Saturday, November 9, 2013
The Possession is a 2012 horror flick about a, well, demonic possession. Clyde and Stephanie, played respectively by Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick, have recently finished divorcing one another. In response, Stephanie has started dating her neighbor and Clyde moves out of town. This means things are pretty tense for the kids, who have to deal with the new boyfriend, the recent divorce and a move. So, when the younger daughter, Em, starts acting strange, everyone thinks it is related to all these big changes. Well, uh, they’re wrong.
Recently Em saw a wicked cool box at a garage sale and dad lets her take it home. It’s a very elaborate box with hidden chambers and is full of all kinds of weird stuff, like, well, a human tooth. As a kid, like Em, I would have been obsessed with something like this and even to this day my house and office are full of weird old relics. Curiosity can sometimes come back to bite you, though, and it certainly does for Em, as the box turns out to be an old Hassidic demon box, created and used to catch and lock away stray demons. They don’t go to such lengths for your every day demon either, but reserve this sort of thing for the really nasty mofos out there. It just so happens this demon is particularly fond of possessing kids and finds a comfy home in Em. And that, dear readers, is where the proverbial shit hits the fan.
Now Clyde has to figure out what the heck is going on with Em and, once he does, convince everyone else that this is real and that he’s not a total nutjob. Once everyone comes around to it, they must work together to save Em and, to do so, they enlist the help of a Hassidic badass and expert, played wonderfully by the amazing Matisyahu (yeah, that one, the reggae rapping Hassid).
This flick is great on most fronts and kind of mundane on a few as well. For example, it is beautifully shot by Dan Laustsen and the production and art design by Rachel O’Toole and Nigel Evans are straight up flawless. The crew is largely made up of Europeans and it definitely has that clean, cool look/feel found in other European thrillers like Let the Right One In. Some of the actors are great too, not the least of which are Morgan, Matisyahu and especially Natasha Calis. Her Em is simply amazing and it blows me away that this was her first professional acting gig. Well, she nailed it. This movie devolves into a bit of shock and awe and has some silly CGI at the end, but overall it’s a tight, well-made, genuinely spooky demon movie and is worth a watch if you’re into that kind of thing like I am.
On a side note, this movie is one of the worst examples of the very looooooooose use of the phrase ‘based on a true story.’ I only share b/c I find it so funny. The true story is that a wine cabinet bought in a Hassidic neighborhood seemed to bring bad fortune wherever it went. Some people bought it and bad things happened. They passed it on and bad gris gris seemed to go with it. That’s it. That’s the story this one is ‘based’ on. No box. No demons. No kids. No exorcisms. No divorces or parent heroes. Nothing. Sheesh. Like I said, hilarious.