SPOILER: This film is not Supernatural and does not feature Sam and Dean Winchester. Though if they had been there, it would have probably been over in half an hour.
The Possession tells the story of a young girl who picks up a strange box at a yard sale. The box contains a demon, a malicious spirit who begins to take over the child and drives her to push away her family.
The girl’s father is the first to figure out something isn’t quite right, but is stopped from helping when the demon/girl claims he hits her, and his rights to see his own daughter are taken away. But he persists, discovering that the box has Jewish origins, and tries to find anyone who can help him save his girl.
Is it just me, or is the single parent theme running quite strong in horror these days? When I talked about The Hole, I mentioned how the kids have to fight the evil themselves, as their mother is away on business. In this film, Clyde has split up with his wife, after he was never there for them as a family. She now has a new guy, and Clyde only gets to see his girls on the weekend. The family is weakened, making it, perhaps, easier for the demon to take over the innocent vegetarian child. It’s only when the family comes together that they have a chance against the demon.
It could be an underlying message, or it could just be a plot device. (And though it says it’s based on a true story, the family are fictional. The ‘true story’ is actually mainly about the box, rather than a family battling the spirit within, and you can read more about it on the blog Rhino’s Horror) Either way, it means the film is about more than just the demon. It’s about the family, and about the man who feels he is being pushed out of his kid’s lives.
There are some good creepy scenes in here, but nothing too terrifying. Some of the best scenes are given to the possessed girl, played by Natasha Calis. I’m always slightly surprised when kids, especially in horror, play their roles well, and Calis works brilliantly with what she has to do, switching from sweet and innocent at the start to twisted and creepy when the demon takes over.
One of the most interesting things about the film, to me, was that it wasn’t just a standard exorcism film. Though I do love those (and have yet to see The Exorcist, because people have told me it’s not worth it. But I did love The Rite). Rather than picking from one of the many, many legions of demons in Christianity, the film uses a Jewish demon. It’s different, and it means the protagonist doesn’t go to a priest but instead has to travel to find a rabbi willing to help him.
The Possession is a good horror film, one well worth watching and one that, to me, stands out against most films I’ve seen recently. Well worth a watch, especially if you like demons and creepy kids.