Sunday, September 2, 2012

Movie Review: The Possession

Movies about possession aren’t new, and this movie doesn’t bring anything new to the genre.  Despite that, I still found myself in a state of fear throughout the movie.  One might argue that I’m just the scared type, but I see a lot of horror movies and am usually not forced to cover my eyes for fear of seeing something that might follow me home.

In The Possession, the story is based, loosely, of off a true story, a story which was featured in Entertainment Weekly about a month ago.  In it, the story was revealed that the chest of which the story is based, was found at an estate sale, the seller unwilling to take it back after several attempts.  The buyer bought it and left it in the basement of their establishment, having to rush back to the place after the workers reported troubling sounds coming from the basement.  What followed was a series of strange incidents that could never be substantiated, but led to poor health to any who encountered the box.  The scary aspect of this story is that the ‘curse’ was never truly explained, there was no warning prior to anything happening, and this could occur to anyone.

The movie follows the story of a divorced couple, Jeffery Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick, who are taking care of their children at regular intervals.  On one weekend with the father, the kids happen upon a yard sale, where the youngest of his kids finds and asks to buy a box with no hinges.  The father obliges and the girl is troubled by it within twenty-four hours.  The parents are utterly baffled by the behaviour of their daughter, things becoming stranger and stranger.

The story ends as most of these stories do, with no lives truly lost, but the series of jump-inducing scenes increasing as the movie draws to a close.  While Morgan and Sedgwick are believable parents, there is nothing that compels you to be drawn in by their performance.  If anything, I felt the camaraderie from the two sisters, played wonderfully by Madison Davenport (Hannah) and Natasha Calis (Em) are what drew me further into the story.  The relationship never took centre stage, but the few instances they were featured, their mental state and concern for one another was palpable.  The Rabbi who helps them is played by Matisyahu and was likable, but also funny at times where he perhaps shouldn’t have been.

I wanted to really like this movie, especially given the glut of horror movie, but I found it forgettable soon after seeing it.  The movie delivers great scares, but I can’t imagine any movie, or story, building off of what The Exorcist did so many years ago.  Whether it is Christianity or Judaism that is the focus of the exorcism, the plot seems to be the same in every movie and it becomes tiresome.  I would love to see a ‘new’ possession story, but I doubt we’d ever see it on the big screen, because Hollywood sticks to what is tried, tired and true.

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