Possessing a Box of Tricks
Having separated things between Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie (Kyra Sedgwick) are a little tense especially when it comes to the care of their daughters Em (Natasha Calis) and Hannah (Madison Davenport). It is on one of his weekends that he has the girls that he takes them to a yard sale, looking for stuff for his new home which is where the children buy an old wooden box which they seem strangely drawn to. But this box seems to have some strange power over the children and also the family with curious manifestations, threatening to destroy them all. As Clyde and Stephanie are forced to work together they find the doctors and psychiatrists useless with only a Rabbi seeming to have the knowledge about the box and its strange powers.
"The Possession" is an old fashioned box of tricks movie, the sort which comes along every few years when technology advances and those who use it hone their skills to do something more convincingly than had been done before. But before I get to the box of tricks what we have in "The Possession" is a simple story of a child being possessed by this mysterious box which causes dark things to happen. These range from an old woman being violently tossed around a room to a child seemingly being slapped by their father despite not actually doing it. And whilst this is a solidly told story of possession it is frankly all too familiar and the details such as Clyde seeking advice from the Jewish community does little to lift this from being only an okay story.
So back to the box of tricks and what "The Possession" has going for it is a special effects team who know how to make it look like creepy things are going on such as the appearance of a skeletal hand creeping up under the skin in a child's face. There is absolutely no denying the effectiveness of the CGI and it works well with the cinematography to make the most of slow movement and light in dark rooms. But at the same time it makes the movie seemingly all about the special effects to make the children appear possessed rather than the story.
What "The Possession" also has on its side is the likeability of the cast as both Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick have a laid back style which makes it easy to warm to their characters. But their characters are not unique; they are not well defined and in truth are forgettable as are the children in this.
What this all boils down to is that "The Possession" might entertain those who are impressed by a movie's look and the special effects. But for those who are looking for a decent possession storyline will find this one a little too normal and too reliant on the special effects.