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A fictionalized version of the possession which was also the basis of THE
EXORCIST, this film remains closer to the actual case than does the other.
POSSESSED gives us a good cast approaching the topic rationally and with
great dignity. The film begins without much of the traditional horror
atmosphere, and that lends to the realism. Once the sense of reality has
been created, there are some elements of the typical horror film, but they
are well executed.
Set against the real horrors of the atomic age, the Cold War, and McCarthyism in the 1950s, the film is as powerful as THE EXORCIST but without using some of the FX. There are some genuine chills, and the story is well told, making the film well worth watching.
Well-made television movie(made for Showtime)that tells the true story(so we are told) of the only modern American Exorcism rite performed by the Roman Catholic Church. This film is compelling in its nature as it draws the viewer in to see a priest battle with his own private demons only to fight with the real thing squatting in the body of a young boy named Robbie. The film is beautifully shot and possesses some wonderfully creepy scenes that enhance the mood of tension and foreboding. The acting is the best thing, however, as Timothy Dalton never acted better. He is so very convincing in the role of the priest with a tough exterior and a head full of painful memories from World War II. The young actor playing Robbie is very gifted and convincing too. Christopher Plummer adds a nice small role as an archbishop more concerned with publicity and image than healing and souls. The film has much going for it. Good story, artful direction, excellent acting, and some fine philosophical points of contention to gnaw on a bit. Is it better than The Exorcist? Yes and no. It does not carry the impact of that film, nor does it in anyway contain the shocking scenes that film employed. No crucifix masterbation here, etc.. In fact no one dies in this film. What it lacks in scares is really a better sense of what an exorcism is and what the rite actually meant. Interesting to me but perhaps not to all. So if you want some intelligent horror...look no further. Watch The Exorcist again too...another great film in its own way.
I just saw this movie a few nights ago and even though the plot was
predictable in places, the performances make it worth watching. Timothy
Dalton's portrayal of a priest tormented by wartime flashbacks was quite
believable and almost moving in parts. The exorcism rituals and events are
more believable than those in The Exorcist and your don't need any
Catholic upbringing to keep up.
Other than the paranormal events which occur, one can almost believe the child is simply a severely psychotic individual with a fixation on the afterlife and demonic imagery, which lends an air of credibility to the presentation. If you chose to believe the events have been exaggerated and the paranormal occurrences did not occur as documented then this story should sit well with you. Even those that take the account as accurate as told will find the story quite gripping.
Regardless of your level of belief I think just about all will find this story well told in this movie. Your disbelief will not need to be suspended very much to walk away from this film with a good impression.
I watched this movie on Showtime when it aired for the very first time. I really enjoyed it as it was based upon a true story. I found out in the past year that this particular story was the main inspiration for "The Exorcist." I now own the movie on DVD. I also found it a great deal more scary than "The Exorcist" since it was based upon a true story. I am really into true story type movies. I really hope that other people enjoy this movie. I hope to someday travel to the town and search out the place where they were finally able to successfully exorcise what was inside of the boy. I also felt that Timothy Dalton was excellent in his role and he made his character more human and someone the general public could be empathetic to.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(imdb has a bug and I gotta write the entire review yet again.) Hate it
when that happens.
It's been a long time since I've seen a TV movie that was this good. Clearly from the course language, it probably was not on cbs. But I rented this film after seeing a rather large cross Timothy Dalton carried on the DVD cover.
This DVD is about as bare bones as DVD's come. No CC (is that legal?) no DVD menu's. Plays just like a videotape. But a surprisingly good film. Christopher Plummer is wasted in the film. Then I'm glad to see that guy from Mission Impossible. I haven't seen him since that movie. But the real star is Timothy Dalton. Very excellent acting on his part. Almost makes me want to see his other non bond films.
The movie isn't scary though. However it doesn't come across as silly like The Exorcist. But comes no where near The Omen.
I wish the DVD had more backstory. It says it's based on a true story. But most of it looks like directors license to me. It's also a film that actually shows priests looking up info in the library without top notch security. Which usually shows catholics in bad light. (Stigmata) I think they came off quite well in this film.
Quality: 9/10 Entertainment: 10/10 Replayable: 10/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the first underrated films of the new millennium, Timothy Dalton
stars in a most gripping look at the art of Exorcism by taking the
actual case, making minor changes for the cinema screen and ultimately
delving into the emotional aspects of the boy and his family.
All doubters of this film complain that it completely rips off The Exorcist and rehashes all aspects that made the 1973 blockbuster a hit, but while there may be many things similar, including the suffering the boy goes through in the duration of his possession, you cannot help but realise the genius behind this movie: this is what really happened.
None of the characters are fictional, this boy Robbie was really possessed. And with such classic elements of real occurrences, including the urine expulsion; words on the skin and furniture movement, it's hard to really put this movie down on your blacklist unless you are ignorant and nailed to the fictional story of The Exorcist.
Don't expect to be frightened by this movie, rather intrigued. This is not a scary movie, it is simply an interesting film detailing the only American Demonic Possession recorded.
Overall, 8/10, the directing and screenplay was brilliant, however the actor playing the possessed child was an awful choice, with amateurish handling and this child looking like he's having too much fun playing the role. This being a big change from the Exorcist, where Linda Blair went mad after filming and underwent serious councelling to regain her head.
This movie is compelling viewing. There's not many people who haven't seen the Exorcist, which now looks rather jaded after almost 30 years. This movie does not glamourise evil in fact it shows the human weaknesses of the priest who is played by former 007 Timothy Dalton. A very compelling movie
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(THERE ARE SPOILERS) Said to be based on the only documented exorcism
in modern time the movie "Possessed" in it's own crazy and mind blowing
way shows it's audience just why exorcisms are so strongly avoided by
the Catholic Church. They end up driving everyone involved in them out
of their minds. The case of Father Willam Bowden, Timothy Dalton, is a
perfect example in that when you play with fire, or in this case the
Devil, you end up getting both burned and possibly committed.
Father Bowden is troubled with an event that happened when he was a Chaplin on the Western Front for the US Army in WWII. On All Saints Day, November 1, 1944, Bowden freaked out and didn't come to the aid, in giving him the last rites, of a wounded comrade who was dying from a blast of lead he received from a German submachine gun. It's was moments later that Bowden himself was run trough with a bayonet that almost killed him.
Back in the states in Saint Louis MO. Father Bowden gets himself involved in a case of demonic possession that has little 11 year-old boy Robbie Mannheim, Jonahan Malen,doing things that defy scientific explanation. Making furniture move at will and levitating off his bed as well as pucking and relieving himself with so much bodily fluids that even a full grown elephant's stomach or bladder couldn't hold has his parents Mr. & Mrs. Mannheim,Michael Rhoades & Phyllis Lawson, very worried indeed. They think that their little Robbie is going insane.
It's only when Robbie attacked Reverend Eckardt, Richard Waugh, causing him to have 66 stitches in his right arm that it was decided to look into using the church, via a church sanctioned exorcism, to help the very troubled and disturbed young man.
At first being against the exorcism Archbishop Hume, Christopher Plummer, agrees to it if only that it's kept from the public and the Catholic Church involvement is totally covered up. It's then that Father Bowden and his assistant Father McBride,Henry Czerny, are given the go ahead to preform the act. It takes a while until both Fathers Bowden & McBride realize just how difficult this exorcism of little Robbie will be. The two Catholic priests have to go through at least three different exorcism's until they finally get the Devil, who's trying to take over Robbie's body and soul, to show himself. This all leads to the movies unbelievable and shocking climax where Father Bowden acts and looks like a man possessed not by the Holy Spirit but the Devil himself!
Timothy Dalton is without a doubt really enjoying his role as Father Bowden as he seem to be so into it that you don't for a moment feel that he's acting. The guy is so caught up in the role of the tormented, from his guilt feelings in WWII, Catholic Priest that he comes across even more deranged as well as possessed then the already off the wall Robbie ever was in the movie. Johathan Malen as Robbie actually does a far better job then even Linda Blair did as the possessed 12 year-old girl in the original "Exorcist". Without garish makeup and his head turning around in circles, which was far more comical then scary when Miss Blair did it, Malen was far more convincing as a child possessed by the Devil then Linda Bair ever was.
The movie "Possesed" also has Piper Laurie as Robbie's Aunt Hanna who's part in the young boys problems, demonic possession, is never really explained. Aunt Hanna seemed to have gotten Robbie into the occult science's, with things like playing with a wee-gee board, but died too soon, about ten minutes into the film, to really account for the wild and crazy things that happened after she left the scene. Or did Aunt Hanna from beyond the grave orchestrate everything that happened to both Robbie and Father Bowden after her sudden demise?
The biggest problem with this movie is the kid. Ginger hair and freckles?
Possessed by the Devil. Its not scary, its hilarious. The kid does a
job, but he is horribly miscast. Timothy Dalton redeems things a bit with
convincing performance, which must have been almost impossible given the
As a story it almost succeeds. As a scary movie it sucks.
Yes, or course there are the usual amount of cliched semi-plots that add to
the character development and have nothing to do with the story, but
POSSESSED is quite good. Not really scary to me, but if you are a religious
person, then it is quite possible that this movie will f*** you in the head!
So be warned. Take the same warning for THE EXORCIST. Both of these films
are similar (because one inspired the other) and they are both
The ending of this film was not as good as I was hoping, but the rest of the film was pretty much everything I wanted. The acting is cheesy in some cases, but Timothy Dalton and Christopher Plummer both do good. I recommend all those other demon movies, like THE EXORCIST, END OF DAYS, LOST SOULS, BLESS THE CHILD, and STIGMATA.
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