The Posession review
Sigh, I can't believe I went and saw this movie. I went because I wanted to be a good boyfriend and take my girl to see a movie she really wanted to see. She liked it, I'm glad she enjoyed it, because I didn't.
There are, what, about 500 movies now about exorcism? Easily? After The Exorcist premiered all those years ago, there have been countless tries at creating another classic in the genre. As far as exorcism movies go, there are much worse films out there. As far as horror movies go, dear God why was this movie made? Like I said, this isn't the worst movie ever, but I cringed many times and figured out the plot about 20-25 minutes in.
It's a tale as old as time, kid finds connection to demon, demon takes her over, family slowly realizes what goes on, family manages to get rid of demon, the ending is dumb and confusing. You have seen this plot thread before. Now yes, I don't have alot of room to talk, I like superhero movies, but those break boundaries. This movie didn't do anything to break the mold. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays the father, Clyde, of Emily, the girl who will be posessed. He does an ok job, he is given a character that doesn't really get to develop more than,"Oh no, I'm divorced, I'm struggling with the daughters who are suffering, I'm struggling with my wife who has moved on. Oh crap my daughter is posessed." We have seen this all before. With the exception of the posession and kids, this is Johnny Depp's character from Secret Window, at least the first half of the movie. Depp's character though, is much more developed. This actor has done good work, highlighting his role as The Comedian in The Watchmen. You can see the effort he puts into this role in The Posession, and he does a good job, but his character isn't fully developed. So unfortunately, he is forgetable.
How about the little girl who becomes posessed? Not bad, she is pretty young actress who displays a good amount of emotion and fear with her character. She isn't mind-blowing or anything, but she does a good job. However, there were some moments that made her take steps back in my opinion, but she is young. So it is fine.
How about the rest of the cast? Dear God, what a bad cast. The older sister of Emily is nothing more than (insert stereotypical teenage angst, contribute nothing to the story here.) I mean, it's not like she is a bad actress, but she does nothing new and just comes off as a minor annoyance. The ex-wife's new man is the typical nice to wife, jerk to everybody else guy that nobody likes, who just dissapears towards the end of the movie. He served no purpose other than scare fodder.
The jewish priest that the father recruits to help battle the demon is ok, he doesn't show much emotion, so he comes off rather dry. Now i don't know if that was done on purpose to portray a character that shows no emotion or a more quiet man, but it didn't come off well. However, he isn't really a problem, just minor griping. He is much better than the old jewish priests that did nothing.
My biggest complaint, as far as cast goes, is the wife played by Kyra Sedgwick. I'm told she is a good actress, I'm not a fan, but I hear she is good and can play powerful characters. Plus, she is married to Kevin Bacon. What the heck was she doing in this movie? Her character was a horrible, anoying and predictable person who ticked me off practically everytime she was on screen. She literally had no redeeming factors or moments. Oh wow, she is hard on the father because she doesnt understand what is going on. Then she slowly realizes and is shocked by what is going on, regardless of what the father said. Now she is slowly crawling back to him and cares about him again? Boring, predictable and done before. Her role was the low point of the film for me.
Now for the story and scares. The scares are nothing more than a few jumps from sudden images or sounds. It was never really truly scary. There was a tense scene towards the end, but it never truly delivered a real scare. You will jump and be startled watching this movie, but most likely you will never be truly scared.
The story, just not impressive. The opening shows an elderly woman get the crap kicked out of her by something lurking in an old box with enscriptions on it. It's ok though, the scene and everything about it other than the aftermath will never be explained or brought up again after Emily gets the box. That all just kind of goes away. Emily and Clyde have trouble opening the box, but of course Emily gets it open. As the film goes on, we see Emily's personality change and her attatchment to the box grows. We get a couple of cool moments of the demon doing freaky crap, but the biggest moments are spolied in the trailer and commercials. So if you plan on watching this, avoid any footage whatsoever. So after Clyde has figured out what is going on and nobody believes him, he goes to a jewish part of town (random) and seeks out a priest to aide him in the exorcism. The old men of the group want nothing of it and tell him it is up to God. Then the young man of the jewish group steps forward and says he will do it because their group is required to aide when lives are in danger. Then why did the other men not step forward or say anything? That's a pretty big plot hole to me.
So anyway, Clyde and the priest get to Emily, but by this point, the demon (which we now find out is named Abi Su) has almost taken full posession of Emily and the rest of the family catches on what is going on. Then to perform the exorcism, the priest has set everything up and asks the family to use all of their faith to save Emily. Now I found this odd, with any movie that tries this. What if the family isn't religious? What if they are of a different religion? Wouldn't it go against their faith to believe in this specific religion? We are given no indication throughout the movie that Clyde and his family are religious, so now that we are dealing with a jewish demon, they suddenly have the faith in time to save their daughter from the demon? I'm not trying to mock religion, I just always found that concept a little hard to buy in these movies. The example in this movie was even more awkard when u could hear the daughter shout, "Come on God!" That was tough to listen to. I won't spoil the rest of the movie, but you all probably know how it plays out.
So many elements have been done before and we get a film that brings nothing new to the table. If this movie came out like 25 years ago, it would probably have been scarier and a better tale. Now a days we have many movies like this, and this movie does nothing to break out and make a name for itself. People will like this movie, they will find it entertaining, but only if they just want another by-the-books exorcist movie. I'm not trying to insult anybody who likes this movie, That's fine, but I encourage you to broaden your horizons and seek out a better quality of exorcist movies. Heck, just go watch the original Exorcist. However, the plus is, this movie is much better than Insidious. For me, that movie is the bottom barrel of exorcism movies.
I give The Posession a 2 out of 5.