The Possession

The rotting remains of 2012's festival
jonbly
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The Possession

Post by jonbly » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:00 pm

8/10 - Another good one! Whoo! Maybe a bit predictable...

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damatotomato
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Re: The Possession

Post by damatotomato » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:43 am

The Possession came with good pedigree with Danish director Ole Bornedal (of the two morgue-set Nightwatch movies - the original Danish language version and the US remake with Ewan McGregor) and producer Sam (the Evil Dead) Raimi on board the demonic ghost train to the heart of this Frighfest 2012 European premiere.

While the film did nothing new with the possessed child genre it was well shot and contained a few, mostly family-friendly scares. In the US the rating was toned down on appeal, to reach a wider audience - the Twilight generation if you like, but all horror fans can have fun with this one, whether hardened or hormonal.

I was sitting next to a couple on one side of me, for this penultimate Frighfest screening and one of the two had their head burrowed in the other's arms after a couple of the scares. On the other side of me, a group of young lads, probably not 18, looking like they could face anything on screen and not bat an eyelid - by the end of the film, at least a couple had jumped and sworn under their breath. Result Raimi!

Two young sisters join newly divorced Dad in his suburban home while Mum goes to the opera with her new dentist boyfriend. Dad lets the youngest daughter buy a weird wooden Dibbuk (demon inside - no extra charge) box at a jumble sale without realising it contains the terror of Judaism within - a spirit that seeks out the young and innocent (naturally, as what spirit would seek out very old drunken men with bad personal hygiene to live in, although - hey, what a movie that would make!).

The younger daughter gets possessed and all hell breaks loose (well, up to a PG-13 certificate in the US anyway!).

I loved the roaming sky-high camera looking down on the rows of suburban houses like a waiting spirit in the sky and the soundtrack that was composed of a deep note piano refrain, that occasionally turned into the soundtrack of Jaws for some reason. There were a number of unexpected scares involving teeth, deep throat, books in bed and bad table manners. Some of these shocks gave me a bad dose of the shiveries. The CAT scan was the most terrifying sequence in a horror film I've seen in a while. You know what's coming, but when it does - goosebumps on tap!

Best surprise of all, was that the girl playing the possessed younger sister, easily slunk into the rank and file of demonic movie kids alongside the evil likes of The Omen's Damien and The Exorcist's Regan. Possessed Em sitting on a swing in her short grey dress and Wellington boots glowering at the camera with black-ink filled eyes and wild hair blowing in the breath of a demonic breeze, sent chills to the base of the spine and back up again. Natasha Calis as Evil Em is a revelation - as convincingly in need of being saved as she is of being staked through the heart and splashed with holy water.

As a penultimate movie at Frightfest 2012, The Possession was a fun time to be had by all, and it's refreshing that a traditional demonic possession flick can still be as rewarding today in the horror genre as it has been in the past. While in an increasingly real-life hard-edged and randomly violent world, extreme horror and films with 'hoodies' as the boogeyboys probably deservedly thrive, and have a right to exist and confront fears of a modern age, while annoying those old enough to remember the original The Omen at the cinema (and it's right that horror films do annoy the older generation and cause controversy), there is still a place for old-fashioned fright films such as The Possession in modern horror. We've been here before in The Possession's world of targeted scariness, but there's enough that's different about this movie, to ensure longevity, especially the demonic exorcism by a young, fabulously deadpan, gangly and witty Jewish expert on all things demonic doing a job that his elders refuse to even consider being a part of - and the special effects too, including the deep throat crawling of nasties up and down the gullet, all earn The Possession real kudos for me.

The film is beautifully framed and while the ending in the hospital basement is perhaps a bit silly and contrived, it's a great ride to be on, and features enough contortions and red-eyed growling in the light of an overhead bulb or gloomy shadows to hold the attention. There were also at least a couple of deaths in this movie that I didn't expect and in the case of the last of these, the audience actually gasped when the moment came - also a moment that earned the legendary Frightfest rare round of applause. You can't ask for more in the closing hours of a five day long festival of horrors both sickening and, just sometimes, a little bit more magical and old-school demonic.

dt

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Last edited by damatotomato on Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jekyll
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Re: The Possession

Post by Jekyll » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:44 pm

This was all a little bit predictable for to me,

Was okay but simply seemed to do everything that you would expect from a 'big budget hollywood' possession film,

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Re: The Possession

Post by Stephen with ph » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:51 pm

Predictable, yes - but still loads of fun :)

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Re: The Possession

Post by chary » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:41 pm

really enjoyed this movie, the movies that actually try to scare is the reason that I come to Frightfest. The actress that played the possessed daughter did an amazing job and I found it really refreshing that they used a non-catholic religion for the exorcism rites.

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Re: The Possession

Post by TheDukeAbides » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:00 pm

The story of a 10-year old girl and her quest to keep people away from her box.

One needs to ask if a Jewish Dibbuk is less of a threat that a Christian one as the don't do possessions on the Sabbath?

Or one suspects the aren't entirely orthodox and that can do 7 days a week until exorcised.

Entirely forgettable film, but well enough acted and a few oppotunities missed to make bigger scares/tension.

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Re: The Possession

Post by lupogirl » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:43 pm

Thought it was entertaining and had a couple of jumps. Did have predictable ending.
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Re: The Possession

Post by Alex J » Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:13 pm

** Possible spoilers **

Given the hype surrounding this film I found this to be a bit of a letdown, particularly after the superior Sinister. Shocks were in short supply and there were certainly far fewer jumps than in Sinister. The plot follows the fairly standard possession and exorcism format, with little new added (other than a change in religion). I also found some parts to be a bit daft or unbelievable. Nevertheless, it was still entertaining enough and there was a good performance by the possessed girl (better than her mum's!). 7 / 10
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Re: The Possession

Post by SilverGunnar Hansen » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:04 pm

Utterly diabolical. Camp and laughable. Even Case 39 was better. If it had been on before Sinister it might have stood more of a chance, but this was another Raimi letdown for me. He should stop producing dreck. It was so similar to loads of other (equally crap) recent films as well - The Unborn, The Rite etc. Shame, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is good and deserves better.

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Re: The Possession

Post by SilverGunnar Hansen » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:04 pm

Utterly diabolical. Camp and laughable. Even Case 39 was better. If it had been on before Sinister it might have stood more of a chance, but this was another Raimi letdown for me. He should stop producing dreck. It was so similar to loads of other (equally crap) recent films as well - The Unborn, The Rite etc. Shame, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is good and deserves better.

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Re: The Possession

Post by Wolfshade » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:19 pm

This was an epic fail - not remotely scary in the slightest. In the battle of the 2 big Hollywood movies of the fest, Sinister absolutely annihilated The Possession.

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Re: The Possession

Post by Satans Puppy » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:09 am

It was good up until the possession was discovered and then it made a unique decision to be totally shit.... truly awful despite the cast being great throughout the first half.
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Re: The Possession

Post by drippingpaint » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:52 pm

Any film which stars Matisyahu is gonna make me happy so i'm very biased on this topic.
My favourite Jewish exorcisim scene this year :wink:
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Re: The Possession

Post by SilverGunnar Hansen » Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:09 pm


Kris
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Re: The Possession

Post by Kris » Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:57 pm

Truly abysmal, this gets a UK wide cinema release whilst other lesser films don't. Everything about this was so wrong and whilst the story may have worked it didn't get going, the box element was just crap, the demon wasn't scary, the possessed girl was too tame, everything about this film stunk. I put it on a par with The Unborn, Haunting In Conneticut, The Devil Inside
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