The Possession of David O’Reilly (2010)


Director: Andrew Cull, Steve Isles.
Starring: Giles Alderson, Francesca Fowler, Paul McGuinness  . UK. 1h 27m.

In the wee hours of the morning a London couple receive a visit from their distraught friend David, telling them that his girlfriend has been unfaithful and he needs somewhere to stay for the night. After consoling their friend and making him comfortable, they depart to their own bed and David starts noticing things out the corner of his eye or something nightmarish in the reflections of the mirror. This isn’t’ the first time these horrors have presented himself to David and now he’s brought them with him to his friends apartment.

You could make lots of comparisons that can be made with this and any modern found footage movies, it’s dark and the freaky little monsters often pop out of sight from a person point of view, usually in a dark room being searched by a flashlight. Personally I see the film as being closer connected to Digging up the Marrow (2014) than Paranormal Activity (2007). It strives to suggest that the monsters are real and like Konami’s Silent Hill (1999), there are bold steps to make the dark a scary place to be again.

There are some faults, ridiculous ones, but for a lot of the film I couldn’t quite work out why anyone was playing along with this madman screaming at them in their own apartment, I would have kicked him out after severely beating him around the head.

The budget on this paranormal brit flick is low but the attention to the creatures should be praised. I’m a huge enthusiast of anyone who uses anything other than CGI to create horror scares and it seems to have paid off in this slightly confusing brooding horror.

After David appears the apartment it seems that only he can see these monsters and only in the dark or gloomy conditions, so there’s lots of lights being switched on and off, monsters or at least shapes coming in and out of shot around the edges of the screen, sometimes even as a viewer you’re not sure if you saw anything either, and these shots are quite clever, now and again something gross and at time Lovecraftian appears in all it’s rancid beauty, although the film seems to creep between Lovecraft and Clive Barkeresque. Giles Alderson did an amazing job at playing the lead, and depicted a man losing his grip on reality with some impeccable style.

It raises some questions, and has a questionable ending but by that time, you’re either bored and don’t care or are hooked and desperate to find out if this is all in David’s head or not… Between the running around in the dark and freaking out over nothing it does offer a few solid scares, but you will have to sit through a bit of tedium. But for the budget it does feel like someone’s dream to tell a uniquely different story came true, but I do feel that it could have delivered a bit more to really secure it as b-movie gem.

Rating 3/10

RDigging up the Marrow (2014), Silent Hill (2006), Dark House (2014), The Dark (2005), Don’t be Afraid of the Dark (2010).
L – Monsters that Lurk in the Dark.
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