Director Ole Bornedal brings to us a horror/thriller based on a true story. Filled with easy jumps, horrific throws and tormented twists, The Possession follows all the stereotypical horror conventions out there.
Divorced parents Clyde and Stephanie find themselves balancing out there schedule for whose turn it is to look after the kids. Turns out Clyde is in charge of them for the weekend. Spending quality time with his two girls; Em and Hannah, he decides to take them to a yard sale. Em notices a fascinating black box that lures her into buying it, in which she convinces her dad. Though, since opening the box, Em begins to act strange and at times looks particularly creepy whilst being dangerous and aggressive. Long story short, this Ancient demon possesses her, fully taking over her life, where to an extent it starts killing innocent people and funny enough likes smashing things. Clyde notices her odd behavior, where he seeks help from Jewish believers, resulting in a bizarre exorcist scene.
I mean come on. There were a few scenes that were clearly unbelievable and not very practical. The climax itself seemed quite deluded due to the slow pacing, resulting in a yawning ambience. Though suddenly when an action scene begun, it immediately finished. I wanted these scary scenes to be longer!
Despite my criticism, for a horror film, it wasn’t that bad. The story was quite engaging where we were eager to find out why this was happening. Particularly, the graphics and CGI definitely helped push the horror genre. Eye’s weirdly rolling backwards, hands creeping out of mouths and the blood gushily dripping from mouths were some exotic scenes, thus adding points to the ‘realism’. To add to this, the hardcore throwing of the body at the beginning was gratifying, which showed some sight of promise for the film, yet unfortunately lacked that originality.
I have to open-heartedly admit that the acting was brilliant. Credit definitely goes to Natasha Calis who played the dreary, possessed teenager, Em. Her stiff stance, tensed soul and aggressive attitude all multiplied, giving us an unforgettable performance. Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Clyde sort of reminded me of Nicholas Cage. With his father-like persona and that older hero spark was applaudible.
The ending was ambiguous, where at one point you thought it ended but it didn’t, which happens twice. But overall, The Possession was an average thriller, which doesn’t completely shock or scare you, yet subtly ties an enthralling tale together with a powerful actress.
My rating: 6.5/10
Written by: Meera Darji