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The Possession Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Sympathy for the Jewish Devil Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    While the sound design and spooky minimalist music add suspense, and CGI effects are duly sinister, a climactic strobe effect is more annoying than frightening.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    Representing a sort of equal opportunity religious variation on an all-too-familiar theme, The Possession is a Jewish-themed "Exorcist" that, if nothing else, should discourage the practice of buying antique wooden boxes at flea markets.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Like "The Exorcist," the best film in the genre, it is inspired by some degree of religious scholarship and creates believable characters in a real world. That religions take demonic possessions seriously makes them more fun for us, the unpossessed.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 14 & under

Demonically scary movie has low gore, strong characters.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Possession is a demon-possession horror movie that's supposedly "based on a true story." There's plenty of scary stuff and creepy special effects -- screaming, eyes rolling back in heads, etc. -- though relatively little gore. Two minor characters are beaten up by invisible forces, but a lot of the more brutal stuff happens off screen. A few trickles of blood are seen coming from eyes and mouths. Language is very infrequent and includes one use of "s--t." Sex isn't an issue, but the movie deals extensively with a divorced couple, one of whom is in a new relationship. An adult character drinks a beer in one scene.

  • Families can talk about The Possession's violence. How much blood/gore is shown compared to other horror movies? Does that make the movie feel more or less intense?
  • Is the movie scary? What were the scariest parts? Why were they scary? Is The Possession scarier or less scary than other horror movies?
  • How does the movie handle/depict divorce? Does it seem realistic? How well or how badly is the family dealing with the situation?
  • Does the movie seem like a true story? What seems true, and what doesn't? How could you find out more about what really happened?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Characters stand up against difficult odds, both practical and supernatural, to protect and save their loved ones.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The divorced parents appear to be working hard to get along and raise their children in the best possible way. They have their slip-ups, of course, but they keep trying.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Lots of scary scenes and creepy special effects, but relatively little gore. Eyeballs roll back in people's heads, a pair of fingers appear at the back of a girl's throat, and a hand is stabbed by a fork. A few trickles of blood are seen (from eyes and mouths). Two minor characters are beaten up and killed by invisible forces, though much of the beating occurs off screen. There's lots of screaming and crying, especially during the climactic exorcism scene. In one sequence, the demon makes it look and sound as if the father has slapped his daughter, though he really hasn't.

  • sex false1

    Sex: The wife has a new boyfriend, and there's some talk about it. She wears tight jeans during one sequence, and her extreme lower back (plus tattoo) is visible when she crouches down.

  • language false3

    Language: Infrequent language includes one use of "s--t," plus "hell," "damn," and "Jesus" (as an exclamation).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The father drinks a beer with his pizza.