Exorcism or possession movies are all the rage now so it’s not a surprise that the movie we’re going to be talking about today is one of them. The Possession is an average horror movie about a little girl who finds a weird box with an evil entity inside. As you can already guess, the evil ghost is going to attack the girl and her parents will have to get rid of it. What makes this movie feel a bit different from the others is Ole Bornedal’s (Nightwatch) knack for creating tense situations. Moreover, the atmosphere in this movie was excellent, gloomy, and foreboding, just as it should be.
The Possession is not based on true events although it does feature the infamous Dybbuk box. So, the characters and the events were made up but the box actually exists and you can check it out in Zack Bagans’ The Haunted Museum in Las Vegas. Now, Zack is a ghost hunter so I would take anything he has to say about this supposedly “world’s most haunted object” not with a grain of salt but with a fucking silo of salt. Dybbuk is a malevolent entity or a ghost that appears in Jewish mythology. It is said he lives in a special box not unlike the one on display in Vegas.
Borat would say he’s haunting people who owed money to the deceased individual but I wouldn’t go so far. We first talked about Dybbuk in another movie recommendation, the Coen Brothers’ A Serious Man. However, it is nice that we’re getting Jewish exorcism movies. After all, the Catholic church is having a lot of problems of a different nature these days. This is one of the reasons why I found The Possession a refreshing take on the exorcism and possession subgenre. Much like Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell, which is not surprising considering he’s the executive producer here.
I wonder if Scientology and Mormonology are going to get in on this. It would be cool to see how thetans are leaving the body or some shit like that. Although we already have Battlefield 3000 starring John Travolta. To complete the trifecta of popular horror elements we also have a creepy little girl. And she will scare the living crap out of you. Natasha Calis did a pretty good job, with a little help from the SFX guys. And so did Jeffrey Dean Morgan whose convincing performance really helped with the atmosphere.
By now you probably know the story, but just in case let me run you through it: Clyde and Stephanie are a recently divorced couple with two daughters still adapting themselves to the situation. One day Clyde and his younger daughter Em stop at a yard sale and buy an antique box. Little did they know that the box has a very strange story that comes with it. However, that story is nothing in comparison to the malevolent spirit living in that box.
Featuring a short running time of just 85 minutes, The Possession is a nice little horror movie. The first part is a bit slower but things will really kick off in the second part. So, just be aware of that and you should be fine. There will be not only effective jumpscares but also those nasty and gross scenes. You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones where you take your eyes off the screen only to look back in an instant. Finally, if you’re looking for movies like The Possession do check out our list of Exorcism Movies.
Director: Ole Bornedal
Writers: Juliet Snowden,Stiles White
Cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Natasha Calis, Madison Davenport, Matisyahu
Fun Facts: The director Ole Bornedal at first saw the script as an alegory for divorce until Sam Raimi got involved as an executive producer. The Possession was a major financial success making over $80 million on a $14 million budget.