A review I did for Horror Fans Asylum Reviews.
Hello, all you lost souls who have unfortunately found yourself
locked in the confines of the Asylum! The powers that be have dragged me
kicking and screaming from my room and appointed me the daunting task
of being their resident horror film reviewer. My name is Michael, and
when I’m not writing on this page you can find me at my demented film
blog, Left Field Films!
This week the film I’m reviewing is “The Possession” (2012), directed
by Ole Bornedal. The film was produced by none other than “Evil Dead”
creators, Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert.
Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a college basketball coach, has recently
divorced from his wife Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick). They have two
children, the youngest being Em (Natasha Calis), and Hannah (Madison
Davenport). Clyde gets the children over the weekends and takes them to
his new house which is in the middle of a redevelopment site where the
rest of the houses are still being built, so the area has no other
When taking the children back home, he stops by a house to look at
their garage sale. Em gets attracted to a peculiar box with strange
carvings on it and no visible way for it to be opened. Clyde buys it for
her and after failing to open it for himself, comes to the conclusion
that the box wasn’t made to be opened.
At night while Em is trying to sleep, she hears a voice from the box
asking for it to be opened. She opens the box with relative ease and
finds inside the box various old jars and trinkets which she begins to
play around with.
The next day Em complains of not feeling herself, and everyone comes
to the conclusion that she has been affected by her parents divorce.
Over time she starts acting even more strangely and becoming more
isolated and unsociable. Clyde notices that all she seems to want to
talk about is the box, always wondering if the box is OK.
There are various incidences which happen throughout the film that I
don’t want to spoil for you, but eventually people notice that the box
seems to be to be the root of all her psychological problems. When
separated from the box, Em becomes extremely violent.
Clyde decides to take the box to a professor at the college, who
tells him that what he has is called a Jewish “Dybbuk” box, which is
usually used to hold a demon or spirit.
Clyde takes the “Dybbuk” box to a Jewish community where the Rabbi’s
investigate the box, identifying the demon in question as “Abizu”, that
is known as the “taker of children”. A Jew named Tzadok agrees to come
along with Clyde and participate in a ritual to force the demon back
into the box before it eventually kills Em.
I have tried to give you as much of the story as I can without giving
away any major surprises, I hate to spoil films for people who haven’s
seen them yet!
I thought the film was OK I suppose. I like Jeffrey Dean Morgan in
many things that he does and he was pretty decent here too. Kyra
Sedgwick was also good as the distraught mother and showed a good range
of emotion but Natasha Calis as “Em”, obviously had the whole film
riding on her back and she played a more than satisfactory portrayal of a
What let’s the film down is some bad CGI, and a standard, predictable
Hollywood layout for a film that had a good bit of potential. The story
is relatively original, though the scares are pretty much stolen from
some better films, primarily “The Exorcist”. That’s not to say that the
film doesn’t have some tricks up it’s sleeve, some parts did catch me
The film is apparently based on a “true” story. As far as I know the
only true thing about it was a passing remark on an American news
channel about a haunted box on sale from eBay.
I personally thought the film was mediocre, but I can see people out
there who would like the film. As I said, there is some decent acting
and some of the scares are OK, and it did pass a couple of hours easily
enough. Unfortunately, when placed beside other more superior films on
the subject of possession, this film falls short of the mark.
I’ll have to give this film 2 needles out of 5!
Thanks for reading the review, and please avoid the escaped inmates while leaving the building!