Why does Hollywood keep trying to re-do The Exorcist? The obvious answer is money, since the original made a killing at the box office, was a surprise Oscar nominee, and rightly earned its place as one of the greatest horror films of all time. So why even bother with a project destined to fail?
I'm not sure what possessed (pun intended) anyone here to get involved with this rip-off, which even tries to replicate the MRI scene. The Possession doesn't have any intelligence, logic, or scares. It also comes up short on style and relies on countless tropes we've seen before in the dozens of bad horror films that have come before it.
The film stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who seems to give up on this nonsense towards the end of the movie. He's a basketball coach whose skills are apparently so legendary he's been handpicked to coach the North Carolina Tar Heels. The old coach must be senile because there's no evidence he could be leading a team to victory in the two scenes that take place on the court.
He's recently divorced from Kyra Sedgwick (who brings such little vitality to the role she could have literally been played by any other actress over 30). In a sign of the script's laziness, there's still a possibility these two could get back together despite the presence of her new boyfriend, who's, of course, kind of a jerk.
They're the parents of two daughters, one bitchy (Madison Davenport) and one quiet (Natasha Calis). The latter finds an old wooden box at a yard sale and grows increasingly attached to it. Unfortunately, it's a dibbuk box, something Jewish villagers would create to capture demonic spirits. Of course it gets opened, slowly taking over the quiet one.
So the movie begins its cycle of stupidity: something freaky happens and the next day a character will comment how weird that was. Then something else weird happens and the next day one character will say to another, "There's something going on here," only to be reassured everything's fine.
The Possession follows these beats carefully; it becomes a pointless exercise. The lack of innovation extends to the sets. Apparently no home or business in this town can afford more than three light bulbs, so everything is constantly dark, the easier to stage yawn-worthy scenes designed to make you jump. But the special effects are often gross, not frightening. And the editing is so frenetic you won't be able to tell what's going on anyway.
Eventually, the psychotic outbursts lead Morgan to seek out a rabbi to perform an exorcism. This is after he's tried to do that himself, which has to go down as one of the dumbest things a horror movie character has ever done. Unfortunately, the rabbi is played by formerly Hasidic rapper Matisyahu. This is extremely distracting and ruins any remaining hope the movie could draw us in.
One of the worst things a movie can be is a waste of time, and that's exactly what The Possession is, especially if you've seen The Exorcist. So just re-watch that and forget about all the imitators.