'The Possession': Unboxing an exorcism film with a Jewish twist
A movie review of "The Possession," a Jewish exorcism movie about a demon from a Dybbuk Box possessing a young girl. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick and Natasha Calis star.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
'The Possession,' with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Natasha Calis, Madison Davenport. Directed by Ole Bornedal, from a screenplay by Juliet Snowden and Stiles White. 91 minutes. Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving violence and disturbing sequences. Several theaters.
Swap the clerical collars for a yarmulke, change the sacred incantations from Latin to Hebrew, leave out the pea soup and you've got "The Possession," a passable PG-13 version of "The Exorcist." But don't forget the box — a Dybbuk Box, according to Jewish folklore — where the demon possessing this little girl came from.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan stars as a newly divorced college-basketball coach who is trying to make his weekends with his daughters (Natasha Calis, Madison Davenport) pleasant. Then he hits the wrong garage sale, and Emily (Calis) buys an odd wooden box. Before Clyde can ask the ex (Kyra Sedgwick), "Have you noticed anything odd going on with Emily?," we're noticing all these odd things going on with Emily.
The effects are chilling enough, the buildup has its ominous moments. But the film lacks impact. By the third or fourth time Calis rolls her eyes in that way the possessed do, she isn't the only one.