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Film Review: Real-Life Backstory of ‘The Possession’ More Titillating Than Cinematic Dybbuk Dramatization

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CHICAGO – A film marketing itself as being “based on a true story” doesn’t hold the same teeth it once did. With truly original stories a financial high risk for Hollywood and many films leaning toward being based on a best-selling novel, the genre that is based on a true story or “inspired by true events” has increasingly taken creative liberties.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

Beware, filmgoers. Just a nugget of truth doesn’t amount to a true gold rush. In the case of the new horror film “The Possession,” the only validity to this film’s claim of being based on a true story is that there was indeed a well-reported dybbuk box (also commonly spelled dibbuk). The story involved real people trying to offload it on eBay once it allegedly haunted them.

Today, most horror films claiming real-life truth aren’t really based on a true story or much of one. They just say so for marketing purposes so you’re scared into being curious about the paranormal. Perhaps they’re preying on people who might already be on the fence about ghosts and UFOs.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “The Possession”.

Unfortunately for “The Possession,” that real-life backstory – whether or not you believe it – is more redeeming than the film itself. By the way, we last saw a dybbuk as recently as 2009 in the massive David S. Goyer flop “The Unborn,” which featured a similar Jewish possession plot, was filmed in Chicago and starred Gary Oldman.

So, what supposedly is a dybbuk and how does eBay fit in with one?

“The Possession” stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Natasha Calis, Kyra Sedgwick, Jay Brazeau, Madison Davenport, Matisyahu, Grant Show, Rob LaBelle, Nana Gbewonyo, Anna Hagan, Brenda Crichlow, Iris Quinn, Graeme Duffy and David Hovan from director Ole Bornedal, writers Juliet Snowden and Stiles White and producer Sam Raimi. After editing and then a re-rating on appeal, the film is rated “PG-13” for mature thematic material involving violence and disturbing sequences. It was initially rated “R” for violence, terror and disturbing images. “The Possession,” which has a run time of 92 minutes, opened on Aug. 31, 2012.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “The Possession” review.

Natasha Calis stars as Em in The Possession
Natasha Calis stars as Em in “The Possession”.
Image credit: Diyah Pera

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “The Possession” review.

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