The Possession (2012) Poster

(I) (2012)

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5/10
Based on a true story, my arse.
BA_Harrison23 November 2017
The Possession—not to be confused with Possession (1981), Amityville II: The Possession (1982), The Possessed (2017), The Possession of Michael King (2014), or countless other films based around demonic possession and exorcism—is about as inspired as its title.

The story is cookie-cutter stuff, The Exorcist given a Jewish spin, and sees a young girl, Em (Natasha Calis), buying a box from a yard sale unaware that it contains an evil spirit called a Dybbuk. On opening the box, Em becomes possessed by the Dybbuk, much to the horror of her recently divorced parents (Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick), who call in a Jewish priest (Matisyahu) to cast the spirit out.

Director Ole Bornedal rattles off all the expected genre clichés and numerous less-than-effective jump scares whilst simultaneously leaving several plot threads dangling (where did Brett drive off to after his teeth fell out? What was the significance of the moths? Why did the Dybbuk stop some people using supernatural force but allow others to seek help? Why does the spirit leave Em and enter Clyde at the end?). The result is a mediocre movie at best.

4.5 out of 10, rounded up to 5 for IMDb.
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7/10
delightfully disorientating
re-animatresse28 October 2017
i was interested in this film mainly for its Jewish take on possession horror, a subgenre overly saturated with Christian motifs. my knowledge of Jewish theology and lore is virtually nonexistent, though, so i couldn't tell you how accurate the story is in that regard

the film has its own unique style, with some odd camera angles, uneven pacing and a meandering piano-driven score that recalls memories of banging randomly on the low-octave end of my grandmother's piano as a child. all of these elements combine to create a near-constant sense of disorientation. i've never been affected in this way by a film before

Natasha Calis, who would have been 12 or 13 at the time of production, is excellent in the role of possessee. the story and effects never stray far from the typical Hollywood possession horror, and most of the suspense is generated through the score, via increasing volume and repetition, à la Carpenter's Halloween

despite the strict adherence to formula of the plot, i rather enjoyed this movie and expect it will leave a lasting impression. go ahead and give it a chance if the trailer looks intriguing
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7/10
Film has incredible potential it mostly doesn't live up to
tamirzy20 September 2017
For starters I should say that halfway through the movie, until that point, I honestly felt this was one of the finest horror movies I'd seen, the acting is great, the settings (the grim and empty feeling of the new house when they just sit down for dinner), yet one fused with just good classic American style family dialogues and interactions between teen daughters and their dad (which, I should state gave a serious boost to the movie for me- the father portrayed by JDM, his presence is almost spiritual to me in it's incredible fatherly, graceful decorum and personality), the scenes where he coaches his team, etc..I simply found it superbly well made. There are however some problems with this film - first of all, I think the potential in the storyline is transcendental, it's just magnificent, (I mean, the whole idea of Jewish lore and real haunted traditional Jewish object, wise rabbis who of course are just so much more awesome than some pisspoor Christian priest, and the buildup and adventure and amazing references that could have been implemented in the film...) - well that's the problem, the potential and expectations for what this could have been in my book is so amazing, that it would be hard to execute it ideally, but I maintain the efforts weren't even half-way enough, it falls pretty flat once the whole "turn to Judaism" thing starts, and disappoints severely imo, and it just keeps spiraling down from there, to where it gets "choppy", too fast paced and all in all just disappointing to me. To sum up, I'd say this movie in idea is divinely great, as a whole it disappoints direly, but if you're looking for a ghost movie that's just easy to watch ,well acted (and with great actors c'mon Jeffrey Dean Morgan fcs)and with a nifty idea based on a real haunted object, go for it. :)
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10/10
Worth watching
eligri4 July 2017
First off, let me say, this movie is a 7/10. I only rated it 10/10 to even out the unfair grade it currently has (5.9/10).

I watch a lot of movies, of all genres and ages. I have watched hundreds of horror films, and generally like possession/haunting ones the most. This movie is far better than average, and decently entertaining. Not super scary; but by-far scarier than a lot of other movies classified as horror.

Watch the movie, it's far better than what people here are giving it credit for.
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9/10
A creep-fest
Maurizio4 May 2017
I read many negative reviews about this film, I just don't get them. This totally worked for me. The atmosphere is just perfect, building at a slow but constant pace, the story, within the reference system of the exorcism movies, is original, the acting goes from good to excellent (the little girl is amazing with her evil stares) and the scares are there, believe me. Not your usual loud noises or semi- open doors with a shadow beyond them, here it is the story itself that is scary. I don't know how much about the reference to a true story claimed at the beginning is true, but it doesn't really matter. What matters to me, is that while I was watching this movie alone in the night, some creaking noise came from somewhere in my house and I distinctly felt creeps going all over my body. And I'm not an easily scared teenager, I'm 46 and I started watching horror movies when I was about 10. I think I watched hundreds of them. But just seldom one of them gave me the creeps like this one did. Super-recommended!
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10/10
Amazingly effective variation on a theme
mournblade-5644111 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
How could you not like this? If your complaint is the idea's been done before then everything produced after Shakespeare is repetition, everything's a variation on a theme, and what a variation! Acting is superb, the adults are well known but the kids are amazing, both girls, and if the kids can't cut it in horror then you've lost it. But they go above and beyond, the youngest produces a perfect balance of both her characters, demon & child, and never muddles them or seems unable to deliver (where do they find these kids?). Nice minimalist use of effects, great story, first class production. The Jewish twist (every belief has evil) is brilliant & fresh. The box is a perfect vehicle as the center of creepiness. The small but important detail of the youngest girl's tears is poignantly terrifying as it reveals, when you think its only the demon, that she is still trapped in there... that was so subtle and incredibly effective. It even had a real jerk that gets his comeuppance... what more could you ask for?
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2/10
Too trivial
Claire8 April 2017
This film did not like it. In my opinion it is too trivial. There are scenes viewed hundreds of other films. I am disappointed, because the producers of this film have beautiful horror. The acting is good. Also good cast. Unfortunately, the downside is history, like any other possession. Sometimes it was also fun. Unfortunately, for me it is Not recommended!
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3/10
Not for Me
fouregycats4 March 2017
After The Exorcist, I find movies about possession to be unoriginal and tedious, and this one was no different.

Add to it a very annoying character - the mother of the possessed girl, played by Kyra Sedgwick complete with the bitchy ex-wife thing going full speed, made me start walking away from the screen before the film was half over.

But if you like this kind of thing, go for it. It's well produced and acted, with some minor gross-outs to keep it interesting. But it's mediocre to the end.
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4/10
"The Possession"- A bland retread of far better films that came before. Saved from complete obscurity by a few fun moments and a likable cast.
MaximumMadness28 October 2016
It occurs to me that there is something arguably far worse than a film falling short or turning out objectively bad. It may seem slightly strange, but even bad films have their value. They make you feel something. And while it may not be particularly pleasant, in making you feel something- even something bad, they have given you at least a bit of a fulfilling emotional experience. But what could be worse than a bad experience with a movie? A wholly empty and forgettable one. That's what.

Perhaps most notable as one of the few horror movies to approach its story from the perspective of Jewish mythology and faith, "The Possession" is a 2012 horror film inspired by the alleged true story of the haunted Dybbuk Box- a container used to capture and hold a malevolent and highly malicious spirit. The story behind it is quite the fascinating one, with just enough odd coincidences and dark turns to make you question whether or not it actually be true. And perhaps the most tragic thing about this film is that despite a fairly stellar cast, a good production team and a handful of great moments, it cannot even begin to compare to the story that served as its main inspiration. Instead, it trades the mysterious circumstances of what allegedly occurred for run-of-the-mill jumps and a second-act tonal shift that leads into a prolonged and half-baked redux of old-school exorcism films. The result is a sadly disappointing and wholly forgettable experience in recycled scares and scenes we've seen done far better many a time before.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan stars as newly-divorced father Clyde Brenek, who is trying to maintain a healthy and positive relationship with his children despite his marriage ending. When he buys his daughter Emily (Natasha Calis) a mysterious box at a yard sale, strange phenomena begin to plague he and his children. It seems that the box has a dark and depraved history and that the malevolent spirits attached to it are trying to take over Emily's body for their own devious reasons. And so, Clyde must seek the help of the Hasidic community (including the character Tzadok, portrayed by musician Matisyahu) in order to save Emily's soul.

To be fair, there are a handful of strong elements at play. Morgan and Calis make for a very enjoyable set of lead characters, and their chemistry as father and daughter is generally believable. It helps keep just enough interest for you to want to see how it all plays out. Matisyahu is also quite good in his role, and gives us a nice new take on the classic image of an exorcist. Competent visual direction by Ole Bornedal is nicely complimented with an adequately moody score by Anton Sanko. And one deliciously creepy scene involving tooth decay will make any horror fan's skin crawl. It's the one stand out scare-sequence in the entire film and it's likely the only thing that will stick with you long after you've easily forgotten everything else about it.

Unfortunately, these elements are at the service of an otherwise completely and utterly unremarkable and unmemorable mish-mash of bland, undeveloped characters and plot lines. It's such a disappointment when a film tries to take a new look at familiar territory by creating new perspectives to explore... only to fall back on the most glaring and obvious of clichés and tropes. Nothing is taken proper advantage of. The idea of exploring a horror film through Jewish mythology is a lot of fun... but it's little more than an afterthought here. The demon possession angle can be fun and affords a lot of creative motifs and sequences... but we just get ho-hum retreads of sequences that we saw back in the 70's. Having a strong male character in a single father is a nice change-up to the standard use of a single-mom in similar movies... but the characters are so basic, it amounts to nothing.

The fact of the matter is, the only reason I saw the film to begin with is because it was crudely shoved into a boxed-set of other much-more entertaining films I purchased (including the subversive black comedy "Cabin in the Woods" and chilling creepfest "Sinister"), and I get the feeling that was the only way the studio could move copies of it on home video. It's such a bland retread, that chances are, you won't remember it a day after you see it. And to me, that's one of the ultimate sins a movie can make.

I'm giving "The Possession" a sub-par 4 out of 10. It's not offensive in any way, nor is it remarkable in any way. It's merely amongst the most forgettable horror films I've seen in recent years, and it's a real shame as there was high potential for a startling and original tale. It just failed to meet even a sliver of this potential.
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8/10
Another possessed little girl movie, that actually is not that bad.
When their youngest daughter, Em, played by Natasha Calis (The Harvest, Christmas Caper), becomes strangely obsessed with an antique wooden box bought from a yard sale. The parents Clyde, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen, The Losers) and Stephanie, played by Kyra Sedgwick (Born on the Fourth of July, Kill Your Darlings) see little cause for alarm. However, Em becomes increasingly unstable, leading the couple to fear the presence of a supernatural force. Clyde and Stephanie learn that the box contains a a dislocated spirit (a demonic Jew) that inhabits, and ultimately devours a human host. Did we all see a film like this before?

Even though we have gotten films like this over, and over, and over again. The Possession is actually not that bad. The possessed box really is an as$h*le! In the beginning, an old woman owns this box. The box literally goes Brock Lesnar on this woman; kicking her butt left and right. The old woman has a yard sale, and our main characters go do this yard sale to buy dishes (they could have just went to Wal-Mart). When they purchase the box, and take it home. That's when the cute little girl becomes creepy, strange, going fight club on herself, and possession comes into play.

The movie does become a typical possessed little girl film. But as the film goes on, it does try to be a little more original, and visually it is stunning. The film is produced by Sam Raimi (Evil Dead, Spider - Man). I believe this helps the film, and gives the film more credibility. Even though I would have preferred him to direct this.

I like when the film truly builds up tension, and it cuts to black. It reminded me of some Stanley Kubrick's work we've seen. So believe the film is directed well. I thought this was an interesting fact, the rabi in this film is actually a Jewish Reggae singer, according to IMDb. I just think it's interesting, I didn't realize they were making those now, (Just Kidding). Also, the young girl in this movie Natasha Calis, was phenomenal in this movie. she acts better than some adults. In some scenes she is so cute, innocent, and wide eyed. Other scenes she is evil as can be.

My only little nit pick of a complaint about the film is it could have been longer. More character development, tension, etc.

So these are my final Bitchin' Buddha thoughts on The Possession. The Possession is a well acted, fun midnight movie, builds up tension, and overall a good movie. It does follow the same format we've seen. On the other hand, it truly does try, builds tension, and wants to be original. I believe The Possession earns a...

8/10!

This Review is brought to you by Boogie Buddha, and remember, don't just get down, but get Boogie. Thank you all for reading, and viewing, and I hope you have an amazing day as always. :)
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8/10
The POSSESSION: The Exorcist .... Right to Left
sussmanbern19 May 2016
If you're a bit tired of the suggestion in the various demon possession flicks that only the Roman Catholic Church has the cure, then maybe this is the film for you. In THE POSSESSION we have the basics of The Exorcist, only in a Jewish vein. If you have not seen The Exorcist, and you see this first then you might consider The Exorcist a pale imitation. A little girl acquires, at a yard sale, a mysterious box. It contains a dybbuk - a wandering soul, an angry ghost, eager to inhabit and torment a living person. (The craftsman who produced this box for the movie evidently took the matter seriously enough that he spelled dybbuk backwards on the box, in Hebrew, as if there was a risk in labelling it so the ghost could read it.) Since the box was of Judaic origin, a rabbi is approached for a solution. .... We don't have heads spinning around but it is nice to know that Hebrew prayers are just as efficacious as Latin ones.

There is a hint, at the end, of a sequel - but maybe not.
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4/10
They're still making these?
Leofwine_draca9 November 2015
THE POSSESSION is yet another vanilla-flavoured American version of a Japanese ghost film. This one's not a remake for a change, but the similarities and scare sequences appear to have been liberally borrowed from the likes of THE GRUDGE remake and others besides. Unsurprisingly, Sam Raimi's production company Ghost House Pictures is behind this, producers of THE GRUDGE and its sequels.

This time around, the plot revolves around an old box that might just have a demon hiding inside it. The box comes into the possession of a young girl and the rest of the film is a knock off of THE EXORCIST and all the other demonic possession type films you can think of. There are a few startling scenes here, but for most of the running time THE POSSESSION is a bland, predictable bore, shoehorned into a PG-13 rating.

Danish director Ole Bornedal was once acclaimed for his thriller NIGHTWATCH but nowadays seems to be treading water. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was so memorable in WATCHMEN but his nice guy fatherly hero type is bland beyond belief, and the less said about Kyra Sedgwick the better. The child actors appear to think screaming and screeching all the while amounts to realistic acting, whereas in reality it's just annoying. THE POSSESSION is Hollywood film-making at its blandest.
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1/10
Not a movie, but an ideological brainwash
hairofthedog-2219512 October 2015
I'm surfing TV channels. Get to MUCH TV and a movie starts right away. Had it not been for the announcement "THE FOLLOWING IS BASED ON A TRUE STORY", I'd have never wasted my time watching this crap. But I am glad I did! It was quite a revelation to witness a sign of the times. The movie is made, and passed off as a true story, for no other purpose than to further strengthen religion, i.e., superstition, by the dent of Hollywood across the world, in general, and in an already religious-ridden country, that is, the USA, in particular. It is made by the same hands that, for example, for the eight years during the rein of George W. Bush, the American Dark Ages, put a ban on stem cell research, the future hope of medical science and therefore humanity,(an executive order Obama had to cancel within ours of coming into the White House)just to gain the votes of the religious right; the same hands that are bringing religion back in a myriad of ways and putting it smack in the middle of our educational, scientific, judicial, etc., institutions; by the same hands that are passing "freedom of religion" ("freedom", as true as this story,indeed!)bills in state after state; by the same hands that are robbing us of our secular system of government, i.e., the separation of church and state; by the same hands that, in nut shell, are bent on, and, unfortunately, succeeding in, dragging the world to the brink of barbarism and eventual destruction. With globalization no more classical world-wars are possible. But religion, hand in glove with barbarism throughout history,is even a more efficacious weapon to do just that. Within the said context, "THE FOLLOWING IS BASED ON A TRUE STORY", indeed!
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8/10
Slightly disappointing but still highly enjoyable
GL8417 August 2015
After buying a present for his estranged daughter, a man finds that the box contained a powerful demonic entity that slowly possesses her and eventually forces him to come to grips with the supernatural in order to finally beat it.

Overall this one was quite enjoyable if slightly flawed. Among the more positives aspects here is the fact that this one manages to great enhance the idea of her being possessed by really going for a more understated idea than usual to account for the growing suspicion, using nervous ticks, irrational outbursts of anger and turning away to hide the possession giveaways of eye-manipulations and eerie whispering that goes hand-in-hand with the obsessive fixation on the box which all manage to make the first half quite a bit of fun slowly spelling out it's tell-tale signs. When it does shift into higher gear in the second half with a more pronounced bit of supernatural displays, from the swarming bedroom of locusts and the demonic taunting that leads into the most disturbing scene in the whole film, it gets a lot of mileage out of her turn and becomes quite fun due to that being added on to the slow- building first half. The finale is all based around the actual exorcism of the demon and manages to run nicely enough by making the creatures' unusual origin a nice focal point away from the typical style usually found here which is quite nicely handled, along with the tense action and thrilling encounters within that make it quite exciting. These here are enough to raise this up enough over its few minor flaws. The biggest issue within this one is the fact that it manages to carry on with the oblivious parents and the doubting figures long after it's realistically feasible since it plays the big trump card of the infestation with locusts despite not being the slightest bit annoyed with them there so early on in the film that it should've been the start of trying to figure out what's wrong with her instead of being simply a great shock gag the way it comes off here which is pretty irrational in real life as that would warrant far more action on their account than is called for here. The other factor to account for here is the rather cliché note this one undertakes, feeling like pretty much every other paranormal haunting movie out there and plays through a lot of the same features as elsewhere in here which makes it feel really familiar along the way. Still, it's got enough positives to be enjoyable at least.

Rated PG-13: Violence, Language and intense scenes of children-in- jeopardy.
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4/10
Annoyingly loud and borderline intrusive without any novelty
quincytheodore10 August 2015
The Possession has done only one thing well: it follows the formula of "Look at that piece of possibly cursed box of questionable origin, there's no way it has some demonic entity that will make my life miserable". Everything plays out predictably, there are no surprises or twists, and the worst of all, it's not even scary. The movie is just annoyingly loud and poorly edited, I'd advise you use your money to watch the kiddie CG movies instead, they won't suck as much as this.

Look at the poster above, you'll be seeing some people puke moths, hands and even a Gollum. This trick is done so many times, it loses any suspense and resembles more of an eating disorder. Plot has a bit of value in the beginning as the family is in post-divorce aftermath, their relationships been fractured and set for harder situation to come. The sisters are good addition, since they look identical which might show how both of them cope with the possession, respectively. Instead, you'll be bombarded with series of gibberish that comes of that bloody box, things being broken in maximum volume and someone is always screaming.

I get the necessary blast of volume in horror movies, but this is just ridiculous in every levels, as if they are saying "HEY, IT'S SCARY! LOOK, SO SCARY!" every five minutes. At some point, I prepare myself for the next attempt of blowing my ear drums off, it's not even unintentionally funny anymore. There's also telekinesis parts where people are seemingly break dancing or doing lousy acrobatic while the soundtrack is trying so hard to hum unpleasant effect to convince the audience. Play dubstep remix instead and you have a hip hop dance video.

It's also unfortunate that the movie's editing is sometimes choppy, it could use more time to emphasis some scenes further and establish more ground for the build the next fright, instead they dwell longer on the divorce issue. It's a good concept for background, but it gets stale and offers only more excuses for people screaming at each other. It doesn't help that it uses every-so-cliché flashing lights, coupled that with the blaring audio, it's a torment to your senses.

If you like girl throwing tantrum because their parents are separated, seeing her gorging food to make herself obese and watching the parents watch Youtube videos with cinematic overly loud volume, still don't watch this. I honestly can't find any reason to recommend it, I actually would give it lower score if not for the "Based on true story" remark, because I don't want to mess with the creepy Dybbuk.
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5/10
Not the scariest but not terrible either...
RevRonster6 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The subject material to "The Possession" is your typical, a tad generic, demon possession affair and the scares that litter the film weren't very effective for me but the film didn't prove to be a complete waste of time.

Director Ole Bornedal has some very sharp visuals in the film and, even though it makes for predictable scares, it looks good along the way. Additionally, the entire cast is very, very good—with special mention to Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the father Clyde and Natasha Calis as the possessed daughter Em. The entire cast was great but those two were incredible! Finally, the film's final sequence where they attempt to exorcise the demon from the little girl is incredibly put together and meshes sound, light and shadow very well to make a very intense scene.

The film does suffer from being soaked in generic horror film territory, some plot issues, and scares that just didn't do anything for me but the story works for what it is and the points I mentioned previously made the film watchable and fairly decent. It's not great or memorable but it never really bored me.
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5/10
Some creepy moments but not at all satisfying
Lucabrasisleeps8 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
There is one thing that this movie clearly lacks. Originality. Not that I care much about that, but there are scenes which are clearly lifted from movies such as the Exorcist. And that is just disheartening to see the lead character acting out a scene which was done better by Ellen Burstyn in the Exorcist. Another problem is the main lead looks like Javier Bardem. I was watching the whole movie feeling sorry for the depths that Javier Bardem had sunk to. Thankfully the lead is not Bardem, instead it is some guy called Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Every horror movie cliché has been thrown together and I was cringing at the supposed domestic drama plot that was going on. The dialogues were so clichéd in these scenes. I did like the little girl's performance. She is effective even if the same character has been seen in countless movies.

So what happened to Brett? This is not a soap opera where a character can be removed just like that and just be ignored for the rest of the running time. That was one of the lamest scenes I have seen in a horror movie. At least give me a cool death scene or something. And if she is capable of this, how come others are safe? Is it because they are not expendable as Brett? How convenient.

Another problem relates to the entity being seen in the MRI. That is the first time I have seen something like that in a movie. It is absolutely ridiculous. Wouldn't doctors investigate that? Wouldn't it create an absolute storm in the medical community? And what about that over the top ending and exorcism scene? If they had to take so much precaution to take her to another room, how come nobody hears all the noise and asks questions? It surely wasn't a quiet affair.

Having said all this, there are some creepy scenes. The hospital scene (in the dark room) is a highlight. All this works because of the performance of the little girl. She is creepy as hell. I also liked the scene where the book is thrown out of Clyde's hand. The movie does have a lot of potential because of such scenes but it is spoilt by the tired clichés and the over the top execution in certain scenes.

Overall I am not so satisfied with it but it is watchable because of some creepy scenes.

5/10
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8/10
A quick review of "The Possession" (2012)
ericrnolan8 February 2015
Now THIS was a decent horror movie. "The Possession" (2012) was a well-directed and capably written yarn about a demon afflicting a divorced family via a cursed box. It had great acting all around, most notably by the possessed innocent (Natasha Calis) and especially her well meaning father (the talented and likable Jeffrey Dean Morgan). I'd give it an 8 out of 10.

My quibbles were minor. This is essentially a Jewish retread of "The Exorcist" (1973), with the Catholic clergyman and demon swapped out for a rabbi and a "dybbuk" (sp?). If you've seen "The Exorcist," you've basically seen this. There is some CGI-rendered body horror that seemed gimmicky and unneeded. And I hate movies where divorced families are magically reunited after facing a challenge together. (Does this ever happen in real life?)

Still, this was a scary flick and a fun watch. I'd recommend it.

https://ericrobertnolan.wordpress.com/
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5/10
limited tension for most of the movie
SnoopyStyle26 January 2015
An old lady tries to destroy a box with Hebrew craving but she is attacked by an invisible force. Basketball coach Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is recently divorced from his wife Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick). While their daughters Hannah (Madison Davenport) and Emily (Natasha Calis) are staying at his new house, they stop at a yard sale. Emily connects with the box and buys it. She finds a hidden release and opens the box. In it, she finds several containers. She puts on a ring found in one of the containers. Emily starts to change.

There is much new in the execution. There is a new kind of box but that's about it. There is a pretty cool scene of fingers coming out of the girl's throat but most of the best effects are left to the last act. That's probably its biggest problem. The movie is too boring for too long. The first half has limited tension and limited atmosphere. By the time the big climax happens, it's way too late.
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7/10
Not really based on a true story (but never mind!)
bowmanblue23 December 2014
The Possession is, as you have probably guessed, about a young girl who gets possessed by an evil spirit. Yes, the film is as original as that. However, despite a tired and overused premise, it does have one redeeming feature that makes it worth watching: the characters. They're nothing special, but I think that's the point. They're just an average (separated) family who don't overact or try and be too kooky. They're realistic and believable.

Then you have the children. Now, kids in movies are hit and miss at the best of times, let alone when a young actress is expected to act possessed and evil. Few can do it convincingly, but I think the girl in this has pulled it off.

The promotion claims that the film is 'based on a true story.' It's not. That would be silly. It is however based on a box, somewhere in Eastern Europe that (supposedly) trapped a demon in it. That's how 'based' it is, but never mind, just enjoy it for a decent supernatural horror flick.

Although, despite the characters, it's flaw lies in being little more than an updated Exorcist film. Any movie that deals with possession tends to follow a Three Step process. Step 1: Disbelief. When the surrounding characters wonder what's up with the possessed soul. Step 2: Research. Now, when the central character realised something is not right, they seek 'professional help,' i.e. someone who deals with the supernatural. In most cases, a catholic priest (in this case some Jewish Rabbis). Step 3: Confrontation. The demon must be confronted. Expect plenty of head-twisting and foul language.

Ultimately, The Possession is probably worth a watch if you like supernatural/possession movies (or are just generally a fan of The Exorcist). The characters are well-played enough to elevate it above the numerous similar horror films. However, it is little more than a present day Exorcist film (but there are still a few good and creepy scares along the way).

Think 'Gollum' from Lord of the Rings (if you watch the film all the way to the end, you'll know what I mean).
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4/10
Very disappointing
Screen_Blitz22 December 2014
If you have seen the trailer to this you would have thought this would be a scary thrill ride. The trailer however showed everything you need to see. The Possession is very light on scares and does not really get scary until the last twenty minutes. Most of the scenes throughout the film are rather goofy and pointless, some of them are even laughable.

The Possession follows two young girls who spend the weekend with their recently divorced father. The younger girl obtains a mysteriously box from a yard sale. Before too long, she begins to exhibit bizarre behavior as the something inside the box possess her. This plot is almost all too similar to the exorcist movies. In many scenes, suspenseful music would play as if something horrific is about to be shown then the music would stop and it would be something simple like a moth. The film relies on so many cheesy scares that many horror fans have seen before and it completely ruins the scare factor. There were maybe one or two jump scenes but that's about it.

If you are a strong horror fan, this movie may be worth a try.
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Lots of boxes...
biodieselnetwork2 December 2014
Boxes, boxes, boxes... A prepubescent girl discovers the secrets of her box - including figuring out how to open it up (with all the premenstrual horror that this implies) - while her divorced father moves the boxes of his failed marriage. A box as a symbol in this film is downright cervical. The symbolism is too infantile and offensive to analyze further.

But at least the soundtrack plagiarizes from quality - the Nacht Musik of Bartok's Musik für Saiteninstrumente, Schlagzeug und Celesta (at least with good ol' Bela, the symbolism is Pythagorean, Golden, and Fibonaccian).

Even if the climax occurs, as in Bartok's music, at precisely 0.61803398876895 times the length of this bloody film, I doubt anything much would be salvaged from this ridiculous but well-realized script.
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7/10
Thriller!
Sherin9 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
A movie every kid must watch! Shows how parents go to any extent for their kids ... It is important to teach kids NOT to have imaginary friends ... it could be a very real problem ... The movie itself was taken very well and kept one's attention for most part ... However, a few questions linger ...

1. How can the box make moves like sounds ... attacking people ... even before it was opened?? After all, the demon was supposedly sealed???

2. Why did the priest die at the end?? When the demon was contained and ONLY opening the box was a problem ... how can the chain reaction start again? I don't see any reason for this ... beyond the movie makers idea to make a sequel!
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2/10
A hilarious example of everything that can go wrong with modern horror films.
theblackscythe3 October 2014
(Halloween Horror Reviews #2)

This is a film of two halves, both of which are terrible. Half one is a boring re-heated slice of Hollywood pseudo-horror, commercial slop with no artistic merit or purpose outside of milking money out of horror fans at this time of year. The other half, is one of the most baffling and awkward horror films of the last decade or so.

The first element of this predictable and stale, yet fascinatingly bad and hilarious, mess is the acting. Generic, done a thousand times before, 'creepy' child acting, relying on the same tricks that have been used since 'The Omen'. The only interesting thing about the performance of (as I like to call her) 'creepy little girl 2070' is the hilariously inept screenplay. For example, there is sequence wherein this child stabs her father through the hand with a fork, this is met with her being sent to bed and being mildly chastised and reprimanded. I don't feel I need to comment on how people don't act like this in any way shape or form. This performance particularly bothers me, and is a microcosm for the entire film, being both dull and forgettable and profoundly sloppy and terrible. The rest of the acting is average to mediocre, made worse by a weak script with inhuman dialogue and leaden exposition.

Next are the film's scares, key in all horror films. They are mostly non-existent. Either lame, predictable jump scares or dull and recycled 'creepy' scenes borrowed from the various other exorcism based films of the last decade. Literally the only original scary concept or image in the film, is on the poster and in the trailer,so even that was wasted. The film fails to create an atmosphere because it has no identity, and fails to scare because it has no surprises.

Next is the film's rather odd theme. Jewish folklore. This is a fairly specific and honestly intriguing focus point for the film. Or it would be if it wasn't introduced over an hour into the film. The theme is wasted and does not reflect at all in the previous hour of the film, with not a single explanation for why this specific entity, from this culture, targeted this little girl. In addition to this, the Jewish exorcism is filmed and treated the same as a more recognisable Catholic exorcism (I do not know if the two ceremonies are actually this similar, or if the Jewish faith even has exorcism, however I f they are this similar then why bother with the distinction at all?), sucking all chance for uniqueness are flavour the film could have in one scene. The ending twist, although I will not spoil, suffice to say is another example of an overdone and obvious modern horror film technique.

Overall the film is a travesty. I would call it the horror equivalent to "Crash"(due to its moronic writing, reheated ideas and total lack of punch), however I feel more confused than angry here, unlike with Crash. This film was also not given the acclaim that Crash was, and has rightfully been left to die on the side of the street, with all the other generic horror retreads to have emerged in the last 15 years. This is for the greater good I assure you.
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6/10
Good But Not Great
David Arnold21 September 2014
If, like myself, you quite enjoy creepy, possession movies like The Last Exorcism, The Exorcist and The Devil Inside then you should find this movie pretty good.

Just as a quick side note, I usually hate when movies like this are anything less than an R rating because they tend to lack the very creepy moments that films of this subject matter can produce. In saying that, however, for a PG-13 The Possession is still quite a creepy movie to watch, especially the ending scenes. Very good performances from the cast, especially Natasha Calis who plays her character, Em, along similar lines to that of Linda Blair in The Exorcist (although not as violent), by going from a sweet, innocent little girl to a nasty, possessed little demon child.

Even if these types of movies are becoming a dime a dozen, The Possession is still an enjoyable movie to watch.
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