Possessed (TV Movie 2000) Poster

(2000 TV Movie)

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Well-written horror
mermatt23 October 2000
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.
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Predictable, but good performances
SnappyGalBladder2 November 2001
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 previous 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.
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Pretty damn good for a TV movie.
Lee Bartholomew14 October 2005
Warning: 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
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Ultimately a realistic portrait of The Exorcist...
Seikan7 February 2005
Warning: 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.
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Excellent, Eerie Entertainment
BaronBl00d7 October 2001
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.
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The true account
maginnis10 July 2001
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
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Excellent movie!
denver200514 June 2005
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.
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similar to exorcist only much better
m_viknaraja31 August 2002
the film version of possessed is really good. the acting is of the highest standards - timothy dalton as good as ever. the plot itself is based on a true story of a boy being possessed by a devil in 1950s. if the film is not an exaggeration of the incident then it is of great concern to all those who believe in faith and god. it definitely made me question lots of things - god ,religion, evil, heaven and hell etc. u'll be thinking for days after - one of those films that may leave a lasting impression.

the film is expertly made, beaustiful cast, wonderful sound - great surround sound. great showcase for relatively inexpensive filmmaking. shows that u don't need millions to produce a good motion picture.

the exorcism itself is a very frightening issue. its very scary and is not for the faint-hearted. not advisable for children or people who are squemish.

its impossible to describe this film in any way, one of those that u have to watch to understand what its all about. the film covers many areas, such as peoples relationship, good and bad, morality, the unknown and ofcourse humanity itself.

great film that can teach us about ourselves and our beliefs. and ofcourse that there are some things which are difficult to explain scientifically.

highly recommended. warning it feels quite a long film and will require u to pay attention.
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Fasten your seat belt Beelzebb! It's going to be a Bumpy Ride!
sol27 December 2007
Warning: 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?
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Too bad about the kid
are7716 June 2003
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 decent job, but he is horribly miscast. Timothy Dalton redeems things a bit with a convincing performance, which must have been almost impossible given the obvious handicap.

As a story it almost succeeds. As a scary movie it sucks.
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The true story that inspired THE EXORCIST. Need I say more?
Jack the Ripper188815 December 2002
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 disturbing.

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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Read Thomas Allen's book instead!
Sebastian19667 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
While it has moments here and there (not many, to be honest), this film has so little in common with its source material (Thomas Allen's book of the same name) that it is not really an adaptation at all. The dates, characters, and just about every other detail imaginable have been changed. And Timothy Dalton was thoroughly miscast (he tries to make Father Bowdern some kind of two-fisted action hero!), as was the freckle faced, red-headed boy who seemed less possessed and more in need of good old corporal punishment (more annoying than demon haunted)!

There are also so many overly-stylized, almost campy moments that the film sometimes feels like a half-hearted parody of "The Exorcist" (the boys' 'good voice' when he tries to hoodwink the priests is utterly laughable). And the whole political bent with civil rights issues, and Catholic infighting (personified by the immobile visage of Christopher Plummer) feel tacked on and have little or no relevance to the story. Trust me; if you want details, this movie does not (in any way) accurately relate what happened (according to eyewitness accounts) at ALL. It is a stock, Hollywood-ized version of a story vaguely related to the actual case.

I'm not sure why the producers ever called this an adaptation of Allen's book (as it clearly is NOT), but perhaps it was done for legal reasons. So many elements are changed, that they could have said 'loosely inspired by...' and it would have been more valid. But for what it's worth, if you want the "real" story (and we may never know that for certain) stick with the book (the latter 2000 edition even has excerpts from Father Bowdern's actual diaries made during the alleged exorcism; fascinating stuff).

And if you're just looking for a good scary movie with similar themes? Stick with the original, the best: The original 1973 Exorcist. Forget what you may have read from any nay-sayers; it is the best film of its type EVER made. It treats the subject with dignity, gravity and a cast that is fully committed to the material (not to mention it is still scary as all hell, too). Although it is fictional, it feels so much more 'real' than this stale, clichéd, extremely loose 'adaptation' of Allen's book!
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Watchable, but offers nothing new
slayrrr6665 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Possessed" is a rather entertaining, if clichéd version of this genre.


After surviving World War II, Father William Bowden, (Timothy Dalton) spends his time either teaching missionary school or getting into fights with the police. A local young boy, Robbie Mannheim, (Jonathan Malen) soon gets his attention after a series of events that no one can explain. His parents, Phyllis, (Shannon Lawson) and Karl, (Michael Rhoades) desperate to get him fixed, offer to have him come over to the house to see what is wrong. At first thinking it is nothing more than a joke, he soon becomes convinced that the kid may indeed by possessed by the Devil. After several unsuccessful attempts to exorcise him, they try one last time to get rid of the demon inside.

The Good News: When this one tried to, it had some really great parts. One thing it gets right is that it starts off with the possession early on. Around twenty minutes in, the strange events that signal the possession start off. This starts off with the usual acts that indicate this, and from there it gets better. The confrontation ins the priest's house that signals the start of something weird happening, is the film's best scene, and is right in the middle of the freaky occurrences. Starting off with the sight of objects moving about by themselves and progressing to include more extreme actions, this is a fantastic sequence that is a pure joy to watch. Even the little things thrown in, including the incredibly brutal arm-slicing with the corkscrew or the playful gag at the end, don't derail this. That it also gets quite creepy at times with the camera flashing on and off during the struggle and the wind blowing, even though it's all indoors, really makes it all the better. As expected, the exorcism scenes are all great fun, and that there's several of them appearing in the film is a pleasant surprise. The final battle is the best one, which is great fun and really intense. It really does end the film with a really good scene that incorporates some spectacle and a touch of realism. These here are the film's good parts.

The Bad News: This here didn't have a whole lot wrong with it, but they were pretty major reasons. The biggest problem with it is that it never once does anything new or original with the possession angle. This feels just like every other film in this style. There's a ton of these filling up every part of the film. From the excessive cursing and religious searing to the demonic over-lapping voices to puking and overt sexual references and so much more clichés from this genre that it's simply too much at times. This is so filled with clichés from the past types that there's hardly any sense of originality in the film. That can be a really bad sign, since this is such a touchy genre to begin with. It can be really hard to find originality in this style without retreading on the past, which this one does quite efficiently. There's a couple of other flaws with this one, while the main one here is just the extreme repetition.

The Final Verdict: While not the best example of this genre, this does have enough to make it watchable even though it doesn't do anything new. This is simple, as fans of this would be entertained with it, while those who don't really enjoy possession films should steer clear of this one.

Rated R: Extreme Graphic Language, Violence and intense religious issues
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Perhaps Timothy Dalton has finally found his calling - it sure WASN'T as 007!
uds33 June 2002
Amazing! Whoever would have expected to see James Bond matching it with Regan's distant young cousin!

Based for the most part on Thomas Allen's book of supposedly the only bona-fide recorded exorcism ever conducted in the US, Dalton is just out of his tree as Father William Bowden, the priest who actually performed the exorcism on the young Mannheim boy.

Given a more direct and less Hollywoodesque approach, the circumstances of the boy's "affliction" (and many, having watched this will have their doubts) are presented as totally realistic. The exorcism itself is deftly handled and Dalton gives a power-house performance as the priest being torn apart by forces he can barely comprehend. He gets finally to show his considerable acting skills, uncluttered by his usual veneer of a one-dimensional and synthetic personality. (He was starting to get there in HAWKS!)

This telemovie comes highly recommended for both believers and non-believers. Both sides will get something out of this!
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Better than the Exorcist
saccomt23 September 2001
The movie is based on a diary from a real exorcist that is documented in Thomas Allen's book, Possessed. Scary, frightening, and terrifying scenes will delight horror fans and give them goose bumps. Timothy Dalton's great acting as the exorcist and Jonathan Malen's performance as the possessed make this movie an unforgettable, entertaining, and believable experience. The inspired directing and electrifying performances make this cable movie better than most theatrical films. After viewing this video one will understand the rite of exorcism and think about evil, particularly, those that saw the face of satan in the pictures of the World Trade Center buildings bombing. Lock your doors, pop some corn, and enjoy the movie--God is in control. To learn more Thomas Allen's book Possessed is absolutely compelling.
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I find this one so cool
ross robinson24 December 2003
I enjoyed watching Possessed. This one made me laugh because of the little boys impressions. I think this is the real version to the exorcist, because it was based on a true story of a young boy that is possessed by a demon. I give this movie 10 out of 10.
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True Story ? Yeah Right
Theo Robertson3 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers

This is based on a true story is it ? If that`s the case then why does the opening caption read " Somewhere in France , All saints day , 1944 " Couldn`t the caption have given the exact location ? , or would that lead people to research the integrity of this true story ? Since reading about the truth in " true stories " like PAPILLON and SLEEPERS alarm bells always ring in my head when the words " true " and " story " appear side by side , and if the story is in fact true ask yourself this question : If the events on screen actually happened then why isn`t the case better known . I mean if chairs were running around putting the boot into teachers wouldn`t that be front page news .

My second criticism is that I thought this was going to be a bit more light hearted . Of course as soon as the waffen SS turned up and got some bayonet practice in I realised this wasn`t going to be the case , but by then the damage had been done and I knew not to expect any intentional laughs

POSSESSED isn`t of much interest except for one aspect - How things used to be . For example smoking wasn`t the social crime it is now , only white people were allowed to be catholics , commies existed and wanted to drop atomic bombs on the USA , young teenage boys could be looked after by priests without any suspicion and teenagers swearing was a certain sign that there were demonic forces at work . Ah the good old days

NB : That last line was sarcasm before anyone complains
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the devil's dominion
lord woodburry26 April 2004
One faces the inexplicable beyond the reaches of western scientificism and one reaches into the grey realm of faith and skepticism. Welsh born actor Timothy Dalton plays a persuasive American Irish priest Father Willam Bowden taking cover in superficial faith from the horrors of world war II; yet in pursuit of that faith, Father Willam Bowden comes directly into the grasp of Satan. He must struggle not only with Old Scratch but also with the Romanish Church hierarchy which despite its mideaval costumes and time worn ceremonies would like to modernize and depart from some of the smoke, fire and brimstone.

Though Father Willam Bowden whose personal weaknesses particularly for alcohol are probably known might not be the best choice to perform the ancient ritual, Archbishop Hume (Christopher Plummer) chooses Rev Bowden to perform the rite.

Can Reverend Bowden overcome both his past and the curlish Roman Church hierarchy more interested in political standing than preaching to drive away the Devil?

See Possessed.
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Is it better than the Exorcist? Its Timothy Dalton.
Master_T28 November 2002
Its Timothy Dalton and of course its better than the Exorcist. Anything with Timothy in is bound to be classic and this is no exception. He was a great bond and he makes a great alcoholic priest. This film is genius, one of the best, and Timothy's personal best. He put everything into this movie and its nothing short of a masterpiece. The part with the train set wrapping its self around the priests neck is masterful, Timothy obviously thought that one up himself, and what about Timothy's violent tendencies in the movie, when he practically beats the kid up at the end and starts fighting with the protesters who throw the brick at the beginning, if i may, 'which one of you m****r f****rs threw this?' Classic Timothy. In short, Timothy Dalton is greatness, if only him and Vernon Wells would team up with Schwatfdfjsdfnsjknplmnzenegger to do a movie, now that would be poetry.
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Thought-provoking, well written, acted and directed!
chazekua25 October 2000
The true story that inspired the Exorcist is extremely well written, directed and acted and in many ways it is more interesting (and far less exploitive!) and thought-provoking than the movie it inspired.

Performances by Timothy Dalton and Henry Czerny were topnotch and Christopher Plummer as the Archbishop of St. Louis was absolutely fabulous.

The screenplay by Michael Lazarou and Steven desouza was compelling, moving and frequently funny when it needed to be. Desouza did a skillful job of directing the film.
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Well acted and involving: but who borrowed from whom?
This Showtime original would just be a moderately budgeted

Exorcist variation, except - it is based on the original incident which

inspired The Exorist. (For this reason, it is incomprehensible to

me why some people here are calling it an `Exorcist ripoff.") I found

it engrossing and entertaining, but I had some problems with the

premise. The film purports to be based on the only possession

case in modern America, but in fact it changed the original story in

many key ways. The original event took place with a 14-year-old

boy in 1949; the film has an 11-year-old boy in the early 1960s.

The date change gives the film an opportunity to talk about Vatican

II-type changes taking place in the Catholic church, along with

Kennedy's election and the civil rights movement. These are

meant to spice up the movie but are mostly irrelevant to the theme

and take away from the story. Dramatic horror-type events ensue

that we expect with possession movies, but now I'm left wondering

which events were mostly true to the event (in an afterword, one of

the original attending priests did say a bottle of holy water went

sailing past him), and which ones were post-Exorcist inspired.

Thus, while this story was supposed to inspire The Exorcist, we

now wonder who borrowed from whom.

All this is saved rather nicely by an intriguing storyline, but in

particular, superb acting by the principals. Timothy Dalton plays

Father William Bowden (which was the priest's actual name), the

priest-professor-exorcist: this, far more than James Bond, is his

type of role. The boy `Robbie" is extremely well acted by young

Jonathan Malen; he plays a more active demon-possessed

youngster than Linda Blair, who was admittedly more spooky, did

decades ago. Other notable performances include Christopher

Plummer as Archbishop Hume and Piper Laurie as Robbie's old

Aunt Hanna. So I count myself among those who thought this a

worthwhile film, especially knowing that it was at least

semi-factual and leaves you pondering what possession really is,

although I would have preferred the real story without the

embellishments. This story reminds us how unfamliar the whole

concept of possession was to Americans prior to the Exorcist. I'm

giving it an 8.
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Interesting experiment to play exorcism as a social satire
apspr12 April 2004
This film seems to inspire wildly varying responses. The only respondent who comes close to my response was the one who asked if it was supposed to be a goof. EXACTLY! Yet this writer still didn't like it very well.

I thought POSSESSED was hilariously funny in places (the "Union forever" shot that riffs on Citizen Kane was probably my favorite). Robbie's wisecracks were also often quite funny, as well as the satiric presentation of his penny-pinching TV-zombie father, and the hapless clergyman who tries to use Robbie to make a name in the world of parapsychology. The humor is consistent but VERY dry, so that a casual viewer not expecting this from a "possession" film might miss it altogether.

Yet despite the humor, the film did maintain an effectively creepy atmosphere, and it had something to say about the Cold-War Fifties. To me it was an impressive balancing act with fine acting from Dalton and Czerny, clever script, and nice directorial touches.

Mixing humor and terror goes back to Hitchcock, of course, but very few filmmakers can carry off effectively. M. Night Shyamalan is the current master of it, and POSSESSED isn't in his class. But it's definitely worth checking out!
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Dalton as a strong Jesuit!
Cristi_Ciopron14 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The action is set in the "duck and cover" epoch.All fear the "atomic attack".

Bill Bowdern teaches at the Faculty of Theology,at "SLU";he was in the war and has his subsequent traumas;he drinks a little,knows much about comics and football.Bowdern defends the faith by fighting racism and gets arrested after punching a policeman.He's not afraid to use some bad language.One day,Bowdern is shown a house of the Alexian Brothers,as a terminus for the misfits.

Robbie,eleven years old,is interested mainly in comics and tricks.He learns to be a ventriloquist.One day,at school,objects begin to move themselves by the boy;Robbie becomes morose,violent.He is seen by Rev. Roland Eckhardt ("a man of reason,a man of science,and a man of God",as he defines himself),who takes Robbie at his home and nearly gets killed by the boy.

At first,Fr. Bowdern considers Robbie's "abnormal behavior" as "a lot of hearsay","mass hysteria".Then,he is asked to investigate the case.He does some research,finds out about Surin (as a Jesuit professor,he should have known already about Father Surin,at least as much as he knew about Lois Lane,I think).

This movie is not frightful,lugubrious,scary,nor creepy,etc.;it seldom tries to be so,and in a naive,clumsy and conventional way.As a matter of fact,it bases upon facts,not upon fantasy.It tries to suggest the sinister,the horrible violence,the horrid,the fearful of the situation,by means of the reactions of those implied (W. Bowdern,Phyllis,etc.).I think it refuses to resort to cheap means in order to scare.

The best actors of the show are Timothy Dalton,Shannon Lawson,Czerny and Christopher Plummer.Dalton utters sonorously,plainly,in his affected and theatrical way.

W. Bowdern has a rough line:"Too many jackasses have made our decisions".

On a TV in this movie we see a bit of a Bp. Sheen show ("higher than Milton Berle").
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Cheesy But Intriguing Based-On-A-True-Story Film.
meddlecore25 October 2014
Possessed is a cheesy. but great made-for-cable movie from Showtime. That's based on the true story of the demonic possession and exorcism of "Robbie Mannheim" (aka "Roland Doe"...both being pseudonyms to protect his identity)- which also just so happens to be the case on which the original The Exorcist novel and film were based.

This film, itself, is based off the 1993 book-of-the-same-name by Thomas B Allen; which heavily relies upon the accounts of Raymond J. Bishop and Walter H. Halloran- two of the priests who took part in the successful exorcism, during which a demonic entity by the name of Dominus was driven from the boy...who would then go on to lead a normal life.

In the film, we follow Robbie-a youngster who enjoys comic books and toy soldiers- whose parents are strict and sometimes overbearing. His grandmother, though, is a sort of mystic, who fosters his creativity...and teaches him about contacting spirits via the ouija board.

Shortly after her passing, unexplainable things start to happen around their family home: bizarre sounds without sources are heard, while inanimate objects are seen moving around on their own. Around the same time, Robbie starts to burst into violent, angry rages; speak in ancient languages; and exhibits extraordinary strength...as if he has become someone else entirely.

Terrified, his parents take him to see a Catholic Priest at Georgetown University Hospital. Here an exorcism is attempted by Priest named of Edward Hughes. Though, somehow during the process, the boy manages to pry a spring from the bed and use it to slice open the arm of the priest...cutting the ritual short.

Enter our two protagonists: Raymond J Bishop & William S Bowdern, who are both Professors and Priests at St Louis University. They are assisted by a younger Priest named Halloran, and together, the three men would subject Robbie to a number of ritual exorcism attempts. During these rituals, upwards of 48 people- including 9 Jesuit Priests- had witnessed the supernatural occurrences that had been exhibited through the boy.

Such events included the uttering of guttural voices; knowledge of Greek and Latin; the sudden, yet temporary, formation of words like hell and evil etched into the boy's skin; extraordinary feats of strength; knowledge of things he couldn't possibly have known; pissing; vomiting; profanity; and poltergeist activity.

Finally, after discovering the hidden name, date, and time of changing, left in clues uttered by the spiritual force possessing the young boy, Dominus. The three priests were able to drive the dark entity from the boy's soul. However, the Catholic Church oriented a full cover-up, after the fact.

Whereas some of the acting in this film is a bit cheesy, you've got to respect what they did with a clearly low budget. It has an appealing cult-style and contains some cool special effects. Overall, it is similar, in content, to films like The Entity; with a style reminiscent of The Changeling- which is probably the most realistic ghost film ever made. This is a film that is based on a story so wild, that it will change the way you look at the world. And this version keeps more true to the tale than does The Exorcist...so it's worth watching for that reason alone. Recommended.

6 out of 10.
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randy5k-322 October 2000
A psychologically tormented Catholic Priest is called upon to perform an exorcism on a boy....with predictable results if you have seen THE EXORCIST. Set in 1950's St. Louis its based on a true story and well worth watching. Timothy Dalton does much better in this role than as James Bond.
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