Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Possession (2012)

Clyde Brenek (Jeffery Dean Morgan) is a divorced father, and he’s trying to mend a broken relationship with his daughters. Emily (Natasha Calis) is closer to Clyde, but Hannah (Madison Davenport) is a spoiled brat. Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick) is the mother, and Clyde tries to maintain a civil relationship with her, but Stephanie’s new boyfriend, Brett (Grant Show) becomes a problem.

One day, Clyde takes Hannah and Emily (or "Em") to a yard sale, and a rustic box engraved with Hebrew inscriptions catches Emily’s attention. Clyde buys the box for Emily, but Emily slowly develops an erratic personality. Emily’s odd behavior raises serious questions, and a series of bizarre incidents (including a random moth infestation, and an unknown intruder stealing food from the refrigerator) sparks a panic within the family. Emily’s obsession with the box drives her to madness, and Clyde tries to find answers. After a thorough investigation, Clyde learns the devastating truth: Emily is possessed by an evil demon named Abizu. An exorcism is Emily’s only hope, or Abizu will take full possession of her body and soul.

Director Ole Bornedal’s calculated and subtle style creates an eerie and chilling atmosphere for The Possession. The grand finale is intense and suspenseful, and Bornedal provides a few good jump scares along the way.

Jeffery Dean Morgan is solid in the leading role, Natasha Calis is genuinely creepy as Emily, Madison Davenport is an entertaining problem child,  and Kyra Sedgwick delivers a noteworthy performance. The entire cast is efficient, and I honestly can‘t think of any bad or mediocre performances.

I almost went with a higher score, but The Possession is loaded with predictable horror clichés, and I can’t ignore the unintentionally funny moments. Still, The Possession provides some good scares, and the gross-out scenes are unreal (the hand crawling up the back of Emily’s throat, and the “teeth scene”). The Possession isn’t memorable, but it’s better than most modern-day exorcism horror flicks. 

Final Rating: 6/10

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