Saturday, February 16, 2013

Film Review: The Possession (2012)

The only reason I watched this movie was the involvement of Sam Raimi and his Ghost House company. That's not to say that Raimi and his production company have a great track record (Boogeyman, anyone?) But any horror film that involves Sam Raimi must have something to offer, right? Well...

As far as demonic possession/exorcist films go, The Possession is nothing very special. The first half is moody and well-paced, with the family drama, about a family going through a divorce, serving as an effective backdrop for the slowly building supernatural shenanigans. But the second half, where all the spooky stuff takes place, is of the been-there-done-that variety. Director Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch) knows how to create stylish visuals and get good performances from his cast, but the plot offers almost nothing new, aside from exploiting the Hasidic side of exorcism rites (instead of the usual Catholic imagery audiences usually associate with this kind of film).

Overall, this is a mildly entertaining horror film, with a couple of memorably scary sequences. But the plot is cliched, the turn of events familiar, and the final scene especially ho-hum. And did anyone else notice that a crucial plot device is lifted from Ruby Jean Jensen's novel, Death Stone, about a young girl getting possessed by wearing a cursed ring? 

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