Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The Possession (2012)
Watching this one reaffirmed one of the major reasons why I loved The Last Exorcism, because the latter film took an exhausted genre and breathed some life back into it with some simple twists. Having recently watched The Apparition, and being familiar with other Hollywood exorcist-genre retreads like The Haunting of Molly Hartley, The Haunting in Connecticut, and The Unborn, I knew going into this that it was going to be in a similar vein. But I didn't realize just how unoriginal, formulaic it would be. If one were teaching a class in genre formulas, this would be a great exemplar.
From the opening shot it neatly follows the rules: (a) use FX to show that there's something threatening about an object; (b) setup a backstory that puts a plausible strain on a young child (in this case, divorce); (c) quickly run through a montage of scenes that depict said child exhibiting increasingly aberrant behavior; (d) setup opposing forces: the father who knows something is wrong, and the mother who doesn't believe him; (e) show a research scene; (f) and, of course, the exorcism itself, which the filmmakers must know will not come close to the exorcism scene from 1973.
Typically I would talk about cinematography, acting, thrills that stood out, and so on, but I've got nothing further to share. I'll give it one star for simply being a horror movie.