Movie review – “The Possession”

In-Focus Editor and In-Focus Editor

Rating: D

All exorcism movies believe in miracles. The only question is who or what is performing them.

The only miracle in viewing “The Possession,” featuring Jeffrey Morgan Dean and Kyra Sedgwick, was the walk out of the theatre or the brief interruption of a crying baby.

Diversion from reality is a staple in horror movies. People are thrown across the room without explanation, objects float in midair and Sedgwick is given another movie role.

But “The Possession,” takes alternate reality to an even further alternate reality.

Dean and Sedgwick are divorced parents sharing custody of two daughters. In true Hollywood form, Dean is oftentimes too involved with his job as a basketball coach to attend one of his kids’ dance recitals.

Unlike some thrillers, like “Psycho,” whose brilliant and methodical camera work and screenplay shifted reality into madness gradually, “The Possession” makes a farce out of the genre.

When the youngest child, played by Natasha Calis, spontaneously screams during dinner and stabs her father’s hand with a fork, she is treated like a casual misbehaved child.

When the same girl, minutes later, is found rocking in her bed with thousands of moths infesting her room, her father retrieves her and curiously asks her if she is alright.

Evidently this is routine behavior in ‘storyville.’

Nevertheless, this exorcism movie is different. The exorcist, in this case, is an Orthodox Jewish man.

The rest of the movie is an amalgam of Jewish prayers and verses from the Torah, with the Jewish character working to subdue an evil spirit which resides in an ancient box the youngest daughter bought at a yard sale.

The child is possessed by the box, and it takes a painfully long time for the parents to figure out, stabbings and moths and all.

In sum, though generally appreciated by some critics, “The Possession” was unintentionally horrifying in its own right. The movie doubled for a collection of horror cliches, neatly bundled into 91 long minutes.

The only tragedy of the story, whose ending, without giving much away, felt reminiscent of “The Ring” and others, was the nine dollars wasted viewing it and the knowledge that the movie itself does not reside in the haunted box as well.