Director: Xavier Gens
Starring: Sophie Cookson, Brittany Ashworth, Corneliu Ulici Romania/USA. 1h 30m
If there ever was a contender for worst film of 2017 this should be in the shot list. Supposedly based on a true story the film follows an american journalist with a bunch of personal problems and a hated of religion is on a bender to use any story to help sway the minds of the masses against following religion. When a priest is arrested for the murder of a woman he was trying to exorcise she travels halfway across the planet to maximise on the story and help prove his guilt but gets pulled into the age old battle of good vs evil and had to subjectively look at both sides of the story, are demonic possessions real or does it all boil down to mental health issues poorly educated doctors.
The films aims to show the two sides of the possession phenomena, is it a case of dedicate priests who are putting their lives on the line in order protect human souls or are cases of schizophrenia and other mental disorders which are being mistaken for demonic possession?! The protagonist has the aim to show that this case was murder but the film only harps on about how this is real demon business, there’s hardly a mental hospital in sight, unlike The Devil Inside (2012). But our beautiful young lead and her curly haired priest crush will get to the bottom of this by either exorcising the demon or proving that nutters are really freaky when they are having an episode.
The film plods along not really going in any direction, there’s the odd jump scare or scream to keep the viewer awake but that’s it. Which is unfortunate as the film looks amazing, the imagery and cinematography is superb, much like other Gens films like Frontier(s) (2007) both had a disturbing and gruesome content but are filmed with attention being paid to the finer details, scenes are slowed down to harness a sympathetic nature of the characters and the detailing of the (eastern) european landscape and pesentary life is highlighted with rustic charm and stunning ancient churches adds a lot of rustic charm, but the characters are incredibly flat, full marks are given to not spending half the movie building them up and jumping into the action but after this there is no more character development until the end, but they I don’t think anyone cared.
It doesn’t add anything new to this possession genre, and not every film has to but they have to be enjoyable, this follows a rigid pattern, american bursts in demands information about the case, tries to persuade the person that it was murder, they say it’s the devil and she heads off for more evidence.
It’s a big of a dark blip on Gens career, he has produced some beautiful and thriller horrors, all of them have a surreal and disturbing undertones but I don’t feel that his A game is on show for this project, hopefully his other 2017 project Cold Skin will yield better things.
Sadly this possession film is lifeless and mediocre, and you have to pretty dedicated to really get into it.
R: The Devil Inside (2012), Hitman (2007), Frontier(s) (2007), The Rite (2011)
L: Possession Films, A-Z Religious Films, A-Z Found Footage films
A: What to expect in possession Film.