THE POSSESSION

Above average, but overly familiar, it’s essentially a Jewish THE EXORCIST:  Adorable daughter turns into dybbuk-inhabited terror, cleric brought in to perform expunging ceremony, demon cast out.  One just-below-A-list lead (Kyra Sedgwick) and the producing hand of Sam Raimi nudge it into Fresh territory — but this is still a piece of cheese on which mold is about to start growing. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (who is fated to play Jake Gyllenhaal’s older brother some day) has some nice scenes with Kyra and acts as though he believes in the story. Raimi’s trademark intensity and use of music (although not so much his humor) are apparent. But only one set piece had me bouncing in my chair — when the spirit murders a school employee by smashing her again and again and again against the walls — something we hear but only vaguely see from outside the house, anticipating the moment (and it does come) when she’ll be thrown through the window, glass flying and her body crashing to the ground. More of that would have been greatly appreciated. — Jeff Schultz

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