THE POSSESSION (2012) dir. Ole Bornedal

27 Aug

The name Sam Raimi might be asssociated with this movie but as producer his role was to make the soil fertile, not to grow the crops. Don’t be surprised either, that something is all too familiar about The Possession. The greatest downfall of the film is that it has already been done elsewhere.

If we hadn’t seen an exorcism film before, then we might enjoy it more, although it lacks the tingles of ultimate exorcism-gore film The Exorcist, it does have an appeal and beauty. It is well researched and inspired by a true story written about in an article by Leslie Gornstein that you can read here.  

A young girl (Natasha Calis) buys a wooden box at a yard sale. It is engraved with Hebrew letters and is mysteriously unopenable. When she finally gets to look inside it, she finds it filled with creepy bits and bobs: a ring, a dead creature and a tooth amongst other things. The possession begins with a plague of moths. The girl is obviously behaving strangely by this point – she sits on her bed hugging the box – oblivious to the insects that surround her.

Her obsession with the weird box begins to alarm her father (Jeffery Dean Morgan), who is surprisingly intelligent for someone in a horror film, quickly drawing the conclusion that she must be possessed. He goes off to find a Rabbi to do the work.

In the meantime, the mother (Kyra Sedgwick) also discovers something is wrong with her daughter, her newly warped behaviour is inexplicable. Instead of typing ‘possession wooden box’ into google, she sensibly takes the girl to hospital to investigate further.

The tension between the recently divorced parents was excellent and added to the sharp pace of the film. The well-delivered script drew some light relief and raised a laugh in places (but not Evil Dead style). There were just enough frights to stay alert.

The cinematography gave the impression of being well thought through, with muted colours creating light and dark contrasts, slowly building a wall of fear. I would say that it was easy-going horror, the kind of film that you might want to put on when you get in from the pub, when you want to curl up and feel safe and be a voyeur.


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