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The Possession Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2:40:1
  • Video Codec: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English & Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Run Time: 92 Mins
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: iTunes & UltraViolet
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 15th, 2013
  • List Price: $39.99

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:1.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

 

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:1.5/5]

The Possession tells the story of Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie Brenek (Kyra Sedgwick), as well as their little daughter Em (Natasha Calis). Ater the purchase of an antique wooden box at a yard sale, Em’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, making her parents fear the presence of an other worldly force. Upon further inquiries, the couple learn that the box was built to contain a Dibbuk, a dislocated spirit that inhabits and ultimately devours its human host. Now it’s up to Clyde and Stephanie to somehow figure out how to save their daughter. What results is yet another dull modern horror film that overly uses the ‘sudden jerky camera movements’ method.

On paper, The Possession might sound like an interesting film with the whole Dybbuk (spelled here Dibbuk), a Jewish myth. Only the problem here is that the filmmakers just don’t use this mythology usefully. They bundle it in with cheap thrills and screams that cause us to suddenly jump not because we’re necessarily scared, but more to the sudden jerky camera movement (you know the style made popular by the Paranormal Activity craze.) That, ultimately, hurts the movie despite a rather charming little performance from young actor Natasha Calis.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The Possession arrives with a 2:40:1 framed, AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer, one of which is a solid effort by Lionsgate. The color palette tends to focus on the kind of colors that are just kind of there, the kind of colors that don’t really do much for the overall impact of the image, but still looks great. Detail via facial close-ups result in fine detail, accurate flesh tones and contrast levels. There’s also no evidence of any scrubbing tools, which allows the image to maintain a consistent, clean look.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Audio wise, horror films live and die by their audio tracks as a majority of the films effects are created in post production. Luck for us the provided DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is excellent. Dialogue is well reproduced throughout with no real instance of drop out. LFE is deep at times offering up convincing low end that all but helps to create a sense of fear. Discrete effects, like whooshes and sudden flashes in front of the camera, create a fine sense of atmosphere that successful brings us into the movie. Only if the movie itself were better.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

The provided supplements are featured in High Definition:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Ole Bornedal
  • Audio Commentary with Writers Juliet Snowden and Stiles White
  • The Real History of the Dibbuk Box – This runs 13:19 and glances into the ‘story’ behind the box that was originally auctioned off on eBay.
  • Trailer – The film’s trailer (2:31) is shown.
  • Digital Copies – Available via either iTunes or UltraViolet.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Despite a technically strong (presentation wise) Blu-ray effort from Lionsgate, The Possession is yet another dull, cheaply made horror effort that just never becomes interesting. Skip this one unless you just need to watch everyone of these types of films.

Additional Screen Captures

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The Possession

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The Possession

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Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:1.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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