Director: Ole Bornedal
Cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Natasha Calis, Madison Davenport, Matisyahu
Plot: A 10 year old girl buys a unique wooden box at a yard sale, not knowing it contains an evil spirit that slowly possesses her. Her parents have to find a way to save her before it's too late.
Review: There have been very few exorcism horror films that are really scary. William Friedkin's The Exorcist had set the bar real high for anyone to reach. While The Possession may not be as scary as that classic, it sure gives a good shot.
Director Ole Bornedal does a good job keeping the tension and suspense lingering while at the same time fleshing out his characters well, all in its short 92 minute runtime. It does take a while before the horror shifts into third gear, but when it does, it's pretty fun or scary depending on your fancy. The final exorcism scene was awesome to behold, I gotta give points to all the actors involved in that scene for a job well done.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who's no stranger to horror after his stint on TV series Supernatural, is excellent as the desperate father trying his best to save his daughter. This is the kind of role he belongs in instead of action roles like The Losers. Kyra Sedgwick plays the mother, who is the skeptical parent here, and is sort of the ignorant/bad parent at least till the third act, and she doesn't have much to do till then. Musician Matisyahu plays Tzadok, the Jewish priest who attempts to exorcise the demon, and deserves credit for being quite convincing in his role. Natasha Calis deserves the most praise for portraying the possessed girl Emily, alternating between looking scared and looking like she's the devil incarnate.
As fun as The Possession was, I've seen much scarier films than this. I've seen films that made me sleepless, and this film doesn't quite come close to that. I won't deny that it's a lot of fun, but the fact that it's rated PG 13 means that it's a watered down version of what could have been a nerve wrecking piece. The ending is also a tad cliched in my opinion.
However, if you don't mind films like this, it certainly doesn't hurt watching it. (3.5/5)