The Possession

image The story of this movie intrigued me and then I discovered this was based on a true story. A true story with plenty of embellishment I’m sure. But within a couple of minutes I knew where I heard this story before.

A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl’s father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.

This very tale was documented as one of the episodes of the Haunted History series. A man buys a wine box at an estate sale only to befall a wicked series of bad luck. He then tries to get rid of the box only to have everyone else fall under the same bad luck. Ultimately, one man goes to great length to seal the box and contain a powerful energy within.

So is the story of the "Dibbuk Box" which supposedly contains the trapped energy of an ancient evil. In the supposed true story, the spirit is brought forth using basically a Ouija board and what follows is the Holocaust. Polish sisters are able to contain the energy in a wine crate.

Such is the story of The Possession. After the death of his elderly mother, the son puts his things out for a yard sale. Among them is an unassuming box, almost like a jewelry box. A father, who’s recently been divorced and trying to make a comfortable home for his kids, buys the box and other items to furnish the house. They soon discover the box contains many mysteries and "Clyde" must turn to the Jewish community for help.

I found the original story to be so fascinating as to be unbelievable and wondered why no one had made a movie about the story. Turns out they did. And for the most part it’s not to bad. Things build slowly and over time Emily becomes obsessed with the box and the woman who lives inside. The woman talks to Emily, but soon the spirit wants to do more than just talk. Emily becomes distant and violent. Soon, Emily is just a pawn to the spirit as it tries to make it’s way into the world to who knows what end.

With several scenes that closely mimic the Exorcist, things get a little silly, such as Emily gnawing on raw steak out of the refrigerator. But other such as the hands roaming under the skin, moths wedged in the mouth and creepy scenes of eyes rolling around in the head it does make for some creepy fun. While it holds together well, there is nothing that gives the movie an overall tense feel. Unlike the spirit in the original story that may have brought on the Holocaust, there is no real sense of power of impending trouble with this story. It has some good elements and nothing goes too over the top, but it just becomes the usual, "oh, it’s a demonic spirit." To be cliche, what is the motivation? This is something we have seen and heard about dozens of times before.

That being said, there is nothing really wrong with this movie, it’s just the original story so wild and compelling that the movie retelling seems to fall a little short. It just lacks the drama of a box that is being passed from person to person that contains who knows what sort of evil.

Haunted History – A Deadly Possession – S01E05

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