The Possession

Based on a true story that someone made up.
"Fear The Demon That Doesn't Fear God"

Welcome back to the Tagline, this weekend I got to the movies not once, but twice, and so I'll be treating you to two current movies this week. First up is The Possession, a horror movie about a little girl who gets a box. A very bad box. Well the box isn't bad, but the horrible body stealing, soul eating demon inside is pretty bad. The movie stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Clyde (Most recently you might remember him in The Losers, a movie I will probably talk about at some point, or as the Comedian in The Watchmen), a not very good dad (not a new role to him if you have seen Supernatural) whose daughter Em (Natasha Calis) buys a wooden box at a yard sale. A wooden box with a malicious Hebrew demon inside it. Kyra Sedgewick plays Clyde's stupid ex-wife who blames everything bad in the movie on him (actually his older sister does too, but I forgive her a little more on account of she's a tween). The demon is trying to possess Em, and Clyde goes to great lengths to try and stop it.

She looks like a nice girl right? Yeah she is.
This movie, like so many horror movies trying to really scare you, suggests that it is "based on a true story". Let me be not the maybe not the first, but hopefully the loudest to tell you, that is a crock of horseshit. This movie is "based" on a box some guy bought, that someone suggested had a dybbuk inside it. None of the other stuff happened. No face warping, no swarms of flies, scary rooms full of red light, none of that shit happens, as near as I saw in articles about it. Some guy bought a box on eBay. End of true story. I understand that it's supposed to make the story too close to real life or something, but it just seems cheesy to me. They did the same thing in the Exorcism of Emily Rose (granted at least they were basing it on someone who actually had an exorcism performed on her) and I didn't buy it then either. It's a movie, it is fiction, we know that, we are ok with it.

This is what I do late at night too. I get hungry so sue me!
That is not to say that this movie is not scary. It was scary. It started kind of slow, but it wasn't cheap or stingy with its horror, and built up to a climax with some genuinely anxiety causing, freaky sequences. Natasha Calis did a great job of being creepy as hell, adding herself to a proud tradition of creepy little girls (do you remember Jodelle Ferland in Silent Hill?). Jeffrey Dean Morgan as always is charismatic and believable in his fatherly concern for his very possessed daughter, and also displays a lot of patience given that everyone treats him in a fashion that can only be described as ridiculous. Highlights of the movie include the douchey dentist losing all his teeth to a horrible curse, also there is a pretty awesome Jewish exorcist. He kicks that Dybbuk right back to hell with his awesome Hasidic stylings.

And this is what happens after my snacking.
 Don't snack in the dark.
I thought one of the more interesting points of the movie was that they decided to go with a haunting tradition that did not involve Catholic lore, which is extremely uncommon. Try thinking of a movie involving a possession and an exorcism ritual that was not somehow derived from the original Exorcist movie. Coming up with nothing? Yeah that's about what I figured. Japanese horror movies don't count because they are about ghosts generally, and not demons. Nice try guys!

Critics have not warmed towards this movie. While I think that it is the mark of a lazy movie to go with the 'slow and sort of vaguely spooky' approach for the whole movie, apparently having genuine monsters in a movie is just too hokey for those serious-minded critics. At best they like the first half of the movie, where not much happens, and then get mad about the second half where you actually see things that are scary happening. They also inevitably decide, like a great big sycophantic chorus that this movie is squaring off against the Exorcist, and if it is not better than the Exorcist somehow, then it must be a bad movie right? I understand that all these reviewers are stern adherents to new criticism, but I apparently have to keep repeating myself when I say THERE CAN BE MULTIPLE MOVIES THAT ARE GOOD IN EACH GENRE. There's actually no limit. The Exorcist was a movie about Catholic priests exorcising the devil out of a girl. This movie is not any of those things. It's a different movie about different things. Get over it people.

That's it for today! Join me Thursday when I talk about guys riding bikes. Really fast. You'll feel excited and stressed out about bikes. Trust me guys.
Don't make me send this bad dude after you.

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