The Possession featurette explains the monster

Lionsgate has released a featurette for Sam Rami’s creepy new thriller, The Possession.

Supposedly based on a true story, this film tells the tale of a family’s troubles when the daughter accidentally unleashes a demented evil upon herself.

The filmmakers are perhaps afraid that not enough of their potential audience understands what the monster in this film is all about, as it’s not part of popular culture, and at first glance it seems like it’s a sort of demon or spirit, but that’s only partially right.

A dybbuk (dibbuk in the film) is from the Jewish folklore tradition, and it a sort of corporeal spirit which can inhabit a living host in order to achieve some obsessive objective, after which time it departs on its own. The Dybbuk Box is a specific wooden chest which has changed hands several times, starting with an Ebay auction years ago, and which has generated several stories of possession and strange behavior. The movie is attempting to depict the specific case of the first time the box was purchased, which was written up at the time in the L.A. Times (thus the ‘based on a true story’ stuff).

Well, Raimi still knows how to creep, that’s for sure. Though he left the helm of this one to the somewhat green horror writer and director Ole Bornedal, the film looks skillfully made, with great production values.

Here’s the full trailer:

and the synopsis:

Clyde and Stephanie Brenek see little cause for alarm when their youngest daughter Em becomes oddly obsessed with an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. But as Em’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, the couple fears the presence of a malevolent force in their midst, only to discover that the box was built to contain a dibbuk, a dislocated spirit that inhabits and ultimately devours its human host.

It’s interesting how stark and clinical a lot of the setting seems to be – and I have no doubt that Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick, both actors that I have a fondness for, will deliver great performances.

By the same token, even though it’s only rated PG-13, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to bring myself to see this one in the theater. The Possession seems like one of those films that would just leave me feeling stressed out at the end of it all.

The Possession hits theaters August 31st, 2012.