Thursday, 30 August 2012

REVIEW - The Possession ★ ★

Review by Damon Rickard
Stars Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan & Kyra Sedgewick
Written by Juliet Snowden & Stiles White
Certification UK 15
Runtime 92 minutes
Directed by Ole Bornedal

From producer Sam Raimi comes a new story based on true events about the possession of a young girl.  What was really missing from the horror film schedule for the year was a good possession film as we just haven't had enough of them.

Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is a man, freshly divorced, just moved into a new house, only gets to see his kids on the weekends and wants another shot at the big time as a basketball coach.  The only interactions with his ex wife are confrontational and he feels he is being distanced from his eldest daughter.  During one of his weekends, whilst trying to bond with them they stumble across a garage sale where his youngest, Em (a stunning performance from Natasha Calis), finds a interesting looking box to which she is drawn to.

After opening what seems to be an box that was designed to not be opened she soon becomes withdrawn, angry and inexplicably attached to the box, not wanting to be separated from it at any time.  Clyde notices what is happening and tries to find reasoning behind it but it isn't long before he suspects what is really behind the change in his little girl and seeks help to stop what appears to be a possession before her actions become fatal.

What we have here is a run of the mill possession film, complete with the main character looking up exorcism videos, bible passages and newspaper articles to help him understand what is going on. For me it was an unnecessary film adding to an already over full section of horror.  All the scares were ones I'd seen before, the story line was nothing inventive or unique, just providing a new way for the possession to begin.

The performances were all good, although Kyra Sedwick's performance just made you want her to be killed off at the earliest opportunity but the performances were not enough to raise this above anything beyond mediocre.  Hearing it had Sam Raimi as producer I had hopes that this would be something a little different and give us a new take on the child being possessed films.  Sadly this was not the case.

There will be a few moments here that will have some cinema goers jumping and there will be plenty of people that like this as it's a very commercially made film and will find an audience.  Without wanting to be condescending to those viewers, it is likely to be people who have limited exposure to horror films (although probably think they're horror aficionados) and are less fussy about what is being presented to them.  For me this, as I've probably laboured on a bit too much about, just didn't give me anything I hadn't seen before and better.

I think the thing that upset me most about this film was the fact is was so incredibly average.  Not one to change the face of horror films but it will be one that will be quickly forgotten.

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