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The Possession (2012)

  Tags: curse, Dibbuk Box, Ghost House Pictures, haunting, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Juliet Snowden, Kyra Sedgwick, Lionsgate, Madison Davenport, Natasha Calis, possessed, Possession, Sam Raimi, Stiles White, The Possession

Your rating: None Average: 6.1 (15 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
5

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Rating #: 
5/10
Director: 
Ole Bornedal
Runtime: 
92 minutes
Cast: 
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport, Natasha Calis


Originally announced in 2004/2005 under the title Dibbuk Box, the project was based on the fictional retelling from an LA Times article of a supposedly haunted box that was purchased off eBay (hence the 'based on a true story'). I think I’ll just stick to blackjack on www.partycasino.com, instead of purchasing mysterious boxes on eBay. The films lengthy development process eventually saw the title changed to The Possession and cuts made in post-production to procure a PG-13 rating, as opposed to the original R-rating it initially received. It's unfortunate, because the original rating might've actually been the facet needed to make this into an above-average possession flick (though unlikely), because as it stands it's nothing more than average.

The story sees actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a recently divorced father, who takes his two daughters over to explore his new house during his half of the custody agreement. During one of their many travels to and from homes, the girls persuade the father into making a quick stop at a garage sale, where the youngest becomes unusually fixated on a strange antique wooden box. Obviously they take the box home and it's not long before the girl starts acting more and more different as time goes on.

The Possession offers nothing new to the genre, as it goes through the predictable motions we've seen time and again from films with a similar theme. Though, I found throwing Jewish beliefs and superstition into the mix was an interesting and fresh approach, but felt it was mostly underused until towards the end. Aside from its lack of creativity, there were character development issues and even some just up and vanishing out of nowhere. For instance, we have this new guy that the mother is dating who simply drives away and is never referenced or seen again after an incident. You'd think the mother would at least question his disappearance.

Sadly, the movie is even incredibly tame as far possessions go--aside from outcasting herself, a couple CGI scenes involving fingers, a few violent outbursts, a little bug infestation, and an obviously strange obsession with an inanimate object, the evil inside the girl didn't really do a whole lot. It seemed like the sequences that forced the box to become its own character that were the most devious and more interesting aspects of the film.

The Possession is every bit as predictable and clichéd as you'd expect from a film with such an uninspired title. The flick hits all the standard notes we've seen from movies with this particular theme, only in this case done in a much tamer fashion. All this is unfortunately accompanied by a bland amount of lackluster scares and zero atmosphere. Unless you're new to the genre or a huge fan of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, I'd advise skipping this.

Posted on January 18, 2013 - 1:54am | FrighT MasteR

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