Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Possession: Meet Natasha Calis

If I had a dime for every parking lot I saw THIS happen in...

The last time a young girl got under the skin of an audience in a very real and haunting way, it was 1973 and Linda Blair was spitting split pea soup all over her room.

Welcome to 2012, where we have a new contender for Best Creepy Little Girl in the form of Natasha Calis who plays Emily in the under-written, brilliant executed The Possession.

It's a simple story of girl meets demon. Em's mom (Kyra Sedgwick) and dad (Javier Bardem... no it's not, it's Jeffrey Dean Morgan....oh... huh... twinsies...) are getting a divorce. The bitter kind, that includes neglected kids, a lukewarm father figure in mom's new friend, and the perfect amount of tension for a demon to slip in.

Em finds an odd box at a yard sale and her dad buys it for her. And, as usual, this is where things get dark.

But in The Possession, you know where the movie is going but not what to expect. The writing of Juliet Snowden and Stiles White (co-writers on Knowing and Boogeyman) is far from surprising or in any way edgy. But in an "out of left field" move, director Ole Bornedal (trust me, you don't know him) adds a level of dread and suspense to an otherwise predictable story. 

Which brings us to the incredible, upsetting and powerful Natasha Calis. I'm not sure if it was some great directing or if Natasha is an alien that feeds on acting talent, but she is a true show stopper. Early in the movie, it's seen in animalistic stares, her eyes wildly following possible prey. It evolves to vacant looks of terror, uncomfortable conversations, and culminating in one of the most low-key, intense and terrifying bedside scenes ever. Natasha does more with a stare than some actors do in a two hour performance. You truly start to wonder what her father is wondering: who is really staring back at you?

The Possession can easily be seen for it's faults in writing and some B level effects. But overall, with powerful acting and execution, The Possession is one of the better modern horror movies and definitely worth seeing.

Oh.... uh... heeeeey....I like your boots?

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