Natasha Calis stars as a 10-year-old girl who becomes possessed after opening an old box in The Possession.

Natasha Calis stars as a 10-year-old girl who becomes possessed after opening an old box in The Possession.

Reel Reviews: Don’t open the box

The Possession: If you ever find an old box that appears to have no entry, there’s a reason.

  • Sep. 7, 2012 8:00 a.m.

Young Em (Natasha Calis) is an innocent 10-year-old trapped in the middle of her parents’ difficult, yet fairly amicable divorce.

One day, excited to help her father (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) outfit his new house, among the dishes and curtains at a yard sale, she notices an ornate, antique box that takes her fancy.

Fascinated by the box, Em plays with it, sleeps with it, takes it to school with her, until finally she figures out how to open it. Shortly after that she begins hearing voices, having visions, and basically acting weird. An expert is called in and the battle between good and evil begins with poor Em caught in between.

We say, “If you ever find an old box that appears to have no entry, there’s a reason.”

HOWE: Over the last few years there have been a lot of Exorcist-type movies. Some have been okay. Some have been downright terrible and should never have been allowed to see the light of day. The Possession is pretty good.

TAYLOR: I agree. Other films, The Exorcism of Emily Rose comes to mind, were okay but quite forgettable. This film had a couple images in it that I have never seen in a film, and that excited me. In horror films, as in horrific events in real life, it’s often the visual element that hangs in our memories: You close your eyes and you see the traumatic experience in your mind’s eye. The Possession gave me more than one creepy image to haunt me, and I enjoyed that.

HOWE: I loved the shots they used; looking down over the town or from a distance watching the house. It gave the feel of foreboding, something more sinister at work rather than just giving us a cheap scare.

TAYLOR: Sam Raimi is the king of weird camera angles, and although he only produced the film (it was directed by Ole Bornedal), it still felt like a Raimi influenced film. With horror movies, half of the creepiness is often built out of camera placement. I’ve seen creepier films than The Possession, but there was at least one scene where I was near the edge of my seat.

HOWE: Yeah I could tell you were scared a little bit. I had to move seats. Even though it didn’t scare me (I jumped once and yet I knew the scare was coming), I did enjoy it. I like this kind of horror rather than the hack and slash type.

TAYLOR: I do agree that this film is decent. It’s not the greatest scary movie of all time, but it’s worth a watch, regardless of your age, by the way. There’s nothing in this film a brave 12-year-old couldn’t handle. By the way, we didn’t mention it’s based on a true story.

HOWE: Oh really?!

–– Howe gives The Possession 3 dybbuks out of 5.

–– Taylor gives it 3 rolled back eyes out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

–– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film critics living in Vernon, B.C.