Horror Hammer : The Possession
It’s been a while, eh?
In the same vein as TMG and the deadly Khinja, I’ve been caught up in Christmas, New Years and a number of college assignments. It’s no excuse, but it does slow things down. I appreciate that people probably aren’t as into films as they are games, but I can’t say that my gameplay has been particularly exciting, and films are all that I have going for me at the moment…
I mean, I’m playing Fable 2… Woo! Happy 2008!
Anyway, among other films, I recently watched The Possession. The film was released in 2012 and received mixed/average reviews. But you *want* to hear my review, not someone else’s, eh?
Straight off the bat; It says that it is based on a true story. I’m not so sure, but whatever. ^^
The trailer for the film peaked my interest, cos the trailer did it’s job well. The token high-budget effects were all present and a few well-composed/artsy shots caught my eye. I’m a sucker for nice screenshots.
The film focuses on a family falling apart. The parents are splitting up and the daughters are having to move between houses every other weekend, it’d seem. Seeing as the father has moved into a new house, he needs to restock his crockery and attends a garbage sale on someone’s lawn. His daughter, being the savvy shopper that she is, spots a creepy looking box and immediately wants it. Dad, trying to be the good-guy in the break-up, buys it for her and all goes well…. For now…
They get the box home, see that it is covered in bizarre symbols, contains unknown items and has no obvious means of opening…
Q. What is the best course of action?
A. Sleep in the same room as it, with it sat in the window, drenched in moonlight!
Needless to say, as the film’s title alludes, the film continues and it all goes to shit in a storm of possession.
I shall leave the details to anyone who intends to watch it, but highlight some of the aspects I enjoyed and disliked.
Something that I didn’t expect was the highlighting of Jewish folklore. Often in possession films, an exorcism is called in and a priest struts about with a cross and quotes The Bible, like a boss. This film twists that a little with lots of Jewish folklore and a considerably less elegant series of exorcisms. Whether the procedures are displayed tastefully and maintain the tone, is up for debate, but it intrigued me to see a different twist on a well-used trope.
Another plus for me was the stages of possession displayed in this film. I found this slow and gripping. While some films go for a much quicker spirit-enters-the-host-and-messes-people-about take, The Possession starts with a simple token attachment which grows into some very unsettling imagery and actions.
My biggest criticism of this film is the unnecessary use of horror cliches, in an otherwise unique film and it’s poor ending.
On a few too many occasions, the film feels the need to resort to irrelevant jump scares, which weren’t actually that well done. The earliest that I can remember is about 20 minutes into the film. Possums are mentioned and when some rustling is heard in the kitchen, there is no doubt that it will be a possum. I think that the box had only just entered the film at this point, so you have no reason to think that horror would be involved, let alone the fact that I don’t think you even get to see a possum after all the hype?!
Anyway, I felt that the ending was the biggest let-down in the film. It all ties up a bit too happy, but then feels the need to add a little “Or is it?!”
You can’t have your crappy ending cake and then throw it on the ground to be hip, hop and happenin’; make your mind up, Possession?!
In short, if you are looking for a horror film with some cool effects, The Possession delivers.
If you are looking for a good horror film that will leave you chilled, look elsewhere.
Oh yeah… I hope that you like moths…
Ellie doesn’t have enough time; ever. She wants to have fingers in every pie and that includes pork pies. She loves those pork pies. Especially the ones from the local butcher. Damn those pies are good. Mmmmm, porky!
Also, Ellie doesn’t own the images in this article.