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The Possession (2012)

Monday, 31. December 2012

The Possession
Director: Ole Bornedal
Writer: Juliet Snowden, Stiles White
Based on: Leslie Gornstein‘s article “Jinx in a Box”
Cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Natasha Calis, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport, Matisyahu

Plot:
Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick) recently separated and are now trying to work things out for the sake of their two daughters Em (Natasha Calis) and Hannah (Madison Davenport). To decorate their rooms at his new house, Clyde takes the two girls to a yard sale where Em finds a box with apparently Hebrew writing on it. And that box starts to have quite an effect on Em, with ever more mysterious and scary things happening around it and her.

I didn’t expect much from this movie and I was quite surprised by how good it was. Is it great? No. But it is tense, very well done and really entertaining.

When I saw this movie, I was all alone in the cinema. (Not only are most of my friends not really fans of horror movies, but apparently nobody at all wanted to see the film that day.) I have to admit that did add to the tension, probably quite substantially. But even without that added edge, The Possession has enough moody atmosphere to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Especially the body horror parts were done extremely well. When we can see the demon inside of Em it is really fucking creepy. While I wasn’t scared all of the time, it was enough.

The cast was also really good, especially Natasha Calis showed much promise. And Jeffrey Dean Morgan is usually better than the roles he gets.

There are a couple of faults. I thought that once Clyde believed that there was actually a demon in the box, things went a little too fast and they found the solution a little too quickly. The build-up was too drawn out for the amount of pay-off. And what I really didn’t like about the movie was the ending. [SPOILER] That they’re all suddenly a happy family again struck me less as a happy ending and more as creepy wish fulfillment. And also Tzadok’s car accident was a little too predictable. [/SPOILER] But up until then it was extremely enjoyable.

Summarising: If you like possession movies, this is definitely one of the better ones.

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6 comments

  1. How can you watch a horror movie alone in the cinema? I can hardly stand a horror movie on TV surrounded by friends.


    • Because being scared is kind of the point of it, isn’t it?


  2. I thought watching horror movies was about collective nervous laughter and plot-guessing and pretending to be scared/brave and teasing each other about being scared. And popcorn.

    …. In my poinion scaryness is a means, not an end. But I’m not much of a horror movie watcher.


    • There certainly are those kind of horror films as well, or to put it better: that is also how you can enjoy horror films, but not the really scary ones usually. But for me it’s more about being scared and facing that fear and then overcoming it.


  3. fully agree with your review. Not a classic, but it did entertain me a lot. Some great atmosphere, superb acting and a kick-ass finale.


    • I also really liked the idea of a Jewish exorcism film – after all, it’s not something the catholics/christians have an exclusive claim on.



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