<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Ole Bornedal. Starring Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport.
How many times can you show us a story about a little girl being possessed by a demon and her subsequent exorcism? Well several times as we have witnessed but where films like The Exorcism of Emily Rose did it brilliantly, The Possession does it most mundanely indeed.
The film starts off with an elderly lady in a house who hears voices emanating from a box on her mantelpiece with strange inscriptions on it. When she tries to destroy it she is flung violently around the house. You know where this is going. A yard sale ensues and recently divorced basketball coach Clyde Brenek (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his two daughters Emily (Natasha Calis) and Hannah (Madison Davenport stop by to pick up some things for daddy’s new house in the middle of nowhere! Emily is drawn to the wooden box (why, you wonder, considering it looks pretty boring) and eerie music starts playing. You know where this is going too.
Emily finds a way to open said ‘Pandora’s box’ and becomes possessed. Daddy figures out what is happening, mommy played by Kyra Sedgwick is too busy moving on with her life and too angry at daddy to believe him. You know where this is going, right?
Predictable. You’ve seen it all a dozen times before: the moth coming out of her mouth, the eyes rotating in the eye sockets and becoming all white, the pale girl with hair over her face looking menacingly, the body contorting… ho-hum.
While young Natasha Calis plays her part superbly, one cannot say the same for poor Jeffrey Dean Morgan who looks a bit out of his depth. Poor chap should go back to doing romantic films or be resurrected on Grey’s Anatomy.
The only differentiator in this film is that Judaism and their faith play a part in the exorcism and not the Catholic faith.
Even the end is pretty anticipated (apart from mommy and daddy getting back together, duh!) and one wonders why America doesn’t fix all those cross roads where cars are just waiting to be careened into! Similar thing in this week’s Killing Them Softly. Oh well, looks like Hollywood needs an exorcism of its own now.