The beginning of September means a lot of things. It means that school is officially in session, fall fashions are starting to come out, and the beginning of this year’s horror film fall lineup. Sam Raimi’s “The Possession” held out for release until the first weekend of this month, which either means it is going to help build the tension for the other movies later this month (Sinister, Paranormal Activity 4, etc.) or it is going to reflect how scary this year’s lineup is going to be. While this film was decent for a PG-13 demon flick, I personally hope Raimi’s plan was to get it out before the other, scarier movies were released, because if it’s one of the least scary of this years horror movies (which is often the case with September horror movies) then this year is going to be great for horror fans.
“The Possession” is about a young girl, Em (Natasha Calis, The Firm), who, after finding a wooden box at a yard sale, becomes possessed by the demon that lives inside the box. Her father (Jeffery Dean Morgan, The Losers) notices her strange mood swings and begins looking for answers, while his ex-wife (Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer) insists she is simply coping with their divorce and her scatterbrained father. Upon research into the box, Em’s father finds out that the box was home to a Dibbuk, a jewish demon that takes possession of people, namely children, and feeds off of them until there is nothing left.
In movies like these where people are possessed, their acting and expressions are integral in making the story believable. Although Calis’s performance doesn’t exactly belong in the hall of fame for creepy little girls along side of actresses like Linda Blair (The Exorcist), she still does a pretty decent job of giving the audience chills. Her eyes and facial expressions in particular manage to send off a creepy vibe on their own, and with the help of soundtrack and makeup, she manages being possessed quite well.
If you like a lot of “jump scares” you’ll probably like this movie. There are quite a bit of creepy scenes as well, but not a ton of tension. The build-up to the scares is to be expected for a typical PG-13 horror flick, so while is was decent, there really didn’t seem to be anything special about it. The tension and scares were similar to those of films like “The Unborn,” “The Uninvited,” or “The Rite.” So if you were a fan of any of those films, you will probably like it. For those of you who prefer to put a number on things, I’d give it a 6-7/10. So in other words, it made me jump and I found the talking box to be rather creepy, but I didn’t find myself wondering why I’d decided to see the movie in theeaters (which I will admit was the case when I saw the first Paranormal Activity).
So all-in-all it’s a decent film to kick start this year’s halloween season. It’s a farily generic “girl gets possessed” movie, with the only twist being that the demon came from a box and can only be exorcized by a rabbi. So because it’s probably not going to linger in your mind for too long, but it still has creepy moments, I say take a date and you won’t be disappointed. It’s the kind of movie that you can bring that special guy or girl you have that “just not there yet” relationship with and hold on to his arm, or pretend to yawn or pop your back just to get your arm over her shoulder, and no one will be the wiser because the movie is scary. You guys know what I’m talking about. We’ve all done it.
“The Possession” is rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving violence and distrubing images (scenes typical of a supernatural possession movie including but not limited to: human contortion and maiming by invisible forces, disturbing demonic images, and violent attacks involving a child).