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The Possession also known as “Dibbuk Box”

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for mature thematic material involving violence and disturbing sequences.

Reviewed by: Steven Warburton

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Supernatural Horror Suspense Thriller
1 hr. 32 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
August 31, 2012 (wide—2,700+ theaters)
DVD: January 15, 2013
Copyright, Lionsgate click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate Copyright, Lionsgate
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Lionsgate

Do all demons fear the one true God? Yes. (James 2:19; Matthew 8:29)

demonic possession of a child

demons in the Bible

DEMON POSSESSSION and Influence—Can Christians be demon possessed? In what ways can Satan and his demons influence believers? Answer




Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

Dybbuk box—cursed relic box containing mysterious familial tokens


divorce in the Bible

DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE—Under what conditions may Christians divorce and remarry? Answer

What does it mean to be “the husband of one wife”? Answer

Featuring: Jeffrey Dean MorganClyde Brenek
Kyra Sedgwick … Stephanie Brenek
Madison Davenport … Hannah
Natasha Calis … Em Brenek
Grant Show … Brett
Matisyahu … Tzadok
Agam Darshi
Quinn Lord …
See all »
Director: Ole Bornedal
Producer: Ghost House Pictures
North Box Productions
See all »
Distributor: Lionsgate

I went in to “The Possession” thinking it was going to be another shocker screamfest like “The Last Exorcism” or any of the “Paranormal Activity” movies. Instead, what I found was a broken family story masquerading as a horror film.

The movie ads tell us the film is about a little girl who is possessed by a demon. Actually, it’s about a high school basketball coach (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who has recently divorced his wife, with whom he shares two young daughters. The wife (Kyra Sedgewick) has started dating another man, a dentist, though the screenplay give us some not-so-subtle hints that they still care for each other.

Things change when Morgan takes his two daughters to a yard sale where the youngest one finds something called a Dybbuk box, a container which, according to Jewish tradition, houses a demon. The girl opens the box, and, soon, all sorts of ghastly things start happening. The house is overtaken by moths, something tries to crawl out of her throat, a ghostly visage appears in an MRI scan… and that’s just the beginning.

“The Possession” has drawn numerous comparisons to “The Exorcist,” which is probably the granddaddy of all these kinds of movies. What’s interesting this time around is that Jewish ritual is invoked to deal with the demon, not Christian. I guess this makes sense, since the Old Testament has its fair share of dealings with the demonic; it’s just unusual to see it portrayed in a Hollywood film.

Ultimately, “The Possession” is about Morgan’s redemption with his family. A dad is supposed to make sacrifices for his kids, after all, and Morgan does it and then some.

I have to say that I wish the final scene didn’t take place. You’ll see what I mean, if you view this movie, and, if you’re a veteran film goer, you’ll have expected it. Why do all horror movies have to have open endings, anyway? It’s grown to be a cliché.

Language: Pretty mild, but one of the characters took the Lord’s name in vain. I hear it almost everyday in real life, but I hope that we’d be able to stop ourselves from blasphemy, if we ever deal with a demonic possession.

Do I recommend this movie? You know what? I think I do—for mature audiences only.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate—“God,” “Jesus,” “Oh, Lord,” “hell” (2), “damn,” s-word / Sex/Nudity: Minor

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

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