“The Possession” tries to pass itself off as a Jewish “Exorcist,” but all it is is a second rate Exorcist rip-off in payot.
This time the sweet innocent girl doing dastardly things is the daughter of a divorced basketball coach (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his overprotective ex-wife (Kyra Sedgwick). Trouble begins when his daughter buys a strange looking old wooden box at a yard sale. The box has strange Hebrew letters on it, but no obvious latches.
Turns out the box is inhabited by a Hebrew demon known as a dbyoruk and it needs to find a host. When the girl gets it open, she becomes possessed by the demon inside. She becomes possessive of the box, starts getting into fights at school, and generally behaving like a demonically possessed child in a movie about a demonically possessed child.
Oh and then there’s the moths. Lots of moths. The film’s money shots involve moths clouding a room, and eventually going down the poor girl’s gullet. But despite all the sinister sound effects the soundtrack can muster- the scenes left me cold. I knew what they were trying to do, but they just didn’t accomplish anything for me.
All while watching the film, I couldn’t help wondering about how the box worked. For some reason it seems to only have a mean streak against women. When we first see it, there’s an old lady with a hammer threatening to smash it to pieces. Then it melts her face off and throws her around the room until she breaks her neck.
Later, the little girl’s female teacher confiscates the box and gets the same treatment for even trying to open it. However the little girl’s father opens it and goes rooting around in the box without any consequences. Same thing goes when he brings the box to a male Jewish scholar at his university. He prowls all over the box deciphering its contents without a scratch. I didn’t know demons were misogynists.
Also, it seems to take forever for the little girl’s parents to figure out something is wrong with her. They notice her strange behavior, but no one seems to notice the giant ring on her hand that seems to be turning her hand a zombie-like grey.
You’d think that would be even more of an obvious giveaway. In desperation, her father goes to Brooklyn to enlist the help of a Hasidic Jew played by Jewish beatboxing music star Matisyahu. Before long, he’s going toe-to-toe in an otherworldly rap battle with the ensign of the underworld in a climax that’s more silly than shocking. Oy Vey!
The Possession may be good for a few laughs if you see it with just enough liquid enrichment, but sadly scares are one thing this movie does not possess.