The Possession (2012)–movie review

possession poster

Director:  Ole Bornedal

Starring:  It’s a surprise….


Horror is cyclic.  Every few years there’s a “Flavor of the week” and is seems like that’s all you see being released in theaters.  Found footage, torture porn, kicked up ghost stories (some of these were pretty good).  For a while there it seemed like everyone, or their kids, was being possessed.  The Possession falls under this category (um, obviously).  Anyway, I remember the trailer, and that a couple of the scenes looked scary, but overall I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to see this one.  A few months later I was watching Paranormal Witness on the Sci-Fi channel (which I think is one of the best haunt-reenactment shows on T.V. so look for a review soon), when I saw a particularly creepy episode about a kid that bought a haunted Dybbuk box on eBay.  Some really creepy stuff happened to him and I started getting the feeling that I had heard something about the story before.  Turns out The Possession was loosely based on this “true” story.  I was happy to see that this one was available for instant play.

The story isn’t anything like the true eBay tale, but it was fairly predictable nonetheless.  Right away it’s established that this mysterious box is evil and soon it’s purchased for a little girl at a yard sale by a divorced father, played by Javier Bardim.  First off, it was hard seeing Javier Bardim without the crazy hair cut from No Country for Old Men.  Plus his normally almost impossible to understand accent was completely gone in this one.  It doesn’t take long before the little girl starts acting weird and of course everyone blames it on the divorce her parents are going through.  The father starts doing some research and discovers that the box contains a Jewish Demon called a Dybbuk.  After consulting with a few Rabbis he discovers that this particular Dybbuk is also know in Jewish Folklore as “the taker of children.”  This does not make Javier Bardim happy about life.  Eventually the little girl is admitted to the hospital and the decision is made to perform a Jewish exorcism.  That’s where I’m stopping this synopsis—I don’t want to spoil the ending.


possession creepy woman     Madame, I think this might be a good time to kick the booze…


All and all I was entertained by this one.  The first two acts are pretty predictable, but there are a couple of really creepy scenes, visually.  The last act makes the movie, so if you decide to give this one a shot, ride it out to the end.  Here are some other random notes I jotted down while watching this one:

  • The Dybbuk box looks a lot like the incense burner my Uncle just got me for my birthday
  • I hope the douchebag boyfriend gets his back broke or something, or Javier Bardim shoots him with a silenced shotgun.
    • Oh man!  I don’t want to spoil it, but if you feel like I do about this guy, you won’t be let down!
  • One of the scariest scenes is when he’s watching supposedly “real” exorcisms on the internet
  • Again, I’m not spoiling anything, but I have just two words for you:  MRI Scene.  Scary as F**k!
  • The film’s last act is awesome!
  • This was directed by Ole Bornedal!  He also directed another Nerdcronomicon favorite, Nightwatch
  • UPDATE:  OK, so I realized AFTER I wrote this that the dad was, in fact, NOT played by Javier Bardim, but Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  Get off my ass, you look at these two dudes and tell me if you know which one’s which!  (although, that explains why I was so impressed that Javier Bardim had dropped his accent for this one….)

javier bardim vs. jeffrey dean morgan



–Tyson  tyson headshot


The Verdict


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