‘The Possession’ has neither the structure nor the strength to withstand its running time
Directed by Ole Bornedal
Written by Juliet Snowden, Stiles White
The ‘Eddie’ is an award given by the American Cinema Editors for achievement in film editing. The ‘Razzie’ is an award given by disgruntled moviegoers for recognition in the worst of filmmaking. If the two ever joined forces (the ‘Readdies’?), Ole Bornedal’s The Possession would have the notorious distinction as the inaugural winner.
Not only is the story reductive, trite and impossible to follow, the shoddy and frustrating editing makes it impossible to care about. Seemingly slapped together by horror movie clichés, the film has neither the structure nor the strength to withstand its 92-minute running time.
To prove this point, let’s make a checklist of overused horror movie tropes. Is there a maudlin, down-on-his-luck man with emotional problems? Yes, he’s a basketball coach named Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Does he have family trouble? Of course he does; his ex-wife (Kyra Sedgwick) has majority custody of their daughters, Em (Natasha Calis) and Hannah (Madison Davenport).
Does he inexplicably live in a remote, isolated place? Sure, his new house is in a partially developed neighborhood with no one else living there. Do they accidently come into possession of an eerie piece of paranormal paraphernalia? Obliviously – Em picks up a weird antique box at a garage sale. Does the poop start to hit the fan when the little girl starts doing crazy, demonic stuff in a not-so-subtle rip-off of The Exorcist? Does one even have to ask?