Whoever Made This Didn’t Want Anybody to Open It.
Today I was still in the mood to try to fill as many gaps in my 2012 movie viewings, and I also apparently felt like sticking in the genre of “Horror Movies with Bland Titles.” I vaguely remember seeing trailers for today’s movie and deciding it wasn’t worth it. But, given the ability to watch another 2012 movie for free, I jumped at it. Plus, I’m a sucker for haunting movies. Thus were the driving forces behind my decision to watch The Possession, written by Leslie Gornstein, directed by Ole Bornedal, and starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Natasha Calis, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport, Matisyahu, Grant Show, Jay Brazeau, and the voice of Ella Wade.
First, a box kills an old lady. Do I have your attention?! Actually, the lady was only injured, but not for lack of trying on the part of the box. Later, Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) goes to a yard sale with his children, Em (Natasha Calis) and Hannah (Madison Davenport). Em sees the geezercidal box and just gots to have her some of that shit. Em starts to act really weird, shunning her friends for her new friend, a box. She also starts wearing a ring that she found inside the box and claiming that her friend lives in there. Well her friend starts getting less friendly and starts making Em act out. Clyde investigates and finds out that the box is meant to contain a dybbuk, a malevolent possessing spirit. Since this mythology is Jewish in origin, Clyde gets Matisyahu to help his daughter. I guess Mel Brooks was unavailable…
I feel like I’m getting really snarky with my summation paragraphs lately. Oh well… This movie was completely mediocre. It was able to create fair enough examples of chills, but nothing got anywhere near scary. And half of it was about clichéd, boring family problems. I felt like I was watching Hook for the first part of the movie as Clyde was ignoring his kids in favor of his job. But here’s something they never bring up in these movies: what’s so fuckin’ wrong with that? Why do movies like these always vilify the dad for having a job and not wanting his snotty kid whining in the background as he tries to talk on the phone? Plus, we all probably know that the movie could only go two ways with this situation. You can do what other movies have done by making a miserable and hopeless ending where everything goes wrong at the end, or you can do what this movie does and show that the moral of your story is that all relationship problems are solved by living through some horrible shit. You guys hate each other and are always on edge, but get one of your kids possessed and survive and everything is all better. I’ll definitely remember that if I ever get into relationship troubles. Another cliché thing that I hate in these movies is that the father always has to yell, “Take me!” at the demon. How does that make sense?! I would much rather fight a demon thing in the body of a young girl than in the body of a giant guy that played the Comedian! I would punch a little girl in the face. No bullshit. There was, however, one part in this movie that I could not let stand. At one point, Em shows another kid in her class how strong her pimp hand is. And it is mighty. She slaps the shit out of this little boy, and while discussing it with her parents, Em’s teacher has the audacity to say, “This wasn’t just a fight; it was violent!” You’re a teacher! C’mon!! By the way, this shit isn’t just a review; it’s critical.
The visuals of the movie were fine and served their purpose, but none of it was anything I hadn’t seen before. Creepy little girls, bugs flying into/out of mouths, a hand crawling out of a mouth, I’ve seen it all. They did it well enough, though.
This was another occasion where the performances in the movie were mostly very good, but the characters themselves tended towards getting on my nerves. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was good all the way through. He breaks down over the severity of his situation very well. The same could be said of Kyra Sedgwick, though I often found her character annoying because she was often very quick to decide that Clyde was a piece of shit, even though she married him once already and was back towards re-marrying near the end. That little girl Natasha Calis got on my nerves though. More her character than her, I suppose. First, what the fuck do you mean by, “Those carvings are pretty?” on that ugly, black, nondescript box! I can get you some cardboard that looks just as good and does not contain demons. Also, you were not good at making people not suspicious of the evil box. Being really protective of it and weird about it is going to make people suspicious of it. Chill out around it and its sweet box-y bounty shall be yours! I guess the best thing I could say about her is that she annoyed me slightly less than her sister, Madison Davenport. I think that’s mainly because I kept thinking she was that pop singer Jojo.
The Possession is okay, but it also adds nothing new or exciting to the horror genre. The only thing that really separates this movie from every other possession movie I’ve seen is that this one is about Jew demons, and that’s certainly not enough to make a movie interesting when I’ve seen most of it before. The performances in the movie were all well done, but the movie is entirely skippable. The Possession gets “I hate hospitals … people die here” out of “Daddy, you scared me.”
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