Ole Bornedal

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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By now, audiences should be burnt out on horror films that promise that they’re based on true events – after all, whoever heard about this stuff before it hit the big screen? However, Ole Bornedel‘s The Possession actually has a news article to back it up! And one from the Los Angeles Times to boot! Based on the article “Jinx in a Box,” the formerly titled Dibbuk Box centers on a young girl who buys a creepy box at a yard sale, plunders its weird little treasures inside, and finds herself possessed by one angry spirit. The film stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport and Natasha Calis, and it looks scary as all get-out. Perhaps even scarier than actually going to a yard sale (shudder). The film’s first trailer is a solid one, and though it comes complete with some standard horror film shots (flying things! gasping! dark shadows! religious figures who cannot help! sudden car accidents!), it also has some nifty surprises and one hell of a final shot. Check it out for yourself, if you’re not too afraid:

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This week’s film comes from director Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch, Nightwatch), and it shows us that white people are violent and racist bastards no matter the language. An educated man named Johannes moves his family back to his small hometown and finds trouble when a local immigrant is targeted by townspeople out for revenge. The dark-skinned, Bosnian refugee is falsely accused of killing a kindly old woman, and when the angry, Danish citizens come looking for justice Johannes puts the lives of his family and himself at risk by taking the man into his home for protection. Bornedal’s film is part thriller and part social commentary as it explores the motivations of people both good and bad. And the razor thin line between the two…

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husband-bornedal

In the Long Time Coming department, news has arrived concerning a film adaptation of Dean Koontz’ bestselling thriller The Husband. Director Ole Bornedal, best known for the morgue thriller Nightwatch (both a foreign version and domestic remake) has been signed to make the film for Focus Features.

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published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.17.2014
D+
published: 04.17.2014
B-
published: 04.16.2014
B+

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