Movie Review #4 The Possession of David O'Reilly
Music Jumps: 2
Creaks: 0 (Wow)
Gross Out: 2
Bullsh*t: 2 small and one EXTRAL LARGE CRAP BURGER!
Wife survival time: Full length.
Wife quip: Character says “It's too dark, I can't see anything” Kay: Welcome to how we see the fricken movie!”
This one was listed under supernatural fitting my criteria for a Horror movie. I could just as easily not been a supernatural movie.
Plot: A young couple get a late night visit from a friend (David) whose girlfriend has cheated on him. He asks if he can crash for a bit, and they let him. Spooky stuff happens.
The movie starts off with a series of panning shots around the house, in what I thought was going to be a possible “this is the layout of the house, it's important to know where you are” kind of way. It was not important. This seemed to be a running theme, in retrospect, as there were scenes where the camera followed the actors and then stopped. They would keep walking and the camera would stay fixed focusing on what I felt was supposed to implicate that the audience should be looking for something, or at least remembering it.
Also established early on is a security web cam that goes off whenever something goes past it. The characters reasoning for this is sound: a friend from work discovered that while he was away someone broke into his house daily, ate his food, slept in his bed, and wore his clothes. I thought this would be a set up for plot, but it barely gets looked at later in the movie. A character sleepwalks, and that's the reason given for the cameras going off.
One really great bonus is that things get going pretty quickly. Many times with a paranormal movie we have to sit through the bumps and moves. The bumps and moves being a series of objects that are moved by unseen forces, and unexplained noises. This movie doesn't do that. There are moves and bumps, but it happens with greater effect and originality in this movie.
The directors frequently film scenes from the point of view of one of the three characters. While this does add tension in certain places, it's ultimately overused diluting the intended effect as the movie continues. As with most horror movies, the main characters are also prone to making bad decisions which make their situation worse and this only serves to undermine the story in places. In addition, we are given very little back story about any of the characters and there are some definite pacing issues.
Then another character is introduced, a pregnant woman who talks to herself in the hall. Her story is a sad one, but arbitrary to the plot. Unless I missed something, which is possible, but not likely.
This movie has some genuine creepy moments that reminded me of Lovecraft (The father of modern American science fiction horror). Lovecraft often gave minimal or conflicting descriptions of his creatures. The idea was for the reader to be unable to fill in the blanks and have their imagination run wild. It's a great technique, after all whats more scary, the wasp you can see or the wasp you can't? The wasp you can't see could be anywhere, including on your back.
The demons or imps or ghosts are never clearly seen making them very scary. There is a lot of brooding done by David, who seems to have some kind of history in paranormal dealings as he knows to put salt under all the doors.
There isn't very many moments of Bullsh*t, except for the very end. Everything is believable; the freak out that inspires the couple to get their friend mental help, the best friend backing out of getting David said help because he wants to believe him, etcetera.
Often I try to take the view of the people directly in the movie, so if a character reveals a clue that should be unknown to the other characters I would expect a certain level of shock. If someone blurted out “that's why I stole it”, and the whole time they had been telling you they won something in a contest, would you not back up and say “Wait. You told me A, when it's B?” Davids friends don't do this. They should, considering the precarious situation they are in and how important any scrap of information is.
What was a really great twist was the new version of the Ouija board. I like it when something old and hackneyed gets a fresh breath of life.
The biggest pile of Bullsh*t that hits the screen is the ending! Nothing is resolved or explained. We don't find out if David is the killer or if there are demons, or if he is possessed or just batshit crazy. We never get to know the involvement of the pregnant girl, or why David wants to rock her baby. I have some theories, but they don't really add up.
I think David is crazy, having killed his wife and unborn child ten years earlier. He disassociates himself, and eventually the massive guilt manifests itself as hectoring demons, which torment him into killing again.
However, there is no evidence to support that. The husband of the pregnant woman is jailed, and would not have gone to college.
Watch it? If your idea of scary is watching two grown men and one grown woman scream and run around in a dark apartment while being "chased" by slimy creatures for eighty minutes, then this might be the film for you. Otherwise, you'd be better off letting this one slide by unnoticed, as it has for just about everyone else in the world.
I give it 2 reflective surfaces out of 5.
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