The Possession

Not rated yet!
Director
Ole Bornedal
Runtime
1 h 32 min
Release Date
30 August 2012
Genres
Horror, Thriller
Overview
A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl's father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.
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Plugged In1
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Possession
    DramaHorror We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewThink outside the box. You've likely heard this phrase a lot over the years—from your parents or teachers or well-meaning but cliché-obsessed editor. And, really, the sentiment is quite nice: It's always good to look at things from outside the confines of a given system, to consider a problem from a new angle or direction. To imagine the possibilities, not just the probabilities. 'Course, this sort of advice shouldn't be given to just anyone. Take dibbuks, for instance. According to Jewish legend, dibbuks are evil spirits bent on all sorts of malevolent mischief—and therefore must be trapped in boxes so they'll stay out of our hair and we'll stay reasonably safe and curse-free. Jewish rabbis tasked with boxing up these spirits fill 'em (the boxes) with all manner of talismans, charms and doodads designed to trap and keep the dibbuks inside. So opening a box with a dibbuk in it—thus encouraging said spirit to not just think, but act outside its cozy, consecrated confines—is just begging for trouble. Thankfully, the boxes are typically covered with engraved warnings to not, under any circumstances, open them. Disastrously, they're all in Hebrew. This can be a serious problem, say, when a dibbuk-filled box kills off its previous owner and lands in an estate sale frequented by non-Hebrew-reading shoppers. What if a little girl named Emily should take a shine to the thing? What if she should talk her dad—a dad already feeling guilty for putting the fam through a divorce and not spending enough time with his kids—into buying it for her? What if she should take it home and pry it open, allowing the nasty spirit inside to escape its wooden prison? What might happen? Well, truthfully, I have no idea. But The Possession has some out-of-the-box thoughts on the matter. Positive ElementsThe dibbuk box lands in the midst of a broken family. Clyde is a devoted but sometimes distracted dad whose career ambitions undercut his familial duties. It was a big reason why he and one-time wife Stephanie split a year earlier, but the guy still hasn't learned his lesson: He's still late to pick up the girls and misses his daughter's dance performance because he can't break away from work. Divorce is always hard on families, particularly the kids—and Clyde's fatherly lapses don't help. But the dibbuk, for all its obviously heinous flaws, does force Clyde to reevaluate his priorities. He shows a willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter. And when the crisis is over, we see a family on the mend: He and Stephanie have reconciled, and he turns down a prestigious career opportunity to remain with his wife and daughters. Through this family's trials, we see how important it is to be an attentive husband and devoted father. We see how hard divorce can be on the kids. And we get a sense that love can truly overcome the worst sorts of evil.Spiritual ContentThe dibbuk is obviously a creature of spirit, one believed in predominantly (we're told) by Hasidic Jews. But it also appears to have physical substance as well, making a home in Emily's innards. We see the creature's body outlined in an MRI, see its fingers feel around the inside of the girl's throat and watch as Emily eats voraciously—because the dibbuk inside seems always hungry. Once Clyde's convinced that Emily has indeed been possessed by the dibbuk, he researches the phenomenon online. He watches grainy clips of a few exorcisms, then decides to perform one himself—beginning by reading Psalm 91 aloud. It does not go well. Clyde consults a venerated Hasidic rabbi who's surrounded by several other presumably holy men, but they refuse to help. "This must be left to the will of God," the rabbi says. "If this was your child, would you leave it to the will of God?!" Clyde protests. Only one man—the rabbi's son, Tzadok—agrees to help, informing Clyde that his religious tenets require him to take action when someone's life is in jeopardy. The exorcism itself involves the use of candles, oil (a symbol of light, as water is a symbol of darkness) and some personal belongings of Em's family to be placed in the box—effects that somehow help compel the dibbuk to stay put. The ceremony involves prayer and chanting. We learn that a mirror on the inside the box also has significance—a reminder to the creature inside that it turned its face from God. A painting of the Last Supper hangs in the house of one of the box's previous owners.Sexual ContentAt most, Clyde and Stephanie chuckle and blush over a previous sexual encounter. Stephanie's new boyfriend is at her place for breakfast (but she insists that he hasn't moved in). Hannah, Em's older sister, dances in the garage using ever-so-slightly sensuous moves.Violent ContentThe dibbuk kills when it can. Under its power, a woman suffers a horrible seizure: Her face sags and her eyeballs roll back before she begins thrashing about her living room—finally arching her back until it cracks and then sending her face crashing through a coffee table. Another woman, bleeding from her eyes, is thrown around a classroom—smacking walls and desks before she's hurled by invisible hands through a closed window. (She presumably falls to her death.) The dibbuk nearly strangles someone, almost kills someone else with a glass shard and hits several folks with frightful fury. We see the creature's fingers in Emily's throat and later see it claw its way out of someone's body through the mouth. A man pulls out all his teeth, leaving his mouth a bloody, gaping maw. A woman pulls a clump of her own hair out. A man covered in bandages screams when he sees the box. When Emily, under the influence of the dibbuk, says some nasty things to her father, something strikes her in the face twice. It's not Clyde, but Em thinks it is, and she screams in fear and horror. "My dad doesn't like me anymore," she confesses heartbreakingly to her beloved box. Hannah, who sees part of the episode from behind, believes her dad is beating Em as well. Emily stabs her father's hand with a fork. Stephanie, barefoot, walks across a floor covered in broken glass. Brett later plucks pieces of glass from her feet. A semi plows into a car, leaving a trail of wreckage.Crude or Profane LanguageOne s-word. "A‑‑," "d‑‑n" and "h‑‑‑" show up once or twice each. God's name is misused a half-dozen times. Jesus' name is abused once.Drug and Alcohol ContentStephanie drinks wine. After Brett gently mentions that it's her second glass and she should save some for supper, she sneaks a third.Other Negative ElementsEven when not under the influence of an evil spirit, Clyde's daughters sometimes treat him a bit disrespectfully. And against the express wishes of Stephanie, Clyde buys his daughters pizza for dinner, then jokingly tries to keep Em from tattling on him by way of a little bribery. Em often gags on the unseen presence inside her.ConclusionThere is, apparently, a box out there in the real world that some say is infected with a dibbuk—one that has allegedly caused a string of owners no end of grief. The box is quite a bit larger than the one in the movie and hasn't (so far as the reports indicate) possessed a 10-year-old girl. But its story was enough to make Sam Raimi—director of spooky movies like The Evil Dead and not-so-spooky fare like the original Spider-Man trilogy—want to make a movie based on it. "You don't hear about dibbuks when you go to synagogue," Raimi told Entertainment Weekly. "The stories chilled me to the bone." The Possession is pretty chilling in its own right. Producer Raimi and director Ole Bornedal know their way around the horror genre, and it shows. Superficially resembling both The Exorcist and The Ring, its tone, themes and chaotic spirituality, while solidly PG-13, could easily shake and disturb and mislead not just sensitive kids, but adults as well. And when it comes to those kids, the dibbuk's propensity to prey on children—innocents who can do little to defend themselves—makes the film even more jarring. Just like the box at its center, this movie should have a warning engraved on it—and not just in Hebrew.Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Debbie Schlussel1
The New York Post



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • UPDATED: Wknd Box Office: End of Watch, Trouble With the Curve, House at the End of the Street, The Possession, Dredd
    Blog Posts Movie Reviews The Possession“: Acrimonious divorced parents (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick) have two daughters of whom they share custody, though the mom is the neurotic, over-protective one, per usual. One of the daughters buys a mysterious wooden box at a garage sale. It turns out the box is a “dybbuk (Yiddish for “evil spirit”) box,” which the father learns after the daughter becomes possessed. He seeks out Chassidic rabbis to perform an exorcism on his daughter and gets the son of one of them (Matisyahu) to come on the Jewish Sabbath to perform the exorcism. There are a few technical errors regarding Orthodox Jews and the Jewish Sabbath. For example, at first, the movie shows Matisyahu listening to his iPod on the Jewish Sabbath, which is forbidden (something Matisyahu, who is an Orthodox Jew–or was, should know). Also, Matisyahu says, “I can go with you on the Jewish Sabbath because of pikuach nefesh.” But he doesn’t explain what the term means, even though I doubt the many non-Orthodox Jewish moviegoers who see this movie (it was #1 two weekends in a row and has done very well) will know what the term means (it means you are allowed to violate the laws of the Jewish Sabbath and most other Jewish religious laws to save a life. As exorcism movies go, this wasn’t very scary or thrilling. But it was fine for teens and isn’t dirty. ONE REAGAN ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Ica Reviews1
Aryan Skynet



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ 𝐄𝐃𝐆𝐘 🔥 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐍𝐓 🔥 𝐖𝐀𝐑𝐍𝐈𝐍𝐆 🔥 (𝐍𝐒𝐅𝐖?) ⚠️

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  • All Is Bright ***
    (”The Possession” is briefly mentioned in this.)


    Paul Giamatti daringly essays his umpteenth grumpy, disgruntled crumb-bum role in the sarcastically titled seasonal feature All Is Bright, a film which might more descriptively, memorably, and profitably be retitled The Grouch Who Stole Christmas.

    Giamatti stars as Dennis Girard, a Canadian thief released from prison only to find that his wife, Therese (Amy Landecker), has given him up for an old friend, reformed crook Rene, played by Paul Rudd. Even more humiliating for Dennis is that Therese, hoping to shelter her daughter (Tatyana Richaud) from the unpleasant truth about her father, has told her that Dennis is dead so as to bar him from having any place in his daughter’s life. Out of work, at loose ends, and nearly at the end of his tether, Dennis bullies Rene into taking him along on his annual trip to New York to hawk exotic Canadian tannenbaums.

    Offering nary a likable character, All Is Bright may strain the patience of audiences in search of something funny but basically wholesome, uplifting, and appropriate to view at Christmastime. A “criminal with a small dick”, Dennis Girard is ultimately too flawed, thorny, and unpersonable a character, his choices and outlook too glum, sordid, nasty, and unrepentant, for the film to be terribly entertaining or morally rewarding. All Is Bright is marginally amusing at best, and Giamatti’s grouch card may be maxed out, so the actor is advised to seek opportunities for expanding his range beyond the apoplectic curmudgeon that made him famous.

    3 out of 5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that All Is Bright is:

    9. Anti-American. A U.S. border patrol agent is unfriendly, and Dennis and Rene affect a stereotypical Doug and Bob McKenzie Canadian accent to impress gullible American tree shoppers (cf. no. 2).

    8. Green. “They still don’t have stars here,” Rene says on arrival in the United States, probably with reference to air pollution.

    7. Anti-drug. “You should keep lungs, yeah?”

    6. Pro-slut. The viewer is presumably expected to consider the casual attitude of Russian eccentric Olga (Sally Hawkins) toward what she terms “the thing” an endearment.

    5. Anti-Putin. “You have heart like Putin,” Olga says insultingly.

    4. Anti-marriage, with infidelity and divorce the norm.

    3. Barely Christian. Rene gives his adopted daughter an Advent calendar, but little or no other mention is made of the religious significance of Christmas. An irreverent, vulgar attitude toward the holiday prevails (“If you want to throw up, do it in the tree stand”). “There’s money in holidays.”

    2. Multiculturalist, pro-immigration, and pro-wigger. All Is Bright is set in that bizarro Hollywood version of the world in which whites beg and receive cigarettes from blacks. The characters generally interact postracially. And Emory Cohen, apparently typecast as wiggers after his turn as AJ in

    ...
    (Review Source)

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