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The Possession (2012)

tomatometer

40

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 90
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 54

It may be based on a true story, but that doesn't excuse the way The Possession repeatedly falls back on hoary ghost movie clichés -- or the uninentional laughs it provides.

35

Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 15

It may be based on a true story, but that doesn't excuse the way The Possession repeatedly falls back on hoary ghost movie clichés -- or the uninentional laughs it provides.

audience

49

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 60,445

My Rating

Movie Info

Based on a true story, The Possession is the terrifying account of how one family must unite in order to survive the wrath of an unspeakable evil. Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie Brenek (Kyra Sedgwick) see little cause for alarm when their youngest daughter Em becomes oddly obsessed with an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. But as Em's behavior becomes increasingly erratic, the couple fears the presence of a malevolent force in their midst, only to discover that the box

PG-13,

Mystery & Suspense, Horror

Leslie Gornstein

Jan 15, 2013

$49.1M

Lionsgate Films - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on The Possession

September 9, 2012:
Box Office Guru Wrapup: Possession Leads Worst Weekend in 4 Years
Tumbleweeds blew through North American multiplexes as the marketplace collapsed to its worst level...
September 3, 2012:
Box Office Guru Wrapup: Possession Opens #1 As Summer Ends
The summer of super heroes came to a close with a pair of new releases taking the top two spots at...

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All Critics (90) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (54) | DVD (2)

Director Ole Bornedal doesn't add a single idea of his own.

September 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There may be need for an exorcist, but the power of Christ isn't going to compel the Jewish demon wreaking havoc in this competent but shopworn horror film.

September 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Comment (1)
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The first half of The Possession is suitably atmospheric and reasonably creepy.

September 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Film.com | Comments (2)
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is basically a compendium of possessed-child clichés reaching back to The Exorcist.

August 31, 2012 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Another horror movie about a little girl possessed by a demon? Seriously?

August 31, 2012 Full Review Source: Newsday | Comments (18)
Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The script, credited to Juliet Snowden and Stiles White, adheres so closely to formula that it's possible to predict not only which characters will end up dead, but in what order ...

August 31, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Post | Comments (9)
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not every film needs to reinvent the wheel, and nothing here is particularly ground-breaking, yet this is one of the more satisfying horror jaunts in quite some time.

November 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Quickflix
Quickflix

...a better-than-expected variation on an exceedingly hoary theme...

July 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Puppet-master technique and a generally well orchestrated sense of moodiness help this chiller deliver on more than it botches, despite a fumbled third act.

February 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Shockya.com
Shockya.com

"The Possession" offers a few scares here and there. But, mostly it's a retread of spooky films that went before.

January 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Chambers
Movie Chambers

The movie is well-appointed if not terribly well thought-out.

December 17, 2012 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill give mesmerizingly out-there performances as a troubled couple trying to hold it together for their young son.

November 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

While frustratingly vague in terms of character and motivation, The Possession is among the more competent of recent studio horror efforts. If only that wasn't the best thing I could say about it.

November 5, 2012
Projection Booth

When it comes to exorcism movies, the Catholics have the Jews beat

October 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Disquieting, lush in style, and most importantly, emotionally engaging, The Possession is a throwback to celebrated cinematic horror of old.

October 19, 2012 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

In lesser hands, The Possession would simply feel like a blatant rip-off from horror days of yore. Yet Bornedal's well-crafted feature proves far better than expected.

October 10, 2012 Full Review Source: The National
The National

The Possession fails to differentiate itself from standard exorcism stories and movie experiences - even if it is 'Based on True Events.'

September 27, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant
ScreenRant

... a stale and shameless rip-off of The Exorcist ...

September 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Benefits from a sympathetic lead performance by Jeffrey Dean Morgan...

September 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Underwhelming supernatural horror picture - somewhat creepy but easily forgettable.

September 12, 2012 Full Review Source: SSG Syndicate
SSG Syndicate

Borndel delivers just what is expected for a visual horror film, but besides the reference to dybbuks, there is nothing at all new or fresh.

September 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Mark Leeper's Reviews
Mark Leeper's Reviews

The problem . . . is that all the spooky hokum has gotten in the way of what might have been a nicely rendered family drama about the toll of divorce

September 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews
Killer Movie Reviews

Much better than it needs to be given its late-summer horror flick placement.

September 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

The story of the box itself seems more frightening, whether you believe it or not, than this assembly-line tale of a young girl whose suburban family is haunted after the Dybbuk inhabits her soul.

September 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinemalogue.com
Cinemalogue.com

[Director] Bornedal never slows it all down enough to give you time for the hairs on the back of your neck to wake up.

September 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Birmingham Mail
Birmingham Mail

This effective little creeper is the only Judaic pastiche of The Exorcist you're likely to see this year. That alone gives it a jump on the umpteen other evil/possessed-child films that have become a seemingly monthly genre staple of late.

September 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for The Possession

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon13.gif[/img]
June 12, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

An ok well made film, but again I have an issue with these 12A rated "horror" films, really need to be cranked up a little to be scary which would mean at least a 15 or 18 rating. It's just not that scary or jumpy, it has a good cast but it's too similar to many others of the genre. It could have been a lot better.
May 6, 2013
Deano78

Super Reviewer

"Possession" is the one of latest possessed/exorcism Horror movie to come out. It follows a simple formula, little girl buys mysterious box, box contains demon, and demon possesses girl. From there her divorced parents argue, and ultimately come together to try to save her. But, this movie uses a Jewish exorcism instead of a Catholic one, so it is different. It's fine for what it is, and not better or worse than any of the other movies like this. I will say that a couple of the effects are done very good(the girls eye, and the fingers in her throat). That alone helps separate this, but it's not enough to really say "man, this rises above the rest!" The cast are hit and miss, and exactly what you would expect in a movie like this. Horror fans like myself will probably like this for a one time watch, but I doubt anyone will really like this above other movies in the genre.
March 2, 2013
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

I may possibly have been a little generous with my rating here, but I found this movie much creepier than the majority of fims in this genre lately. It is well done, and not over-the-top at all...which I find is a common flaw with most horror films. Light on the gore, and minimal shock factor here. If you need those, this is not a film for you. While it claims to be based on a true story, the only truth about it is the box. Everything else is pure Hollywood. But, someone did their homework on such phenomena as evil spirits, and ancient folklore, and I really liked that twist.
February 11, 2013
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

    1. Em: Because Miss Sandy is dead.
    – Submitted by Amar M (10 months ago)
    1. Em: You die!
    – Submitted by Amar M (14 months ago)
    1. Tzadok: I hate hospitals... people die here.
    – Submitted by Carlo Roy R (22 months ago)
    1. Hannah: She's still hungry!
    – Submitted by Serena W (2 years ago)
    1. Hannah: Daddy you scared me..
    – Submitted by Wendy T (2 years ago)
    1. Stephanie Brenek: I saw something in her.
    – Submitted by Jaime A (2 years ago)
View all quotes (8)

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