Movie review: The Possession

By Wash

What is it about Hollywood and shoe-horning demons into little girls? You’d think it’s getting a little old now, especially when most of the demon possession movies we see nowadays are “Based on true events.”

True events. Riiiiggghhht.

Anyway, let’s have a look at The Possession.

Meet Em, a thirteen year-old girl caught with her older sister in the middle of a custody battle between her divorced parents – Clyde, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Stephanie, played by Kyra Sedgewick.

When Clyde buys a new house, he decides to stop off at a yard sale to pick up some items to furnish it, including a creepy looking box that Em decides she would like to have in her room.

Little do they know that the box is a prison for an evil Jewish demon and despite all the massive warnings carved on the outside of the box, they still take it home.

Before long, strange shit starts happening in their house and it all seems to be centred around Em, who is either having the worst PMS of her short life, or has just made friends with an evil entity that wants nothing more than to come into being and vote for the Republican party in the US elections.

The Possession has its moments. The first half is definitely the scariest part of the movie, but as we get closer to the end – and the eventual supernatural grande finale in the form of a Jewish Exorcism – the movie falls a bit flat. In fact, it goes form mildly entertaining to downright corny in the space of about ten minutes.

Look, there’s only so much you can do in these types of religious horror movies to keep people at the edge of their seats. But eventually you have to reveal the demon and, well, that’s where my opinion of the movie went from “holy crap, this could actually happen” to “holy crap, I think I saw an episode of Morph that looked better than this”.

Okay, so credit where credit is due, for the most part, The Possession is a creepy, eerie, scary movie. Ole Bornedal doesn’t do a bad job of creating something that is semi-believable and that even made me jump a few times – and I don’t scare easily in movies.

But overall, The Possession is neither here nor there. It’s adequate enough.


Wash is our resident uber-geek. He sleeps on a pile of comics, speaks fluent Klingon and spends his weekends unleashing all manner of Hell on the battlefields of his PC. If it’s related to gaming, comics, sci-fi or any other form of geekitude… chances are Wash has his sticky paws all over it.


One thought on “Movie review: The Possession

  1. [What is it about Hollywood and shoe-horning demons into little girls?]

    A lot of it has to do with gender.

    For starters, girls, for the most part, tend to be more emotionally high maintenance than boys. That feeds into already existing gender roles in which girls are regarded as “fragile” and “sensitive” whereas boys are regarded as being “tough” or even “stoic”. Children are already vulnerable enough, but society as a whole regards girls as being more vulnerable boys. Is it always true that boys are tougher? No, but it is a pattern to which we are very accustomed and Hollywood knows this.

    It also has to do with biology.

    All demonic possessions are intrusions, and for some people, possession has connotations of rape or sexual abuse. Even if “The Exorcist” did not have that infamous scene involving the crucifix in Regans bedroom, the sense of violation would still be very palpable because the victim is female. “The Exorcist” was inspired by a story about a young boy who was possessed, but for the novel the gender of the victim was changed.

    I hate to say it but on a deeper level, the idea of a female victim of possession bothers me more than that of a male victim. As a feminist, I know that it is a fragment of internalized patriarchal gender roles that will take some time to be worked out of my system. If one truly believes in equality, being victimized by possession or anything else for that matter, should be disturbing regardless of the victim’s gender.

    Does this mean that every movie about the demonic possession of a little girl is inherently chauvinistic? Not necessarily. It depends on the individual movie and how they handle/portray the victim, the possession, and the exorcism.

    I have yet to see “The Possession” so I can’t really comment on it; though I must say it is refreshing to see it being done with Judaism instead of the usual Catholicism.

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