The Possession REVIEW
They were willing to try anything to cure her Justin Bieber obsession.
Release Date: 31 August 2012
15 | 92 minutes
Director: Ole Bornedal
Cast:Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Natasha Calis, Krya Segwick, Madison Davenport, Jay Brazeau
Once titled The Dibbuk Box, it’s fitting this “based on a true story” exorcism movie eventually opted for a more generic monicker – it’s very much like every other demonic take-over you’ve ever seen before.
Produced by Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert’s Ghost House Pictures and directed by Danish director Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch), there’s nothing especially wrong with The Possession – it’s slick, glossy, pacey, and occasionally funny, with some impressive effects. The problem is that there’s barely a trick or a trope that hasn’t been done (better) elsewhere, from The Exorcist to The Exorcism Of Emily Rose and The Last Exorcism.
This time it’s nine-year-old Em (Natasha Calis) who’s taken over by an evil force when she opens an old wooden box bought from a yard sale, much to the dismay of divorced parents Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick and big sister Hannah (Madison Davenport). The casket is a dibbuk box – a Jewish vessel used to trap a demon intent on consuming the young and innocent. Em wanders around in a nightdress, develops big bags under her eyes, pukes moths, puts on a funny voice and stabs her dad with a fork. Her parents don’t believe she’s possessed, do believe she’s possessed, find a rabbi, do an exorcism… and so on.
Performances are strong, especially from the two girls, and jumps are frequent, if predictable and accompanied by crashing music. It’s all entirely acceptable, but depressingly unambitious.
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