The exorcism game seems to have ended a long time ago. Beginning with The Exorcist, this very fighting film started a long path of similar films. I think what intrigues us to these kinds of stories is that this is the closest representation of religious ideas come to life. While most people would love to see another miracle of someone walking on water, we seemed to be more prone to finding someone with a demon inside of them. You could say that demons are seen more because life is full of more bad temptations then good. In a scary way, Hell may be closer then we could have ever imagined.
I would love to see a fresh take on the genre. I wanted The Possession to give me something different with exorcism. I’ve encountered several bad movies already (The Devil Inside was one of the worst), so maybe this would break the apparent curse. So how does this compare? It’s better then most, but that’s not saying a whole lot. I could see that the moviemakers (Producer Sam Raimi and Director Ole Bornedal) wanted to give us something very creepy to look at. A good possession movie needs to have great build up before the final battle. Let’s look at what I liked.
Clyde Brenek is college basketball coach who has just finished going through a divorce. He’s played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who looks like a heftier Robert Downey Jr. It’s his time to get his daughters for the weekend. A trip at a yard sell attracts Em (played by Natasha Calis) to a wooden box. This ten year old is about to receive more then she wanted when she finds a bunch of old stuff inside.
The first half of the movie has a creepy atmosphere. Through it’s bleak coloring and icy setting, The Possession starts off so chilling, you almost don’t want to continue. Em shows signs of disturbance when she becomes obsessive with her box, eating faster then usual, and even becoming more violent in school. The demon almost has full control. But once the father goes to New York to get the answers, things gown down hill. He meets up with a Jew named Tzadok (played by Jewish artist, Matisyahu) who tells him about the box and how a Jewish exorcism is the only thing that can save her. If you’ve seen The Exorcist, then you already know what’s going to happen.
The Possession knows how to look scary. You really want to see what happens in the later stages of the demons takeover, yet you don’t want anything bad to happen to Em. Not to mention the Jewish folklore and the tale of the Demon is actually interesting. But the movie uses the same exorcism cliques that we’ve seen before (nobody seems to notice, yet innocent people are murdered, the exorcism ministers are reluctant, yet returns later, and the possessed person’s body becomes more flexible then an Cirque-Du-Soleil acrobat. Very little about this is different.
I’ll give this three bloody stars of David out of five. I can tell, that the people around this movie really wanted to scare their audience. The movie is fun to look, but the actual monsters are bland and offer nothing but the same.