A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl's father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.
New York police officer Ralph Sarchie investigates a series of crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest, schooled in the rites of exorcism, to combat the possessions that are terrorizing their city.
The basketball coach Clyde and his wife Stephanie divorced a couple of months ago and their teenage daughter Hannah and the girl Emily 'Em' live with their mother and spend the weekends with their father. One day, Clyde stops his car in a yard sale and Em buys an antique carved box and becomes obsessed with it. Em finds the hidden lock and releases an evil spirit that possesses her. Soon Clyde discovers that Em has a problem, but his annoying ex-wife and her boyfriend Brett do not pay attention to him and get a restraining order against Clyde. Clyde seeks out Professor McMannis and when he sees the box, he explains that it is a Dibbuk Box, where a fiend is trapped inside. He also explains that the box should not be open; otherwise the person will be possessed by the spirit. Now Clyde travels to a Jewish community in New York and the rabbi's son Tzadok returns with him expecting to exorcise Em to save the girl. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The book that the father brings into the house and reads at Emma's bedside is the ArtScroll/Mesorah edition of the Tenach (Jewish Bible = Old Testament), first published in 1996, and he is reading from the English translation of Psalm 91. That edition follows the Orthodox affectation of using "HaShem" (literally, 'THE Name') where most other English versions have "The Lord"; the same substitution occurs in the Hebrew prayers recited in the synagogue and exorcism scenes. See more »
The Hebrew writing on the side of box in the opening scene appears upside down in relation to the lid and apparently spells out "Dibbuk" backwards. The writing on the lid apparently is backwards Hebrew for "You shall see the punishment of evil". See more »
The parallels between this film and The Exorcist are obvious even from the trailers, so I won't go too far into that. Just suffice it to say that The Possession contains none of the impact or shock value that The Exorcist has. In short, it's just not as good of a film.
However, in its own right, it's a pretty competent horror movie. The story of the central characters is kind of cliché. Husband and wife have divorced, they share custody of the children, there's a new boyfriend/girlfriend in the picture, etc. This type of set up is always convenient when dealing with a "messed up kid" film. That way whatever is wrong with the child can inevitably be blamed on the fact that the child is just not dealing well with the break up of his or her parents. And that's exactly what happens in The Possession; except there is actually something VERY wrong with the youngest daughter and it has absolutely nothing to do with her parents. Without giving away too much, the plot centers around an ancient wooden box the youngest daughter finds at a yard sale. Of course she wants it, and so she gets it. And there begins to occur some rather strange phenomena; most of them downright spooky, a couple kind of hokey.
All in all, I was pleased. This film has got good pacing, decent acting, and exceptional cinematography. There's not much I can find as a fault here. If I had to name my major complaint about this and similar movies it would be this: I'm not thrilled about the influx of PG-13 horror films. I've a suspicion this is due to a need to bring in a wider audience (younger viewers/teenagers), and make more money on ticket sales. Because of this the final product tends to be a little too watered down for my tastes. The Possession shows a lot of promise, but I can't help but wish the writers/director would have pushed the envelope a bit more; fleshed out the story. Then it would have been great. As it stands now, I'll just say it's a "good" little horror film. Nothing that will be talked about this time next year, but I consider my money well spent.
My rating: 6.5/10
50 of 68 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?