‘Possession’ not quite soul-binding
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 00:09
It should be common sense by now, after watching so many horror movies and reading so many scary stories, to never pick up those mysterious objects on the side of the road. These ugly or odd objects rarely lead to anything good. It should also be drilled into our brains to not investigate when you hear a strange noise. However, time and time again, curiosity gets the best of us. We find the same scenario being repeating in “The Possession.”
The main question we should ask is what kind of father buys a dark, creepy-looking box for his young daughter that she happens across at a yard sale? Not to mention that there is ominous-looking Hebrew script written all over the box. Just looking at the antique box, we can tell there is something very wrong with it. This man is obviously not winning any father-of-the-year awards.
From the point where they buy the box, things go into a downward spiral comparable to “The Exorcist.” However, the movie puts a Judaic twist on the proceedings, diving into the background of what the Jewish culture does when someone within their community becomes possessed. The box, or Dybbuk, as it is referred to in Jewish culture, is typically a wine box. In this case, it contains an evil spirit looking to take over an innocent soul.
The daughter, Emily (Natasha Calis), and her father, Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), try to figure out how to open the box. But in the dead of night, Emily manages to open the box by herself. The spirit is released and slowly takes over Emily’s body, making her act animalistic.
At first, the only things Emily discovers in the box are an unnaturally large dead moth and a few other strange objects. But then the spirit takes an aggressive approach, causing chaos for the already struggling family. Throughout the movie, there is a great buildup to a horrifying situation that you hope never to encounter in real life. The films keeps making sudden jump transitions to this scene. However, the buildup is cut short. You are expecting more from the scene due to the buildup, but are then let down when not enough is shown.
The movie also features “The Closer” star Kyra Sedgwick, playing Emily’s mother and Clyde’s ex-wife, Stephanie. Stephanie is oblivious to Emily’s transformation, until she is nearly killed during a horrifying encounter with her daughter. Stephanie and Clyde then turn to a unique rabbi, Tzadok (Matisyahu), for help. The American reggae singer, playing the only person willing to risk exorcizing Emily, adds a touch of humor to the movie.
‘The Possession’ will certainly make you reconsider whether or not moths are safe to be around, especially after a chilling scene in which Emily’s room is completely engulfed by moths. Despite the great horror elements, however, “The Possession” is ultimately your typical save-the-innocent-from-evil sort of film, and the odd transitions downgrade the film.
But overall, it is a decent horror film, uniquely incorporating something other than the usual Christian beliefs about exorcisms and possessions. The surprising ending is symbolic of the idea that evil never dies.