Title: THE POSSESSION OF MICHAEL KING
Director: David Jung
CAST: Shane Johnson, Julie McNiven, Ella Anderson, Cara Pifko, Dale Dickey, Tomas Arana
Running time: 1 hr 31 min, Rated R
AVAILABLE IN THEATERS: August 22, 2014
AVAILABLE ON VOD AND iTUNES: August 26, 2014
Michael King (Shane Johnson) is a documentary filmmaker and an atheist. After his wife dies in an accident and he is left to raise their daughter Ellie, he decides his next documentary subject will be on finding proof of the supernatural with himself as the test subject of the experiment. He seeks out demonologists, necromancers, priests, satanists and psychics for advice and guidance with obvious cynicism, but after a disturbing and bizarre ritual, the camera captures Michael’s transformation as a vessel for something evil which soon affects everyone around him, and causes his film crew to run for the hills.
The Good: CG effects and editing were well done. There’s a scene where Michael has teeth sewn to his stomach, and another where a pentagram is carved into his chest that he has to suture himself were pretty awesome make up effects.
The Bad: It’s just another surveillance camera horror film like Paranormal Activity. I don’t get why the demon would still allow Michael to keep the camera on him, and sticks around to give the documentary an ending. I don’t like how it’s a story about how to convert an atheist. I’m not an atheist, but I find it a little insulting that it takes demonic possession to prove to an atheist that evil spirits and possibly the devil exist. A believer would be a better subject to be influenced than a cynical atheist. It just seems like an awful lot of work for a spirit to prove their existence to someone who is not easily convinced. I just find the whole concept of this story a bit lame. The daughter character was kind of dumb. I don’t care how much I love my parents, if daddy started murdering animals and painting my room with their blood, I would get the eff out of Dodge. Why do kids run upstairs and hide in their room? The bad guy is already in the house. Ugh, damn kids, don’t you watch movies?
The problem with The Possession of Michael King is that it tries too hard to be like Paranormal Activity. With Paranormal there were likeable characters and there was a sort of innocence to it, because they didn’t need CG or gore to scare the audience. Michael King doesn’t work because you know it’s a movie, you know these people are actors; there’s no suspension of disbelief. It’s kind of a sad attention-whore tactic to try to squeeze itself in with the cool kids.
Total Rating: C-
Reviewed by: JM Willis