Another shonky, glossy possession yarn that short on spooks and originality.
The internet has clearly done wonders for the diagnosis of demonic possession. It used to be the case, having found your young daughter coughing up moths after buying her a box full of old teeth and goblets from a jumble sale, that you'd head straight to Dr Spock's Baby & Child Care, only to be told to cut down on her cheese intake after 9pm.
Like any responsible father in search of a second opinion, you'd probably find yourself laboriously and fruitlessly tackling the dustiest corners of the dewey decimal system, desperately in need of an ancient, batty librarian to cryptically intone the first part of an ancient exposition that swamps your faith in the cheese theory, leading you down a darker path.
But not anymore. If Ole Bornedal's The Possession teaches us one thing, it's that a few seconds on Google can provide you with a printer-friendly PDF detailing the best way to rid yourself of any unwanted CG manifestations of unholy evil. Also, should you not feel up to the task yourself, Hassidic reggae sensation Matisyahu is readily available to take on the job. He'll even throw in a song.
That said, it only takes a few drunken words from the rapping rabbi at a party after the fact, telling the wrong person how he spent last weekend, and suddenly Hollywood has come knocking on your door. Being a high school basketball coach, battling both divorce and an unpronounceable evil, you're not really up on your movies, so you believe them when they tell you that the world really needs another exorcism movie based on a true story.
They put forward a good case, sending Sam Raimi round for a cup of tea one day armed with press clippings from a film he made called Drag Me to Hell. People certainly seemed to like it, but you can’t shake the feeling that something doesn’t quite add up. Why does he keep changing the subject whenever you bring up this Ole Bornedal guy? Is that really Javier Bardem playing you? It looks a bit like him, but…
Six months later and no one’s answering your calls. Alarm bells start ringing, you’re back on Google, discovering that you’ve in fact signed your life story away to the director of a film called Masturbator. It dawns on you that Raimi was just the bait, and you fell for it hook, line and sinker.
You finally see the film. As the credits roll you feel less upset that you’ve been made to sound like a total tool. A man with a microphone takes to the stage, announcing a surprise Q&A appearance by Sam Raimi himself. It’s more than your boiling blood can take. You spring to your feet, screaming across the dumbstruck crowd as you fight a path towards the terrified producer.
The last thing you hear as you reach the stage, channelling demonic fury, is a familiar voice delivering a funky incantation, as Matisyahu takes you down.
Well, Drag Me to Hell was good, and Sam Raimi's name's on the poster...
Hang on, did Raimi actually have anything to do with this?