My husband came out of his office, took one look at this movie, and remarked, “Pshh, I know why you’re watching this!”
John Winchester is in this movie, people! (Don’t watch Supernatural? Why? Something better to do?) Jeffrey Dean Morgan played Papa Winchester in the series, he was in Grey’s Anatomy back when it was must-watch TV, and he’s a man’s man. But, as a woman, I sure do like him too.
But that isn’t why I chose to check out The Possession (2012) on a rainy, cold Friday in May. Nor was it because Kyra Sedgwick is usually pretty awesome in anything she’s in. Nope, the movie just fit my mood of the day – dreary, dark, and chilling.
Note: There are potential spoilers throughout this review, so you may want to stop here and return after watching the movie.
The opening sequence is crazy! Poor lady! For some reason, whispered words in an appropriately chilling voice always get to me in a ghost story, and this movie is no different.
The lead-in ends, and then the movie swaps over to Papa Winchester… Fine! It swaps to Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s character, Clyde. Seems he’s a basketball coach with designs on the prize – he wants to be a Division I coach. That goal interfered with his marriage, and we soon learn he is a divorced, weekend dad. But he tries to do right by his girls, and his love for them is obvious.
After realizing Dad needs some dishes at his new house, the girls convince him to stop by a yard sale, where his younger daughter, Em, falls in love with a beautiful, carved box. Em should have listened to the poor lady when she screamed, “NOOOOO!” But silly Em takes the box home anyway.
What follows is relatively typical for this type of movie. Young Natasha Calis as Em did a great job as the little girl descending into madness. The evil glares, the small twitches that are out of place for the once happy, little girl, and her eventual obsession with her carved box were very convincing and took what could have been a cookie-cutter movie up a few notches.
Most of the jump-out-of-your-seat moments in movies like this don’t work for me as what leads up to them is too obvious. However, I got so caught up in the movie that almost every one got me this time – mainly because of some really solid acting! Hell, even books flying across the room startled me. And the breakfast scene with the pancakes – OUCH!
There was an additional element to the possession, so Dad goes seeking a rabbi in NYC with some experience with such situations. The rabbi is convinced nothing can be done. However, his brave son – played by none other than the reggae rapper Matisyahu – agrees to try to save the little girl.
I found the exorcism scenes suitably chilling, not scary per se, but very effective and well done. The ending of the movie was nothing unique, but still got to me simply because the characters were relatable.
This was simply a very well done movie. Director Ole Bornedal thought of everything, and the movie held the right tone and look throughout the movie. Even on sunny days you felt the cold in the air. The atmosphere rarely, if ever, wavered, and in my mind that’s what can make or break a movie like this. Solid performances were everywhere in this movie, but it was Calis that caught my eye.
In the end, I wasn’t surprised to see Sam Raimi as one of the producers of this movie. His influence was noticeable, in a good way mind you, throughout the movie.
I have to be in the mood for this type of movie, but on the off chance that the mood strikes, I don’t want to waste my time with a movie that’s going to disappoint.
This one didn’t.
4 creepy demon boxes out of five. (That’s a lot of trapped, creepy demons!)