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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror at its best
This movie was superb! Although the scares are sporadic, the story was intriguing and suspenseful. I was never bored. After watching horror movies for 40 years, I don't care for slasher films. I prefer intelligent, suspenseful horror with good acting and a great ending. This movie fits the bill. I recommend it for those who prefer stylish horror. Best of all, there...
Published 17 months ago by pgh girl

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54 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The "Diet Coke" of exorcism movies; a series of missed opportunities or perhaps a Disney-appropriate version of The Exorcist
This was okay. But Raimi fans will find no Drag Me to Hell gross-out gore and generally horror fans will not see original scenes (regarding scares), provocative possession behavior, or unique plot elements. The newer you are to the genre (or, possession or demon box movies, per se) the more you will enjoy this finely prepared, but under-seasoned meal. While perfectly...
Published on September 3, 2012 by John's Horror Corner


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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horror at its best, April 16, 2013
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This movie was superb! Although the scares are sporadic, the story was intriguing and suspenseful. I was never bored. After watching horror movies for 40 years, I don't care for slasher films. I prefer intelligent, suspenseful horror with good acting and a great ending. This movie fits the bill. I recommend it for those who prefer stylish horror. Best of all, there are no vomiting scenes. I hate that!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scared the fluids out of me., March 22, 2013
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I watch a lot of horror movies. Have for years. I was feeling numb to them but this one got me! Actually turned on the lights. Really great twists. This is not an Exorcist rip off. This one is based on old Jewish mythology of the dibbuk. A human who is so evil they are condemned to live as deamons for all time. The DVD includes the story behind the story and it is facinating.

I cannot say I have seen many movies that feature religious Jews. I am not Jewish so I am not exactly looking for them. This one introduces a Jewish exorcism which is not like the catholic one at all. I was facinated by that. A glimpse into a world I never see,

I have never seen a horror movie where a religious Jew was the hero.
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54 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The "Diet Coke" of exorcism movies; a series of missed opportunities or perhaps a Disney-appropriate version of The Exorcist, September 3, 2012
This review is from: The Possession (DVD)
This was okay. But Raimi fans will find no Drag Me to Hell gross-out gore and generally horror fans will not see original scenes (regarding scares), provocative possession behavior, or unique plot elements. The newer you are to the genre (or, possession or demon box movies, per se) the more you will enjoy this finely prepared, but under-seasoned meal. While perfectly competent for a horror, let's call it the "Diet Coke" of exorcism; a series of missed opportunities and pulled punches.

Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick), Em[ily] (Natasha Calis) and her older sister are a family recently sundered by a rather civil divorce. But when young Em becomes fond of an antique puzzle box she finds at a yard sale things start to get strange. Em becomes temperamental, graduating to obsessive about the box while apathetic (even sociopathic) of the needs or wants of others. Clyde begins to suspect a malevolent force is at work and seeks the aid of the Hasidic elders, from whom we learn about demons (or dibbuks), their specially crafted, imprisoning boxes, and exorcism.

Most truly impressive was our young Natasha Calis as Em. She did an amazing job showing us that as the demon commanded more and more of her conscious self (to the point of entirety) that underneath she was aware of her uncharacteristic, marionetted actions. Her expressive eyes were the key. Somehow malevolent on the possessed outside, while only thinly veiling the sadness and desperation of the scared child trapped within behind the evil veneer. As her desperate and fearful father, Jeffrey Dean Morgan also does a spectacular job as the serial-recipient of her cold, lifeless gazes. But all of this amazing tone contributed to only minor tension with no real follow-through. The scares really weren't there for me--not even a bit, short of being taken off guard by blaring loud noises which, while a classic tactic, should come with a little more than just a lone, pounding instrumental note. I feel like they pulled too many punches--or simply didn't have the muscle to throw them in the first place. No exorcism should be devoid of offensive material, but this movie was completely inoffensive. This is really like an Exorcist-lite movie; the "Diet Coke" of exorcism movies; a series of missed opportunities or, perhaps even, a Disney-appropriate version of The Exorcist. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, however. That is, unless, you enjoy R-rated horror movies. Some PG-13's pull it off--this one didn't.

The only truly unique moment of the film was a brief scene of moths hurricaning around Em's bedroom. Everything else has been done before--not that I'm suggesting it's easy to produce something you've never seen in a horror flick nowadays. The exorcism scene in the end is stunningly similar, even copied, to that of The Unborn (2008), as is the general Jewish demon premise (with a few tweaks).

To the seasoned viewer, this film might come off as at least a little bit boring when the filmmakers aren't trying to scare you with loud noises (and little clout to back them). I kept feeling a bit of the Sam Raimi vibe, but just when I thought it would hit with something shocking, gastro-intestinally gross and gory, or totally twisted--it wouldn't happen! Instead I just got dirty Ring-Grudge hands, a swarm zombie moths, whited-out "possessed" eyes, and a bunch of child-gone-wrong temper tantrums. There were also some significant plot holes--not that that's a surprise in a horror film--which didn't even get a nod. For example, something awful happens to Stephanie's boyfriend and he vanishes from the movie, then everyone behaves as if he was never there whereas earlier he was playing a father-replacement role much to Clyde's chagrin. Then there was the fact that there was a horribly bandaged woman in the house where they bought the dibbuk box--ever think to go ask them about it before turning to obscure experts? I saw the ending coming from a mile away but, as a serious horror fan, I still appreciated the oft-told ominous closing message.

In the end this was a perfectly competent, well-acted horror film with a less common spin on a quite common story. A little too light for my taste, but heavy-handed horror and sacrilegious scenarios are not for everyone. If you are "not everyone" then maybe this very PG possession movie is for you.

SIDBAR: This movie is a slightly different take on The Unborn (2009), in which Odette Annabel/Yustman is plagued by her unborn Dibbuk demon twin--not The Unborn (1991), in which a woman has a mutant, murderous baby a la It's Alive (1974, 2008 remake). On that note, let's just snuff out the fact that sooo many people are thrilled to see "this new take" on "the first Jewish exorcism" movie. It's not. It's at least the second and is basically a reboot with some scenes remade from The Unborn. This movie is also in no way related to the ultra-weird and cerebral Possession (1981, with Sam Neil).

BIPOLAR REVIEWS: Hop on to IMDB as scan the already numerous reviews and you'll find that everyone is loving or loathing this flick. My guess is that the loathers have seen far more horror flicks than the lovers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Daddy you scared me", April 24, 2013
This is the first movie Ive reviewed.I'm someone who cant keep focus on any movie anymore so I gave up on movies however, I thank my teenage brother for talking me into redbox to get this This movie is SO good. It is based on real events, and is heartwarming and scary while giving us a glimsp into the world of deception, manipulation,and evil what one would expect from a possesion. The things that happen to this girl and the family are sad.It cant get anymore real seeming then this movie! All I can say is when you hear the words "Daddy you scared me" you'll see why!
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE POSSESSION Is A Visual Throwback To Scares That Don't Rely Heavily On CGI, January 4, 2013
This review is from: The Possession [Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet] (Blu-ray)
There's been a rash of exorcism-style films these last few years. Some of them have been good, and, naturally, some of them have been bad. It could be that this trend is little more than an industry going through its creativity cycle, rediscovering some of what produces more authentic scares from yesteryear - that being stories grounded in reality - for audiences who've grown accustomed to and thus dismissive of more special-effects-heavy gore. I tend to believe that there's something a bit different going on; I think that we - as a society - tend to reach out for a renewal of these spirits-inhabiting-another tales when we're going through some cultural upheavals. Instead of accepting that Tinseltown drives us, I prefer to think that we tap find these special places all on our own. Then, some clever scriptwriters trap lightning in a bottle, and viola! That same ol' exorcism is now back in vogue!

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you're the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I'd encourage you to skip down to my last two paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you're accepting of a few hints at `things to come,' then read on ...)

Clyde Brenek (played by the reliable Jeffrey Dean Morgan) recently separated from his wife, Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick). When their youngest daughter, Emily (Natasha Calis), begins displaying some weirdly erratic behaviors, they and her school are quick to chalk it all up to the inevitable side effect of a marriage in collapse. However, the girl's creeping obsession with an ornate, antique wooden box she picked up from a yard sale borders on the insane. As Clyde begins to research more about the item, he realizes he has something very tragic and very unique in his possession: it's known as a Dibbuk box. It's meant to contain a dislocated spirit. To his dismay, Em has opened the box, and now the entity is slowly devouring her soul.

Director Ole Bornedal manages to squeeze a bit more life out of the traditional exorcism picture by sticking with mostly classical film techniques - inexorably slow pans and eases and tricks with light and shadow - whereas a more contemporary director would've tried to likely incorporate some CGI sequences. There's nothing big and bold here. This is traditional filmmaking, and it works. By sticking with what's tried and true, Bornedal elevates the story to that of legitimacy, letting the script from Juliet Snowden and Stiles White effectively breathe in that atmosphere.

Also, it doesn't hurt matters that the tale heavily straddles some common family issues - dad and mom are divorced, the kids are getting used to the separation, mom has another man in the picture whilst dad is considering relocating elsewhere for work - as these all tend to complement the dynamic of not only a family but also a greater society in flux. That dynamic gives more credibility to an undercurrent that's unsettling, giving these characters some added depth. It all adds up in creating an environment where a spectral entity could, perhaps, seek out and find residence amongst the weak, so it's clear that all players have done their homework in legitimizing the stresses.

In fact, most of THE POSSESSION works precisely because it comes across as heavily grounded in real events. (Indeed, the script is based on actual occurrences, though the accompanying documentary - a special feature - gives a much different accounting of events.) The smart script never cheapens the relationships; the production team never resorts to flashy pyrotechnics to get across the frights; and what emerges is a welcome return to the good, old-fashioned, conventional ghost story. There's evil out there, and it needs one of us in order to be free. It's all made cohesive through the commitments of a solid cast and crew.

THE POSSESSION (Rated PG-13) is produced by Ghost House Pictures and North Box Productions. DVD distribution is being handled through Lionsgate. As for the technical specs, the film looks and sounds remarkable; there are a few moments when I cranked up the center volume to hear some of the ghost's whispery dialogue, but, alas, there's nothing the audience needs to hear specifically. The disc has two separate commentary tracks - the first is from Bornedal, and the second is from scriptwriters Snowden and White. Furthermore, there's a brief documentary explored the truth behind the fiction, treating viewers to a look at the real Dibbuk Box. Also, there's an assortment of trailers.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I didn't see how THE POSSESSION really brought anything all that new, novel, or unique to the `exorcism' genre, but there's something to be said for legitimate creepiness in the age of special effects. Still, it's better than most films of this sort that have come along in quite some time. There are some very solid moments grounding the picture between the players - Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Natasha Calis, especially - that elevate the story to another level. Additionally, there's a lot of solid camera work that helps work up the tension to palpable levels, though some of the trickery falls predictably thin in the climax. Worth its scares in gold, though.

In the interests of fairness, I'm pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Lionsgate provided me with a DVD screener copy of THE POSSESSION for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome movie!, March 25, 2013
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This is one scary ass movie! It was great! Keeps you in suspense the whole time of what is going to happen!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie! I crave movies like this!, March 20, 2013
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This review is from: The Possession [Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet] (Blu-ray)
This movie is in a special category. It has an excellent plot and the most awesome part about it is that there is no sexual stuff. There are a lot of horror movies that get ruined (in my opinion) with a bunch of people talking about nasty stuff and doing nasty stuff. What is the world teaching our children? You can't watch cable without hearing about erectile dysfunction! I don't want to answer that question from my 11 yr old. Ok off the subject, long story short a must see for people that like scary movies without the nastiness. Family friendly if your children like scary movies.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scared the sh*t out of me, December 4, 2012
By 
Misty J. Moreton "MistyJM" (San Diego, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Possession [Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet] (Blu-ray)
I am the kind of horror movie fan who loves the ones that make you jump.
I've been trying to find something as good as "The Ring" for a while and I have to
say this is it.
It will make you jump, has a great story, and was totally worth the price of a movie ticket!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Way above average horror flick, April 16, 2014
For some reason, I love religious horror movies, and this one has that element to it. There is something very scary for me about certain people in the real world knowing the evil that can exist (most religious premises). This one has that. There are a few genuinely scary moments and some are quite gross without being gorey (I can't remember any blood in this movie, but I may be mistaken). The little girl actress is extremely good (actually, everyone is good). Far, far above average.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Horror Movies are Laughable. This one is no joke., January 23, 2014
When you write horror novels for a living, you become numb to the genre'. I got chills several times during this intense movie. There is a fine line between scaring someone and making them laugh. This movie is out to scare the sweet B'Jeezus out of you. Nothing creepier than a demon possessed child in the same room with you when the lights go out. Not to mention the husband Clyde reminds me of Anton from No Country For Old Men.
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The Possession [Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet]
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