Movie Review: The Possession
By: TJ Fowler
Movies based off “real events” or actual things sometimes can be sketchy in terms of how truthful the story you see on screen is, i.e. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The Possession is a movie which is not based on an actual story as it’s more based on the legend of a dybbuk box, an old Jewish Wine box which has a demon imprisoned within. I’m a paranormal buff so I am familiar with the item the movie is based off of and there is such an item that is floating around out there with stories attached to really make you wonder about such an item. So how does The Possession translate this urban legend to the big screen? Do we get some Old Testament vengeance delivered or do we get a big empty wooden box with the Yiddish word, “Schmendrick” engraved on it? Read on!
The Possession revolves around basically two main characters, divorcee Clyde and his youngest daughter Em. Clyde has his ex wife and another daughter that help the movie have a bit of a sub-plot but it really doesn’t serve use in the movie other than to add some obstacles in the path of Clyde as he tries to figure out what is going on with his daughter Em and the mysterious dybbuk box.
The movie starts out in way that will make the viewer kind of interested from the get go in how the movie will unfold and what is going on with box as we see the box in the care of an older lady, who we shall say, doesn’t fare very well when she tries to destroy the box. We then shift to Clyde and his daughters who he seems to have a good relationship with one, Em, and a tense one with the older, Stephanie. During one of their visits with him on the weekend, Clyde and his daughters visit a yard sale where they find the dybbuk box for sale from the previous owner. Without knowing its nature they purchase it and without further ado we have a movie that pretty much goes by the numbers in how things unfold.
Now normally this would be a bad thing and I’m not saying it’s a good thing here but it doesn’t drag the movie down in terms of making it bad. However, the movie doesn’t really stand out much either until the last part of the movie. As the movie progresses, you gradually see the effects the box takes on Em, some strange things that come out of the box and Clyde’s journey to try and unravel the mystery of what’s going on. There isn’t really anything much in the movie that is particularly scary however despite having some intriguing elements. The best part of the movie in terms of visuals and tension is in the last part of the movie in the hospital where we get to see some interesting lighting effects that make it more of a horror movie than most of the rest of the film.
The Possession offers a decent way to kill some time and isn’t a BAD movie but it also doesn’t really drive home much either. However, I will offer you this. The actual story of the Dybbuk Box is an interesting one, and the film does somewhat convey what the box is about, but I recommend doing some research on the real deal and I think you would find stories that are more creepy than what you find in the movie in the movie.
Side Note: Part of the legend of the Dybbuk Box is that if you even talk about it or open it bad things will follow you. It is reported that the set of this film has burned down and nothing is left in terms of props or anything and that some murders transpired in the Jewish community that part of the film takes place.