Director: Ole Bornedal
Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Natasha Calis, Madison Davenport, Matisyahu
Fear the demon that doesn’t fear God
Clyde is the father of two teenagers named Hannah and Emily. He is finishing his divorce with his their mother Stephanie and has just bought himself a new place where he gets to have the two teenagers on the weekends.
While browsing through stuff for his new place at a yard sale with his daughters, Emily picks up a strange antique box that she is allowed to take with her. There is something evil inside the box that starts to possess Emily and not only does she become a danger to herself, but to her family aswell.
The Possession was a summer hit for Ghost House Pictures, the company started by Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert from Evil Dead fame. But as with the other exorcism films of 2012 like The Devil Inside and The Last Exorcism, this one also comes off as a simple second rate The Exorcist movie.
The premise isn’t that bad. A broken family that we get to know through the father Clyde, a loving and decent guy who is getting overrunned by both his daughters and ex-wife. The evil comes in the form of an old box and although that is a different way to present an evil demon, it isn’t that interesting. They could have skipped the based on a true story at the beginning, it’s becoming very redundant to see that on movies such as these.
The main problem of the film though is that it’s neither creepy or scary at all. There are some dark shots that are nice to look at every now and then, but the horror itself is bland and doesn’t work. it becomes 90 minutes of cliché after cliché and only one likeable family character in Clyde. The worst character is his ex-wife Stephanie who comes off as a (sorry) cunt. I know a divorce can be hard on every part involved, but everyone seems to hate this poor Clyde guy and you start to wish that he grew a pair and started to stand up for himself. When all of the demonic stuff is over, he moves back in with his wife. I guess he didn’t get enough of demons after all.
The acting isn’t bad. Jeffrey Dean Morgan will bring out the viewers sympathy, not only because he looks like a very friendly guy but also because of how bad his family is treating him. Natasha Calis and Madison Davenport are good as the two teenage daughters. There’s been so many horror films over the years that have been destroyed because of poor acting by children and they avoid being the weakest links in this film. Kyra Sedgwick plays Stephanie and I guess she nailed the bitchy ex-wife perfectly, if that was the idea of the character in the first place.
The Dane Ole Bornedal is the director of the film, he is better known in Scandinavia for his overrated 1994 movie Nattevagten (Nightwatch). There are a few decent shots in this film and the idea of focusing on the broken family is good, but the execution doesn’t work that well. I also think the film looked too polished and could have used a darker or grittier look. The sounds that came from the demon in the box didn’t help provide any creepiness either.
The Possession is a film that did very well in the box office and the marketing people should get a big credit for that. I don’t believe that people will remember this film five or ten years from now since it is average at best. The only scary thing in The Possession is the behavior of the ex-wife.