Exorcist’-inspired film lacks logical plot
As many other horror movies have been in the past, “The Possession” was undoubtedly inspired by “The Exorcist.” The film features a young girl inhabited by an evil spirit, similar plot points, and even a movie poster paying direct homage to the 1973 horror classic. The real question is whether it lived up to its predecessor. The simple answer is no, not by a long shot. Still, “The Possession” is a decent film for anyone looking for a frightfully good time.
Based on “true events,” the movie centers on the recently divorced Clyde Brenek and his two daughters Hannah and Em. After Em opens an old box she purchased at a yard sale, Clyde begins noticing a violent difference in his daughter’s personality. He eventually discovers that the box is a Dybbuk box, used to trap evil Jewish spirits. Realizing that the spirit was released when the box was opened and now has possession of Em, Clyde must find a way to save his daughter’s life.
The film works well as an allegory for the effects of divorce on a child, with Em’s life literally being destroyed following the separation of her parents. It also featured some truly good performances, especially from Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Clyde and Natasha Calis as Em. Morgan shines as a concerned father who would do anything for his daughter, while Calis is able to simultaneously capture the demonic and still-child-like sides of her character. The frequent presence of tears on the possessed Em’s face was a poignant sign of her latent humanity.
However, the movie does not work well logically – many of the characters’ actions would not likely happen in reality. For instance, in the movie, Em stabbed her father with a fork and drastically changed her behavior. Instead of identifying a potential issue, Clyde and his wife remain convinced their daughter is fighting the emotions of the tumultuous divorce. Similarly, the movie created irrational scenes that put movie characters in danger. For example Em’s teacher working late to grade papers in a seemingly dark and empty school. Regardless of the situation, the movie failed to live up to the realism of “The Exorcist” so flawlessly provided in its rendition of a possession.
All aside, its PG-13 rating keeps it from being as frightening as if it were rated R. Despite falling short in several areas the film is still scary, and is sure to satisfy most horror fans.
The Setonian gives this movie 3 out of 5 stars.
Sean Quinn can be reached at Sean.Quinn@student.shu.edu.