Possession movies are one of the most overdone sub genres in horror. Every once in a awhile, however, we get something that shakes up the formula, like The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) and The Conjuring (2013). Unique and original possession films are hard to find. Enter Ava’s Possessions, a possession film with a darkly comedic edge.
Ava’s Possessions is the latest film from writer/director Jordan Galland (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead 2009). The film stars Louisa Krause (The Abandoned 2015), Jemima Kirke (Girls TV series), Whitney Able (Monsters 2010), William Sadler (The Mist 2007), Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Then 2016), Carol Kane (When a Stranger Calls 1979), Annabelle Dexter-Jones (#Horror 2016) and Lou Taylor Pucci (Evil Dead 2013). Ava’s Possessions follows the aftermath of Ava’s possession when she is forced to go to Spirit Possession Anonymous – SPA – or serve jail time for all the horrible things she did while possessed. She is given the task of figuring how and why she came to be possessed. As she starts to piece together the clues, she starts to have visions of her demon. Can she figure it all and keep her demon at bay or is she doomed to become repossessed?
Ava’s Possessions is a refreshing change of pace from your average possession film. It picks up at the tail end of her possession and focuses on her “recovery.” I loved the element of treating someone who was formerly possessed like an addict. How is a person to recover when no one in her life is supportive? Her parents blame her for the possession, her friends are scared of her and her coworkers want to exploit her experience for personal gain. This leaves Ava feeling extremely cynical. She constantly make jokes about her possession. For example, when her mother tells she shouldn’t be drinking, she tells her she knows how to handle her spirits. The humor in this movies really worked for me, managing to be dark yet extremely witty. The film boasts a strong mystery element with Ava trying to figure out the hows and whys of her possession, how to keep the demon from coming back and where the huge blood stain in her apartment came from.
Ava’s Possessions has a exceptional cast. Louisa Krause as Ava was funny, sexy, and played her role with attitude. Her movements and mannerism while possessed were genuinely creepy. My favorite character was Hazel (Annabelle Dexter-Jones). Her character wants to get her demon back because she feels that they had a connection and that her demon made her better at everything. Annabelle manages to portray the character in such a way that she comes off feeling very genuine and it make her reasons almost sensible rather than just coming off as insane. Dan Fogler and William Sadler have very small roles but they make the most out of their limited screen time. There was very minimal gore on display but a film of this type doesn’t need to be a full on gorefest. There is a body shown after their throat has been slashed and a demon possessed person eating someone’s heart but that’s really about it. The makeup effects for the possessed are minimal but still manage to come off as unsettling.
Overall, Ava’s Possessions is a wonderfully twisted and darkly funny take on the possession genre. It is the perfect balance between dark and fun and is easily one of the best films I have purchased this year. If you enjoy dark comedies and films that play with your expectations, then I honestly can’t recommend Ava’s Possessions enough.