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So this movie was not for everyone, I personally thought this movie was
An exorcism movie that does not involve the devil is refreshing to see, and the experience of the movie is played out quite well in the pacing and how events unfold. The fact it features the Jewish religion over Christianity is a very nice touch, one you rarely see in a movie of this style as most people hear exorcism and assume the Catholic church. While many may complain it is too slow, and other such things let me ask you this question.
What were you expecting from a movie that was purely plot driven?
Personally the acting was also great, I could empathize with the characters and understand them. The father was just worried about his daughter, who hid her signs of the problem well until things got bad. I mean when it really showed and she was hitting the kid at school, that looked like something that night happen in school over even something small like a favorite pencil or item. There was in my opinion no weak performances in the acting, coupled with a solid and strong story makes for quite a good movie.
Lastly the execution was some of the best I had seen this far, it flowed and was not jumpy like say the bourne movies. Nothing was out of place and the movie felt creepy and eerie throughout with all of the silence that you could almost hear in many parts of it. If your looking for a truly good movie that will have you walking away satisfied this is one of them.
It is a well written, acted, and executed movie that while it may seem slow moving is well worth the watch. Think of it what you will, but I recommend this movie as one of my top ten movies of 2012.
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
The Possession (2012)
*** (out of 4)
Extremely well-made and well-acted horror film about a recently divorced father (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who buys his youngest daughter (Natasha Calis) a seemingly innocent box at a yard sale but soon the girl's behavior starts to change. The title pretty much tells you what happens to the little girl and I'm sure many of you are out there wondering if we really needed another possession movie. The answer is yes and especially since this one here turned out so well. I think you have to give the filmmakers a lot of credit for tackling a familiar sub-genre and being able to make it work without resorting to cheap, loud noise scares that seem to be attached to all horror movies today. I thought there were a lot of reasons why this film worked but one is the fact that you care about the father and feel his pain for losing someone close to him. The personal drama is something that THE EXORCIST used so well and the filmmakers here borrow from that and make sure the viewer can care about what's going on. Another strong point are the performances with Jeffrey Dean Morgan doing a fantastic job in the role of the father. It's rare to see horror films with such strong performances but Kyra Sedgwick is also strong as the mother. Calis is terrific in her bit as the young girl who finds herself falling apart. The limited special effects are good for what they are but we also get an incredibly effective music score. I didn't care for some of the style given to the film including the fast cuts to a black screen but this was just a minor issue. Still, THE POSSESSION gives a shot of energy to a genre that has so far in 2012 delivered one bomb after another.
Based on the allegedly haunted Dybbuk box, 'The Possession' is a fairly
interesting watch, that works in parts & Jeffrey Dean Morgan Delivers A
Super Performance! He's in Complete Form this time around!
'The Possession' Synopsis: 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.
'The Possession' works in parts. The second-hour is pretty good, but the First-Hour is slow & not very engaging. The Climax stands out, its spooky & nicely done. Juliet Snowden & Stiles White's Screenplay works in parts. Ole Bornedal's Direction is a plus-point. Cinematography & Editing are good.
Performance-Wise: Jeffrey Dean Morgan is up for top honors. He's in Complete Form this time around! Kyra Sedgwick is decent. Natasha Calis delivers aptly. Madison Davenport & Matisyahu support well.
On the whole, 'The Possession' is a fairly interesting watch.
I was on holiday visiting my friend in Sacramento, California, and we decided to go to the movies. Our choice was between this movie and another called 'The Apparition'. We opted for this one as creepy kids always seem to make a horror movie much more appealing. Usually, I avoid possession films. I can't even force myself to consider 'the exorcist' a horror classic. I just think possession and exorcism films are always poorly done and are slightly altered versions of each other. However, seeing the trailer of this film beforehand made me want to see this movie and again, the little girl Emily 'Natasha Calis' drew me in. I thought this film had an interesting storyline which kept me gripped throughout and superb performances by the cast, especially Natasha Calis who portrays the little girl Emily who is possessed throughout the film. Without giving away any spoilers, I felt the ending was well done and made me leave the theatre thanking the screenplay writer for a non-stereotypical ending - well done! This film is definitely worth a watch. I may even buy it on DVD when it's released. It's not your average 'lets walk down the stairs backwards and puke over a priest' possession movie. It's well acted, well written and well worth a see. It has some jumpy moments for those who aren't desensitised to the ways of a horror movie but mainly it's gripping and you want to find out what's in that box.. GO SEE IT! I hope to see the young cast in some more films in the future! Loved it!
'THE POSSESSION': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
A Jewish exorcism film for a change! This one revolves around Jewish folklore of the Dybbuk Box (which began in the 1920s), a box used to contain an evil Jewish demon. A father and his two daughters buy the box at a garage sale and one of the young girls becomes possessed by the demon inside it. The film was produced by Sam Raimi (and released through his horror studio 'Ghost House Pictures') and directed by Ole Bornedal. It was written by Juliet Snowden and Stiles White (who also co-wrote the Sam Raimi produced horror film 'BOOGEYMAN' and the Nicolas Cage thriller 'KNOWING') and stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick. The movie plays out like a pretty routine possession movie but it does have some pretty nice scares in it and the dybbuk storyline is interesting.
The film is based on an article by LA Times reporter Leslie Gornstein, called 'Jinx in A Box', about the history of the Dybbuk Box which was brought to America by a Holocaust survivor and passed around to various people who all reported horrific experiences from it. In the film a young girl named Em (Natasha Calis) finds the box at a garage sale and asks her dad, Clyde (Morgan), to buy it for her. Clyde was recently divorced from his wife, Stephanie (Sedgwick), and has his two daughters, Em and Hannah (Madison Davenport), for the weekend. Em takes the box home and opens it and soon strange occurrences begin happening. This causes further conflict between Clyde and Stephanie as Clyde is blamed for his daughter's strange behavior. Clyde soon discovers Em's possessed and learns the history of the box. He then travels to a local Hasidic community for help and enlists the assistance of a young jew named Tzadok (Matisyahu), who is able to perform exorcisms.
Bornedal also directed (as well as wrote) the Danish thriller 'NIGHTWATCH' and it's 1997 American remake of the same name (although Steven Soderbergh rewrote that screenplay) starring Ewan McGregor. He also directed and co-wrote the 2007 Danish horror film 'THE SUBSTITUTE' (also released by Ghost House Pictures, in America). I'm not familiar with his work but I really liked his directing on this film. It has that classic campy horror feel to it, with touches that had to be influenced by Sam Raimi (as it often feels like one of his films). The movie is often funny, in seemingly unintentional ways, but it's never too over the top. The comedy never takes you out of the creepy mood of the film and although the script is routine the film is always intriguing, thanks to the excellent filmmaking. Morgan is good in the lead and Natasha Calis is also impressive in the pivotal creepy role. To many it might just seem like a bad horror film but if you're a fan of the genre you'll probably get a big kick out of it's style and the enormous fun it has with the material.
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am a huge fan of the exorcism movie genre and this movie just simply
did not meet my expectations.
Now, before I go on to say that this movie was all around bad I will first start off my saying it was not. The opening sequence was a great way to set the tone of what is to be a good film. The possessed child, Emily delivered her character very well and will always remain memorable, sort of like that of Isabelle Fuhrman (Orphan). whilst watching this film I couldn't help but be scared, the film delivers at being suspenseful and scary but not horrific. Special effects makeup, short demonic dialogue, the death of only 1 character and extreme harm to 2 characters does not in my opinion define horror. Lacking originality during the ending of the film I was reminded of "The Devil Inside" with the exorcism performed in the desolate hospital and the demon flipping out causing harm to her loved ones and the person performing the exorcism along with the demonic transitioning from the Daughter to the Father. In comparison "The Devil Inside", was from Mother to Daughter.
Originality in this film came from the Jewish exorcist. Not done before, every one of this films predecessors turn to Christian exorcist to perform exorcisms, so that was a plus. As well as the families struggles which remains relate-able to all viewers in some shape, way or form.
I won't spend to much time with this any longer but I did like the film as an overall production just expected a little more based on the teasers and trailers especially since the first Exorcist movie (Linda Blair) still remains a perfect 10 therefore, the best in its genre. I only wish that production companies would stop being so hasty to release films that just does not live up to its expected genre.
Let me start of by saying that The Possession is far from a horrible
film. It's well put together, reasonably well acted, etc., but there's
nothing to really recommend rushing out to see it.
Any true horror fan will tell you that 2012 has been slim pickings for theatrical horror films. The ones we've gotten have ranged from decent (The Woman in Black) to extremely divisive (The Cabin in the Woods). Sadly, The Possession is not going to be our saving grace this year.
I will give The Possession props for attempting to give its characters some sort of backstory and dramatic through line, especially since that's something horror filmmakers have been forgetting to put in for years. It seems they forget that it helps if we get to know the people who are about to be terrorized if they expect us to feel any sympathy for them. The family unit is quite likable thanks to some game performances, but something about it feels manufactured and unrealistic as if the writers are trying too hard.
Once the real action of the film starts and little Emily starts acting strange, the film pulls a lot of punches and never does anything interesting or original with the material. It's Exorcist-lite. It would be as if the Disney Channel tried turning The Exorcist into a TV movie for their network. It takes a lot of the dread and danger out of the last act of the film.
Also, forget about scares. No one in my audience even jumped at the film's many attempts at "boo" scares. There's a good effort to build up the dread for the first 30/45 minutes of the film, but it plateaus there and never pays off.
Like I said, The Possession is not a terrible film (nowhere near as abysmal as this year's The Devil Inside), just a dull one with nothing new to offer and no surprises to make it worth seeing. I really don't even think it's rental material. Skip it!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some people who also wrote reviews mentioned that they thought that
there were many plot holes, and in general this movie was not "scary."
There are more than just one type of scary. While some aspects of the
film are flawed (the plot was predictable, as are all possession movies
are) for the most part, it was, while not a great "horror movie" a good
The movie opens extremely fast, but after that, slows down to an almost complete stop. However, the intensity of the film builds from there as the story progresses, and you start to feel the suspense. Now while this movie is not particularly scary, there are several aspects in it that particularly me out. For one, the transformation that the daughter goes through is horrific. You start to see her go from an innocent little girl, to something that isn't even remotely human, something that has no emotion or care.
Secondly, you see the family being torn apart as the malicious spirit delves deeper and deeper into the little girl, taking control of her, hurting her. You can see the little girl lost as the demon ravages her body like a plague, like she's looking through a window, lost to the world.
In addition to this, the story is pretty well thought out. One of the above reviewers said that, though the moths have several appearances in the film, they do not have a substantial role in the film, that they were put there just because, "The director likes moths." If they would have taken the time to pay attention to the film, they would have realized that the reason that the moths are there is because one of the people who had formerly been possessed by the spirit had put a moth in the box in order to bind the spirit. A little research and you would find that if a creature, living or dead, is put in a box like the one in the movie, then the spirit can take that form, or manipulate creatures of its like. Another example of this is the tooth. She was able to cause the mother's boyfriend's teeth to fall out purely because other teeth had been placed in the box, giving her, the demon, the ability to manipulate them.
There are also several moments in the film that are scary purely because the imagery is so detailed and believable. An example of this would be the scene where Em is getting the MRI. The lights flicker, the screens flash images, and then suddenly a face forms. A face that you can clearly see is moving, though the pictures had already been taken. Really creepy. Not scary, but creepy.
The ending was slightly unexpected, maybe a little unbelievable, but it added to the overall feeling of the film: gloom, depression, desperation, unfairness. Despite what other people said, I think that this film was great. They should see it not for a film of the horror genre, but of suspense. And while the movie is not scary, it certainly is creepy.
This movie is very good for a horror film
It starts off well and you have very good characters, the father in the film is a very good actor.
Overall the directing of the movie is excellent, all the pieces fit together well and you understand the story. A lot of horror films fail in the directing as things are mismatched and no one knows what is is going on.
It is a very well told story that develops into lots of thrills and scares
It is not a gory film which is very good but it keeps you entertained all the way through
The characters are excellent and interesting, the acting is good so this keeps you gripped all the way through
Overall an enjoyable film and does the job of a good horror film
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