Brian’s ‘The Possession’ Review

A tonsillectomy the hard way.

Whenever a film is ‘Based On A True Story’, I tend to roll my eyes just a little bit because the events that follow often end up being so fantastic–and generally unrepeatable by anything resembling a scientific method–that, if they were true, the whole way we look at the world would change (And Yeah, I have been reading a lot of Charles Stross lately.).

Remember “The Amityville Horror?”  That was based on a true story too, and was supposedly so horrific, that is till other people moved in the house, and the ghosts decided to take a siesta.

And speaking of things that probably don’t exist, can someone please take a picture of Bigfoot or a UFO with a camera that has more settings that ‘Blurry’ and ‘Extra Blurry?”

I’d really appreciate it.

The bogeyman in “The Possession” is a dybbuk box, which either holds an evil spirit, or a demon (both terms are used almost interchangeably, though I understood it as a human that, upon death, becomes an evil spirit).  As I wrote earlier, as long as you’re willing to forget the whole ‘Based On A True Story’ malarkey–especially since the film is way too far-fetched to come from anywhere except the mind of a screenwriter–then you’ll have a really good time because this film remembers something that films of this sort tend to forget.

Namely, it’s all about character.  If you have characters that viewers care about, no matter how weird circumstances become, you’ll always root for them.

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‘The Possession’ Trailer

Sometimes it’s difficult to be a horror fan because, to paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield: “We don’t get no respect.”

I don’t know what what other conclusion to reach when studios are turning out drivel like “Hellraiser: Revelations.”

We want nuance. We want character development.  We want pathos.  And sure, we want some gore and violence accompanying that nuance and character development, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want substantial, weighty movies (at least sometimes).

And there are directors out there that know what we want, and take us seriously.  A few personal favorites are Stuart Gordon, Ernest Dickerson, George Romero, David Cronenberg, and Frank Darabont.

And while it’s too early to tell if Ole Bornedal will join such august company, at least his latest film, “The Posession,” looks like it at least has the potential to generate a few scares.

Even if it doesn’t, at least it has Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who’s a great character actor and isn’t afraid to tackle genre (which is why it surprises me that “The Resident” was barely watchable despite Morgan AND Christopher Lee in the mix).