The Possession

I was eagerly anticipating The Possession, the new horror/thriller produced by Sam Raimi and directed by Ole Bornedal. The basis of this movie lies in the Jewish mythology of the dybbuk and the dybbuk box. A dybbuk is a malevolent spirit, actually the dispossessed soul of a dead person. The dybbuk can be trapped in a dybbuk box but, when the box is opened, the dybbuk can possess a living person. This requires a ritual exorcism.

In this movie, a family purchases an odd box from a yard sale. The younger daughter becomes obsessed with the box. When she opens it, the dybbuk is set free. As the dybbuk begins to possess her soul, her behavior changes. Eventually, her family’s search for answers leads to the realization of the possession, and that an exorcism must occur.

The best performance in the movie belongs to Matisyahu, the Jewish reggae singer. He plays Tzadok, who travels from Brooklyn to upstate New York to perform the exorcism.

The Possession is not particularly scary, but I like that it presents a  view of  Judaism and Jewish mysticism not generally seen today. It was a bit interesting and fun, but I would prefer a scarier movie with a more original story, not just a Jewish Exorcist.

A Dybbuk Box
(not the one from the movie)


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