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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Movie Review: The Possession (2012)

The Possession
Cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Natasha Calis, Grant Show, Madison Davenport
Genre: Supernatural Horror
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $85 million 

Plot: A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectable lives a malicious ancient spirit 

'Watered Down Exorcist'

The Possession reminds me of that other horror movie starring Greg Kinnear, Rebecca Romijn and Robert De Niro, 2004's Godsend; unfortunately, just like that film, The Possession couldn't generate enough shocks and thrills that a horror film is expected to do. Though it has more in common with The Exorcist and compared to other demonic-possessed child movies go, this is one is, lacklustre.

Clyde and Stephanie were formerly married to one another, but they are now divorced. He's trying to get back on track as a basketball coach and Stephanie is trying to make ends meet in her new business. The two girls are adjusting to life knowing their parents are probably never going to reconcile and get back together again. The youngest daughter isn't fond of her father. When she finds an antique box, she eventually becomes possessed by the evil spirit and her father and mother have to figure out how to get rid of it.

This was a bit of a strange movie: though it's dubbed a horror, it's not an outright horror flick. This is The Exorcist with Jewish undertones.

The daughters I didn't care for, in all honesty, and the story did drag, which I found cumbersome. The Possession spends half of its runtime with a slow build-up that really didn't do itself any favours. I did like Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick as the ex-couple, who were separated over a year ago. Their performances were as expected and they looked believable together as the ex-couple, but they were let down by a script that lacks substance and enough shocks to make it memorable. It was a nice surprise to see Morgan display a different type of performance, but it was also solid and efficient. It is emotional in places too, which is unheard of, taking into consideration his previous roles before this one. Sedgwick, meanwhile, does what she can and she was okay. The film doesn't attempt to bring anything new or try anything new, breaking new ground in this genre and it feels rather drab. It also has a tendency to cut off during the middle of a scene and move onto the next one, which was rather irritating. It was just choppy.

The scare scenes should have been far more potent. There is relatively little here that resonates and the tension is underplayed and thus, it never truly materialises to its fullest and extreme. Which is also another reason why The Possession ought to have been R-rated in the US or rated 18 in the UK, with even more gory kills and death scenes. In the hands of a much more capable and accomplished director, who specialises in horror films, like a Wes Craven or Clive Baker, the movie would have had a lot more quality going for it. 

But for the performances by Jeffery Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick, it's not one I'd be returning to that often. Or be it at all. 

Final Verdict:

Wrongly marketed towards teens and young-uns, as well as being surprisingly tame and bland, The Possession suffers through its lack of genuine scares and creepy scenes. & because of that, it's a horror flick that opts for trite and safe, instead of shock and awe.


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