This week continues the B horror movie trend, but we shake things up slightly by switching from creatures to possessions. Next week we shake things up even more when Christa and I are ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC.
Where to Watch:
A woman tries to get her life back on track as she recovers from a demonic possession.
The Uncondensed Version:
We first meet Ava shortly after a demon leaves her; she has spent the past month doing violent, depraved, awful things with no memory of them.
The film sets up demonic possession as sort of a form of drug addiction in the way it damages its victims and hurts the people around them. As with a newly sober addict, Ava’s family and friends don’t understand her well and even cast a bit of blame her way for getting possessed I the first place. They try to understand what it was like for Ava, but end up asking really insensitive questions like “What are you going to do about picking up the pieces of your life?”
Additional complications: Ava is facing major charges that could come along with serious prison time. The only alternative is to go through the Spirit Possession Anonymous program and agree to stick to it. Through SPA, Ava is able to share the name of her demon and learn about all of the crimes she committed, men she slept with, and ears she chewed. We also discover the demon was always accompanied by a drum so, understandably, drums are something of a trigger for Ava.
Somewhat counterintuitively, the SPA method prepares its participants to be possessed again when equipped with the resources to expel their demons. This seems to be accomplished mostly by making funny faces in the mirror, beating the shit out of dummies, fighting with dolls, and popping balloons. It looks like possibly the most fun form of rehab ever.
Things are going pretty well for Ava, all things considered, until she takes a sudden downward spiral and loses faith in the SPA program. In a decision she regrets almost immediately, Ava helps her friend perform a black magic ritual during which she’ll be possessed. I’ll be honest and tell you I wasn’t paying the most attention ever to this part of the film because I suddenly felt really sleepy but wanted to power through it and keep watching.
So anyway…this is majorly against the principles of SPA, which I should think goes without saying. Ava is kicked out and now must seek help elsewhere or face prison.
Before she can leave, though, Ava realizes someone is trying to kill her. I think you’ll know almost immediately who it is based on general shadiness, but lest I ruin the surprise for you, I’ll stop right here.
3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads
I really enjoyed watching this and am happy to say it was a completely new take on the possession story for me. It reminded me a bit of Fido, the alternate history zombie rom-com, in its blending of genres, realistic approach to extraordinary happenings, and really quite fun approach to horror.
That being said, the film is a bit uneven as the latter half becomes sort of a gritty film noir, which is a jarring transition. Or possibly I just have a pitch black sense of humor as I found the beginning of the film quite funny in the way it subverted expectations and drew the parallels between being a recovering addict and victim of demonic possession.
Also the love interest was so boring I didn’t even mention him or care about at all. But that’s true with most men, isn’t it?