Welcome back to ICFN, after a brief hiatus I’m back, and shall be for the foreseeable future. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
Director: Ole Bornedal
Writer: Juliet Snowden
Starring: Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick
Based on true events, The Posession tells the story of Emily, a young girl living between both her recently divorced parents’ homes. Whilst visiting her father, she persuades him to purchase a strangely hypnotic wooden box. However, soon after the item is bought, the family start to notice some changes in Emily, leading her father to question just what was in that box.
Well, I don’t really know where to start with The Posession. I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself “Have I seen that? I recognise the title.” and I’m sure you do, because of the several hundred films with the same title. Not to mention the fact they probably all had that exact same premise too. The whole 90 minute affair is just one big cliché, with little originality or character. Then again, it did have the usual ‘BASED ON A TRUE STORY’ stamp of unoriginality right in the description.
Throughout the film I just found myself ticking the boxes. First scare? Must be a stray animal? (mentioned only in the previous scene) Check. Quirky paranormal type? Check. The whole film just smacks of a desperate cash in on a genre already flooded with mediocre releases. Even the soundtrack can’t escape it’s drab surroundings, as we’re treated to the usual pawing at a single piano key to create tension or drama. Add to that the ‘creepy voices’ we hear as Emily (Natasha Calis) approaches the box, and we’ve got your standard Ghost House release all packaged up for you.
Performances are relatively solid, but nothing even close to good or even commendable. Jeffrey Dean Morgan puts in a watchable showing, but the rest are either bland or in the case of Matisyahu, absolutely dire. There’s a distinct lack of any urgency throughout, and each character really just regards the events that are unfolding as just inconveniences to their daily schedule.
However, without a doubt one of the worst aspects of the film are the effects. Normally, this really wouldn’t bother me, but when so much is made of a horribly produced swarm of bees I can’t ignore it. There are several points in the movie where I was just left asking myself where the budget went? The camerawork is competent and the film LOOKS fine, but why couldn’t they justify that little bit more to tidy up some of that CGI?
Then there’s the issue that the whole thing is just excruciatingly dull. At 90 minutes, the film managed to lose me by the first 30. The whole movie can be boiled down to three key events, and it could have saved us a LOT of trouble by not existing. Around the 70 minute mark, the piece just decides to descend into absurdity, but not even that can save it or even make it interesting. I was just left asking myself if what I’d just seen was supposed to be satire or a serious release. Either way, it still would have been crap.
At the end of it all, I was just left wondering why this movie exists. Why? What reason does it have, with the myriad of other copycats out there just churning out the same release over and over, what did they have to offer us in the board room for this piece of crap? In all honesty, I’m running out of steam and ways to describe this garbage. Bad horror is one thing, but horror by committee is unforgivable.