin to happen all around here. Her demeanor and attitude changes, and she becomes increasingly hostile towards others. Whatever was inside the box is slowing taking over Emily's body until there will be nothing of her left inside. Her father must now find a way to get his girl back.
The first half-hour or so of the movie spends a lot of time developing the characters and family which many horror films fail to aquatically do. You get a clear understanding of their personalities, their relationships with each other, and their situations. I feel that this really builds a bond between the characters and the audience that gives you a reason to want to watch the movie. In the short half-hour I become invested in these characters and had a general concern for what was going to happen to them.
Onto the horror side of things, the movie features some genuinely creepy scenes and does a great job at building up suspense. There is one scene in particular that really stands out above the rest, featuring Emily and her Mother in their kitchen which does a great job at building up suspense and then scares the pants off of you (not literally). Nothing in the movie was really jump-out-of-your-seat scary like the Paranormal Activity movies have the ability to do, but was just really unsettling and creepy.
The acting was pretty decent all around with Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the father really doing a terrific job. Natasha Calis, who plays Em, does a great job portraying this young innocent girl becoming possessed with this spirit/demon. The rest of the cast does an decent job with Kyra Sedgwick as the mother, and Madison Davenport as Em's sister.
I do have a couple of gripes, one about the movie itself and one about the experience of watching the movie. The movies ending was its weak point which was neither creepy nor suspenseful and bordered on the silly. Without giving the ending away I can say that I couldn't take the end of the movie serious when a Hebrew man is standing there, chanting verse from a bible while rocking his entire body back and forth. While this might not sound silly, when your watching the movie during its climax and this happens its quite silly and takes out directly out of the movie. If he wasn't rocking back and forth while standing there the scene would have been fine but the rocking looked ridiculous. The ending also wasn't able to top a scene previously in the movie, which left me feeling disappointed.
My other complaint is not about the movie but the audience. It was really annoying when I'm sitting there, trying to enjoy the movie, and something really creepy occurs, and I hear people giggling and laughing at the movie. I can never understand why people have to laugh during horror movies if nothing funny is actually happening. Is it a defense mechanism for being scared? Is it the fact that they don't find the movie scary at all? Whatever the reason, it was truly annoying and definitely took me out of some of the scenes.
Overall, I though the movie was very well done aside from the ending, and loved the fact that they actually gave these characters personalities, making you actually care for them. The movie was creepy, suspenseful and makes you think twice before buying anything at a yard sale. From my experience it might be better off waiting for Blu-ray or DVD when you can watch it at home, alone, with the lights off, and the volume turned all the way up.
The Possession was released on August 31st 2012.
Directed by Ole Bornedal. Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Natasha Calis, Kyra Sedgwick, and Madison Davenport
Rated PG-13. Runtime: 91 Minutes