Whenever a horror movies claims to be “based on a true story” I have to laugh a little because they make an assumption that we will actually believe that ghosts, demons, and / or other things that go bump in the night when Occam’s Razor would suggest that chick just went cray-cray. But on the bright side, crazy people have a vivid imagination and can come up with some pretty entertaining stories even if they did not really happen. The fact they happen outside the realm of reality is what makes them entertaining.
Supposedly The Possession was based on a true story where a newly divorced Jeffery Dean Morgan (Watchmen) is patroning garage sales to pick up essentials for his new house with his daughter when one of them Natasha Calis (The Firm) picks up an antique wooden box for herself. Except when they take it home it does not open and is covered in Hebrew. Until it mysteriously opens and the young child finds dead moths, teeth and other weird and random artifacts. Oh yeah, and the box also held an unseen demon.
The Possession does not add anything to the genre and can really be considered the Jewish take on exorcisms, as performed by former Hasidic Jew Matisyahu (why do the Catholics get to have all the fun?) or does not turn the genre on its head. But there are plenty of good scares in the film for all the horror fans out there like the scene in the trailer when the kid looks down her throat in the trailer to see fingers trying to climb out of her esophagus. I will also be infinitely more freaked out by moths after seeing this film. And of course the inclusion of children makes any horror movie just a little creepier.
For skeptics like me when it comes to movies “Based on a true story” there is a bonus feature The Real History of the Dibbuk Box which starts off by saying that the Dibbuk box shown for the feature is just a replica for your safety. The real story turns out nothing like the movie except the original owner has a stroke when coming into contact with the box (which is depicted much more violently in the movie). But low and behold when they say they are going to show us the actual Dibbuk box, I seriously thought of just turning off my television just in case. I did not and am still alive and still have all my appendages. Other specials on the blu-ray (which are the same as the DVD) include two separate audio commentaries, one with director Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch) while other is with the writers Juliet Snowden and Stiles White (Knowing). It also comes with a code that can be redeemed for both a digital copy and an UltraViolet copy for those that like to watch their movies on their mobile devises. I wonder if scary movies are more or less frightening on a smaller screen.
Full Disclosure Notice: Lionsgate gave me this blu-ray for review.