Saturday, September 01, 2012

The Possession

Tonight I saw The Possession, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Natasha Calis.

Clyde (Morgan) is a recently divorced dad with two daughters. He maintains a pleasant, if not awkward, relationship with his ex-wife Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick).

One day, in need of furnishings for his new home, his girls convince him to stop at a nearby garage sale. His younger daughter Emily (Calis) finds a few items to take home for herself—a hat, some gloves and a mysterious wooden box with a Jewish inscription.

People at the house where the box is purchased act weird when they see Emily has claimed it, but say nothing.

Immediately after opening the box, odd things begin to happen in Clyde's home. The family suddenly has a pest problem (though the home was just built) and Emily starts having violent episodes.

At first, Emily's parents blame themselves for her behavior, but Clyde soon realizes it's much more than that and determines the correlation to the box.

He seeks the help of a devout Jewish man to remove the spirit from Em's body, and arrives at the hospital where Emily has been admitted to perform the ritual.

Of course, the film can't help but have comparisons to The Exorcist,  but it's forgivable because the acting is so good and the story is so real.

Never does this narrative dive into ridiculous territory (though one scene with an unlucky teacher did earn some snickers in my theater); the characters remain strong and realistic throughout.

Though I found several scenes to be creepy (just wait for that MRI), I can't say this scared me too much, but perhaps that's my own fault. I've been following the real story of this dybbuk box since Entertainment Weekly did a story on it a few weeks ago. And I can safely say, the truth is far more unsettling than the fiction.

But if you're in need of a few jumps and starts from a psychological romp, I can easily recommend this film.


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