There has been a spate of shockingly bad exorcism films released recently so I wasn't completely confident when we were sent The Possession from Lionsgate, that it would be any different. But I love horror films and was more than willing to give it a watch. Thankfully however, I was not disappointed. In fact I really enjoyed it.
The film is based on a true story (although I always wonder just how much truth is actually in these sort of claims. Surely if these cases were going on in real life we'd see them on the news...or on a Jeremy Kyle exorcism special perhaps?)
The plot revolves around Em, who is the youngest daughter of divorced parents who share custody of their two girls. On her dad's watch, Em finds herself drawn to an old, carved, wooden trunk at a garage sale, which he buys for her. Very quickly Em becomes strangely attached to it and her behavior starts to change. Initially blaming it on the divorce, it takes a while for her parents to realise that her sudden terrifying moods and the odd goings on are related to the wooden box that Em is so attached to. It's her dad who puts two and two together first and seeks help from the Jewish community to try to save his daughter's soul from the demonic presence that has been released from the wooden box where it had been trapped. The family, assisted by a Jewish rabbi, enter into a terrifying battle to save Em and return the malevolent spirit to the box, culminating in a very frightening show down against the evil presence.
This film is genuinely very unnerving in parts, aided by the performance from the young actress who plays 10 year old Em. She was very creepy and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up on several occasions! The effects are pretty good and stay with you long after the film has finished. There are plenty of jumps and a fair few moments that make you want to peep through your fingers. The pace of the story, the suspense and the amount of scary scenes are enough to keep you gripped and entertained. It has all the elements of a good supernatural, horror movie that will provide 90 minutes of enjoyable scare time. As it has a certificate 15, it stops short of being too gory or violent, relying more on being subtly disturbing keeping you on edge.
It may not be groundbreaking, but it is very entertaining, genuinely scary in parts, pretty well acted with likeable characters and has some nice creepy effects putting it above other films I have seen in the exorcism genre. It was thoroughly enjoyed by myself, Ian and 16 year old Ella who said it was the best new release horror film she had seen in a while.
The Possession DVD from Lionsgate is due for release on January 21st 2013 and will be available from all good stockists.