“The Possession”: Welcome back exorcisms

Released Aug. 31, “The Possession” went straight to the top of the box office charts. Now granted, it was the only movie that had nationwide release that week, but with that being said, was it actually good enough to earn that spot?

“The Possession” takes your normal exorcism film and adds its own little spin and flair to it. The story is simple. A recently divorced father buys an antique box at a yard sale for his daughter. The box holds a violent ancient spirit and the family searches for a way to end the curse. The plot is nothing spectacular, but the film succeeds in nearly every other way.

Photo from IMDB.com.

First off, the actors do a superb job. Kyra Sedgwick, the mother, does a great job with her character balancing the roles of a caring mother, a stressed ex-wife, and a very icy shrew to her ex-husband. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, the father, makes you feel for his struggles as he tries to maintain status in his daughters’ lives. Having a connection with the characters is something that most horror movies lack, and therefore doesn’t leave the audience invested in what happens to the characters.

One element that most horror movies are guilty of is when they show the best scary parts during the trailer. “The Possession” trailer  gives away some good things, but there are plenty more frightening moments that will surprise the viewer.

Another major factor this movie has is that Sam Raimi is the producer. Most people may know him as the director of the “Spiderman” trilogy staring Tobey Maguire, but others know him from his cult classics “Evil Dead,” “Evil Dead 2″ and “Army of Darkness.” There are moments when you see the touches of Raimi. They’re very lighthearted moments, but there are also some truly horrific scenes that will make your teeth tremble.

Finally, the last key component is that it’s an exorcism movie that isn’t based around the Catholic faith. This movie is based on Jewish exorcisms. Name another movie that uses Jewish demons? Impossible. It may seem like a small detail but it does indeed give this film some originality and helps it stand out apart from other paranormal flicks (not to mention Hasidic rapper Matisyahu has a small part).

Also, because this movie is Raimi-produced, it will have moments where the viewer gets to make jokes at the expense of the cheesiness of it all. For those viewers who are looking for a good scare, “The Possession” is not to be missed.