Behold! The monthly horror movie based upon some individual's unfortunate encounter with a body-starved demon; this specter of unoriginal bile has plagued the industry for several years now. But, what's that? This one doesn't suck? Allow me to explain...
When I first gained knowledge of "The Possession" being an actual movie that'd soon find it's way in my local theater, all I could do was sigh in disbelief. This particular genre has been far-going and disappointing in all it's efforts to woo audiences. It was when I noticed that Sam Raimi was involved, that a beacon of hope appeared.
Sam Raimi is easily most famous for "The Evil Dead" trilogy, however his 2009 release, "Drag Me to Hell", was regarded by some to be one of the best horror movies of recent times, myself being one of those people. So, instantly, I knew this movie had potential.
A month after release, and likely in it's last week of screenings, I finally managed to catch this film with a friend. We unfortunately had missed the first few minutes of it, but got into the theater right as they introducing who would be the main characters.
Without spoiling, I will say that her and I felt a range of emotions throughout the film; we laughed, we turned our heads away in disgust, we jumped in our seats, we sympathized with struggles. We left the theater feeling very satisfied, addressing complaints, but overall agreeing that it was a great movie.
Lets be honest -- Is this movie terrifying? Not at all, unless the fact that the dybbuk box is a real object is a bit eerie to you. The movie has a few jump scares, and it plays on some primal fears that people may have, including broken glass and teeth (the two not combined, mind you). But overall, are you going to have nightmares about this film, or be reluctant to go to the bathroom late at night? It varies from person to person, but I'd say the general person wouldn't be frightened.
So, if the movie isn't that scary, why the high rating? Well, to be quite frank, it's hilarious! As I said, Sam Raimi is involved with this, and his brand of black humor certainly makes it's way into this movie. It's not strong, nor is it as apparent, but there are certain moments where you can't help but chuckle at what's occurring on the screen, simply because it's beyond the realm of what's "normal".
The cast is amazing and very refreshing; Both of the younger girls and Jeffrey Dean Morgan give great performances, and their characters truly grow on you. In regards to actors/actresses, the only complaint I have is Kyra Sedgwick. I've never been a fan of her, and this fan gives me no more reason to like her. Her performance is stiff and lacking in the same energy her co-stars presented. The very idea that her character would be involved with someone like Jeffrey's is a mystery greater than that of the Dybbuk Box itself.
One of my most favorite aspects of the film was cinematography; I can't really express how pleased I was with it all. A full day after seeing the movie, I still maintain images in my head of the house we're presented with early on in the movie; it's located in a residential development area, half-build houses surround the area, and wood chips cover much of the bare ground. It's an image that really sticks with you, and there are many like it. The lighting of the movie gives it a sense of gloom and doom, comparable to that of "The Ring". I honestly don't know what else I can say, other than it was just a really well-shot film, with perfect locations and perfect lighting.
So, in conclusion, "The Possession" isn't your standard possession film, ironically. Great performances, writing, direction, and cinematography have managed to create something truly differentiating from it's sub-genre. Does the film have it's qualms? Sure! Overabundant use of CGI and some of the actions of the characters certainly take away from this film, but overall, the entertainment it brings certainly outweighs any complaints you may have. I can only hope the blatant title of "The Possession" signifies the end-all, be-all of the possession genre for the next few years, unless of course, Sam Raimi wants to provide insight once more, whether it be director or producer, in which case, I eagerly await whatever is in store!