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The Possession
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Possession More at IMDbPro »

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Slightly disappointing but still highly enjoyable

8/10
Author: GL84 from Los Angeles, Ca
17 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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Annoyingly loud and borderline intrusive without any novelty

4/10
Author: quincytheodore from Indonesia
10 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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Not the scariest but not terrible either...

5/10
Author: RevRonster from United States
6 August 2015

*** This review may contain 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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A quick review of "The Possession" (2012)

8/10
Author: ericrnolan from United States
8 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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limited tension for most of the movie

5/10
Author: SnoopyStyle
26 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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Not really based on a true story (but never mind!)

7/10
Author: bowmanblue from United Kingdom
23 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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Very disappointing

4/10
Author: jackson-magaw from United States
22 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...

Author: biodieselnetwork from Victoria, BC, Canada
2 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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Thriller!

7/10
Author: Sherin Lloyd from India
9 November 2014

*** This review may contain 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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A hilarious example of everything that can go wrong with modern horror films.

2/10
Author: theblackscythe from United Kingdom
3 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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