I will start by saying I really really loved this film! From the noir references, to the unsettling score, the hilarious demon make-up and the phenomenal acting, this was a definite win! When I first stumbled upon this film on Netflix I thought it would be extremely cheesy, and I was okay with that, I welcome cheesy horror…but after watching it, it really surprised me! It was fairly artistic, well acted, and of course, the comedy is woven into it perfectly, not cheesily at all! Just the right amount of funny.
I’m all about musical scores in horror films, and this one is excellent! At times the film feels very Sam Esmail (Mr.Robot) Using odd music to put you on edge. The film’s title is slightly misleading, Ava’s Possessions is not so much about the possession part nor the exorcism, that’s been done, it’s all about the aftermath and healing . After being cleansed by a priest and given the all clear, she’s sent to rehab for former demon vessels. In rehab they talk about their feelings, learn how to keep demons out and regain control of their lives. This mandatory rehab keeps them out of jail, since lets face it, demons seem to gravitate towards chaos and killing.
As Ava finds herself in rehab, literally fighting off her demons alongside other survivors, she struggles to find out what happened while she was possessed. Even if the information is startling, Ava realizes that she needs to discover the truth in order to move on, and in true noir fashion she becomes the detective, piecing together evidence that will ultimately lead her to answers, and what she finds is far beyond what she could have imagined.
What I find most hilarious about the film is her parent’s lack of sympathy towards her possession, brushing it off as her fault, that she was prone to possession because she was weak and had no direction in her life. The film starts with Ava’s father and you know it’s going to be a good cast when death himself is her father, actor William Sadler. I got so excited to see him, I had to go watch Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey the next day! Another great cameo is Carol Kane, she’s played the wise witch/fairy before in Scrooged and The Princess Bride, so she falls into place quite easily as Ava asks for her help and advice in conjuring a demon to help her with her search for the truth.
When Ava finally discovers that her very sick and twisted brother in law, Roger, fell in love with her demon-self, she is appalled and uses his infatuation to lure him into a trap. Ava is forced to allow her demon to re-enter her body. Her brother-in-law is thrilled to have “Bad Ava” back, that is until she attacks him. Ava, capturing Roger and getting a confession, is finally strong enough to push the demon out. There is much satisfaction in seeing Roger get what he deserves. It feels like an excellent place to end the film, but it’s not done messing with Ava yet.
In the final scene we find out that Ava has taken on a job at the very facility that helps people with their possessions. She accidentally knocks over some files and discover a file with her mother’s name on it, revealing a deep family secret and ultimate betrayal. The film ends with Ava’s rage and a visual promise that the demon would return to exact it’s vengeance!
I would recommend this film to anyone who wants a fresh take on the possession genre, it’s definitely unique!