The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Scary divorce film possessed of little

Em (Natasha Calis) plays on a swing and stares creepily at the camera in The Possession. This is one of few shots without a creepy door frame.

By Joshua Knopp/special assignments editor

Anyone who likes panning shots toward dark doorways (or window frames or demonically contorted people) while ominous music plays might enjoy The Possession. 

The movie follows the Brednek family as it goes through a divorce. Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is dealing with being kicked out because he’s too distant or something. Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick) is already dating someone new (Grant Snoww), and the children, Hannah (Madison Davenport) and Em (Natasha Calis), are brooding. At a yard sale, Em finds an old makeup box that is clearly haunted. Shenanigans ensue.

The true story The Possession is supposed to be based on is scarier than the actual movie. The real-life Dybbuk Box is a wine cabinet that supposedly contains a Jewish demon. The cabinet got passed around eBay starting in 2001, and multiple owners have described similar phenomena while owning it — smells of cat urine and jasmine flowers and vivid nightmares about an old hag. The last known owner wrote a book about it and then hid the box in a location somewhere in southern Missouri that remains secret.

The Possession is not based on the Dybbuk Box. Basically, someone heard about it and said, “Hey! That’s a fantastic name for a haunted object! Let’s put it in a completely different story and say that it’s based on real life!”

The movie is ruined by clownish directing. Ole Bornedal said he was attracted to the script because he thought it was more an allegory for divorce than a horror movie, but the divorce itself isn’t really explored. Clyde and Stephanie are snarky at each other, and Em’s violence is written off more easily because she’s from a broken home.

In the end, it just serves to make the movie longer.

Bornedal falls back on a bunch of panning shots toward dark doorways while ominous music plays. It’s almost half the movie, just an ominous door frame shot ominously while ominous music plays. When not being ominous, the movie is basically The Jewish Exorcist. It’s nothing that hasn’t been seen a thousand times before.

Morgan is the only good thing in this movie, and even then, that’s all there is to say. He’s a good actor. He did a good job being depressed.

His quality might even have been by contrast — Sedgwick was wasted in a bit part, Davenport was OK at best and Calis’ performance rested more in her makeup than anything.

The Possession is subpar in every way. There is no reason to watch this over any other exorcism movie.

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