I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid growing up in the deep south movies like these would scare the shit out of me. Religious fear makes seeing what could be lurking in the dark that much more frightening, and our imaginations run wild. Now that I am older (and wiser), it is interesting to see how these kinds of movies still scare people so much. I’m a huge horror movie buff myself, have been even when I was still religious. What’s even more interesting, is going back and re-watching these movies that used to strike the fear of God into me. So here are what I think are the best movies about possession.
I don’t go for foreign horror films often, but when Rec came out I thought, zombies? Hell yeah I wanna see some zombies! The story is about a group of people trapped off and quarantined because of a virus that has been spreading throughout their apartment building, causing people to become bloodthirsty, screaming and trying to tear you to pieces. Sounds very zombie like right? Well, by the end of the movie you find out whatever is making people want to eat your face off is actually demonic in nature. Fancy that. A tenant in the upstairs apartment had been messing with the occult and a mean rabies virus. Apparently this guy that owns the apartment was working on what looked like a biological cause for demonic possession on behalf of the Vatican.
Cliche portrait of the Virgin Mary, check!
This Spanish film is shot just like the Blair Witch, jumping on that “found footage” bandwagon. They did manage to do a really good job, it kept you wanting to look away because you knew at any minute something was going to come out of nowhere.
Quarantine is the American remake of Rec, staring scream queen Jennifer Carpenter. She did a pretty good job I think, I love her as a horror actress but the Americanization of the film made it seem a bit lacking in comparison to the Spanish original.
4. The Evil Dead
I will admit this now, I haven’t seen the original Evil Dead yet. I did, however, watch the remake. I know, I know, it’s probably not near as good.
The Evil Dead centers on five University students taking a trip out to an isolated cabin for spring break. I won’t use their names, because both versions have different character names, but in both one goes nuts and ends up possessed. One thing after another leads them all to question who is possessed and who isn’t, and trying to stay alive in a place where even the trees will attack you (and in some cases, rape you). There is a more comedic value as the films go on, showing a more humorous side to demons and how silly it all really is.
Oh, how I adore this movie. Constantine took a very modern approach to demonic possession. Keanu Reeves plays Constantine, a chain smoking exorcist who seeks out demons hiding in humans to gain favor back into heaven. You see he had a little run in with some razor blades at a young age and ever since he’s been able to see angels and demons. I’m sure we all know how the Catholic church feels about suicide. Oh, and he’s also dying of lung cancer.
The film is great in the exorcism scenes because he makes it look like such a chore, and the way all these creatures fit into the human society and prey on the weak. The conversation between Constantine and Lucifer is great, their casting choices were good in that regard. Their exchange is very nonchalant and business like.
2. The Exorcism of Emily Rose
In regards to the horror aspect of this movie, I love it. The idea was great, the story was great. Laura Linney was great. However, it went the path most movies with anyone Atheist of Agnostic goes, they become believers.
The Witching Hour? Shit I smelled sulfur at around 3am, I better go back to Jesus!
Jennifer Carpenter plays a girl who dies after a parish priest performs an exorcism on her. Linney’s character, a defense attorney named Erin, takes his case after he is charged with negligent homicide. Watching the court and seeing the flashbacks is like seeing two different worlds when you watch it as an Atheist. It’s like, you want to be on the side of the state, but all the flashbacks make you feel for this character. The actual exorcism scene is amazing to watch, Jennifer Carpenter goes all out and you can feel the hatred coming off this character. It’s certainly a movie I would recommend.
1. The Exorcist
Ahh we knew this would be number one! The Exorcist came out in 1973, and has sense been regarded as one of, if not, the scariest movie of all time. Rumors of strange occurrences on set spread after the film’s release, many sequels followed, and Linda Blair would always be remembered as that possessed kid that pukes on a priest.
If you haven’t seen it, I’m sure you know the basic premise, so I won’t explain. I watched this movie when I was 13 years old, when I was still religious and went to church camp and Sunday school and all that fun stuff. So you can imagine what seeing that movie would do to a preteen Jesus freak. It was the first and only time I ever had to sleep with the lights on.
Now of course I can appreciate the horror aspect more; every time I watch it I actually find humor in some of things they made this kid say.
In any case, to go back and re-watch some of these movies and see what religious fear does to people is an interesting experience. Try it one day and see what I mean, maybe get in a few good laughs if you’re like me and find it all very humorous (I am sick and twisted at times though).
For now that is all until next time!
– That Heathen Girl