The Possession Review

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A girl buys a box at a yard sale, only to find that it comes with a demonic attachment.


Young Em (Natasha Callis) picks up a box engraved with Hebrew texts and full of oddments like human teeth, and becomes possessed by a Jewish demon (a dybbuk). Her divorced parents (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick) spend an hour ignoring symptoms (the former vegetarian crawls around the kitchen wolfing down raw meat) before calling a demon-busting rabbi who has a dispensation to ride in a car on Shabbas if a child’s soul is in peril.

Though this has one or two okay scares of the CGI-augmented creepy little girl variety, it’s a by-the-numbers possessed kid picture with fewer surprises than shocks. Ole Bornedal has made interesting Danish genre films (Nightwatch, Deliver Us From Evil, The Substitute), but – as in the Nightwatch remake – goes all conventional when working in English.

Too safe to shock and too familiar to really frighten, this is an overly conventional affair.