The Possession (2012) – movie review

The PossessionThe Possession (2012)
Lions Gate Films

This film is about a demon trapped in a dybbuk box and then accidentally released upon an unsuspecting family. The young lady, Em, is eventually possessed by the spirit as the father investigates the causes of his daughter’s strange behaviors. He is lead to an old Hasidic community where he learns the demon’s name, Abizu, which translates to ‘taker of children’. A young Hasidic agrees to take on the exorcism which takes place in the hospital where Em is being monitored. The back story about three young ladies who accidentally conjure, then capture the demon in this box is interesting. The supposedly true story of what happened with this box in recent times is more believable and consequently scarier than this film. When Em looks into her throat and sees two fingers poking out just reminds me of The Grudge and the demon face in the sonogram was a nice digi-effect but wasn’t anything new. The exorcism was short with a lot of wind, running around the hospital, and Hasidic chanting, but failed to deliver the scares associated with this genre of movie. The Unborn had a creepier Jewish exorcism in it. This film took a fertile idea and made a mediocre horror flick, thick with unconvincing effects and rehashed themes seen a dozen times over. Do yourself a favor and look up the real story of this dybbuk box (there was no exorcism or possession with it). There was a good retelling on one of those Scy-Fy channel ‘true ghost story’ shows.
the possession - pic 1 the possession - pic 2
the possession - pic 3 the possession - pic 4

The Last Exorcism – (2010) – movie review

The Last Exorcism – (2010) – movie review
The Last Exorcism is a mock-documentary about a popular evangelist preacher, ‘Cotton’ Marcus, who is part showman, part spiritual cheerleader. He brings a reporter and cameraman into his world to show them the inner workings and daily activities of a bible-belt preacher. He admits to the reporter that although he has spent many years preaching and doing exorcisms, he does not believe in demons, ghosts or other worldly entities. A personal crisis with his own son coincides with a tragic event in Texas where a young boy was killed during an exorcism event. This event was the epiphany that made Cotton Marcus want to reveal himself as a showman, as well as, all the other self-proclaimed preachers doing exorcisms in the south. Cotton hopes to expose the falseness of exorcisms so that people will understand that they should not put their children at risk in the hands of preachers over medical professionals. Cotton invites the news crew on an exorcism, picked randomly from a stack of letters requesting spiritual intervention on behalf of loved ones. They travel to the Sweetzer farm in the Deep South to perform this exorcism charade upon a teenage girl. The film then twists and turns leading the viewer to constantly change opinions about the possessed girl as the pendulum swings both ways, in favor for an actual possession, or just a psychologically disturbed teen.

The film is impressively filmed and directed by Daniel Stamm and the lead actor, Patrick Fabian (Cotton Marcus), is charismatic and entertaining. Likewise, Ashley Bell delivered a convincing performance as Nell, the possessed teen. In most exorcism films, it is all about the last 20 minutes but this one has creepy scenes and chills that held my interest throughout. In fact, the exorcism starts about halfway through the film. The Last Exorcism has a bizarre ending like no other exorcism movie. While some viewers did not like the surprise ending, I did like it. It took a familiar film genre and entwined a new aspect into it. There have been many exorcism films made in the last 10-12 years. I like this one better than most of the glossy, slick production films of the same genre that have been released.