Sunday, 2 September 2012



This perfectly decent multiplex rehash of The Exorcist comes to us with a respectable genre pedigree: probably the biggest name on the poster is probably producer Sam Raimi - it's from his Ghost House Pictures outfit - and it's directed by Ole Bornedal, whose original Danish thriller Nightwatch is well worth tracking down (certainly more than his American remake with Ewan McGregor). Admittedly the writing credits are perhaps less impressive, as the movie comes from the same pens as routine jump machine Boogeyman and numerological apocalypse bunkum Knowing, as well as the supposedly upcoming Poltergeist remake. Still, it's rather fun in an engaging enough popcorn fashion and doesn't try audience patience.

Essentially The Possession is a Jewish exorcism movie in which Jeffrey Dean Morgan's daughter becomes the target of a demonic spirit when they buy what turns out to be a dybbuk box, with the demon trapped inside. Alarmed at the sudden change in the girl's behaviour (which is initially put down to the trauma of his separation from Kyra Sedgwick), he tries to dispose of the box, but to no avail - until in despair he finds a Jewish exorcist (rapper Matisyahu) who will perform the necessary rituals....

It is bunk, obviously, and it cribs shamelessly from The Exorcist on several occasions. But it's entertaining enough on the Friday night popcorn level, with plagues of moths, contorted bodies, sudden deaths, wonky eyes, and faces appearing on MRI scans. The Possession doesn't win any points for subtlety, but as a functional and well-produced creepy horror movie it does its job well enough, even if that job is basically shouting "Boo!" at you at random intervals. And it won't last: it's another of those anonymous horror potboilers like The Unborn (also Jewish) and The Uninvited: it makes you jump at the time but it doesn't stay with you the way the greatest horror films do, and it'll have mostly drained from your mind by the time you get to the car park.


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