Matisyahu

The Possession might be the darkest movie ever made, in the most literal sense. From start to finish, the characters in this Dybbuk/exorcist horror flick don’t turn the lights on, to the point of sheer distraction. You expect such atmospherics in this genre – there’s no better way to amplify the audience’s nerves than by impairing their vision – but this movie goes so overboard that it calls attention to itself for the total lack of any form of luminescence. One suspects that the big reason for this has less to do with any sort of stylistic conceit on the part of director Ole Bornedal and more to do with the simple fact that there’s just not much to the movie beyond its brooding, tragic atmosphere. Jeffrey Dean Morgan stars as divorced dad Clyde, who is faced with an unfathomable test when an antique box that he’s purchased at a garage sale for daughter Em (Natasha Calis) turns the sweet young girl into a demented, evil child. It turns out that the creepy old box contains a Dybbuk, an old dispossessed Jewish spirit, which has taken up residence inside Em. From there, not wanting to live down its extraordinarily generic title, the movie goes through the familiar paces of a possession movie. Creepy moths swarm Em, who belts out vile phrases, stabs her dad with a fork and makes people suddenly, spontaneously drop dead, among other malevolent touches.

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