REVIEW: ‘The Possession Diaries’

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Even though summer is fast approaching, it’s still the perfect season to discover new horror movies to watch. A new horror movie coming out this summer is The Possession Diaries, from Uncork’d Entertainment, is directed by Juan Frausto. The film stars Katherine Munroe as Rebecca, Johnny Ortiz as Dante, Eileen Dietz as Aunt Peggy, Monica Engesser as Madame Esmeralda, James Russo as Father Brien, and Stephanie Kaczmarek as Esmy.

The Possession Diaries follows a young woman named Rebecca, who appears to be suffering from demonic attacks after having played with a Ouija board. Knowing that no one will believe her, she records all of her attacks through a webcam and posts them online over the course of the week. The attacks start off small as figures begin to appear and disappear. However, with each passing day, the attacks become more violent, with the intent that these attacks will force her to give up her soul. She is put to the test as she does everything possible to save her own life.

I am constantly looking for new horror films to watch.  However, there were many questionable choices made in The Possession Diaries that prevented me from making any connection with the film. For one, the opening sequence didn’t do anything to set up the plot. It informs the audience that this is a possession film, but that’s already a given because of the title. The character that was introduced here didn’t serve any real purpose either. I had hoped that the movie would only get better, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

The Possession Diaries

There were other characters that didn’t really serve any purpose. One of those characters was Rebecca’s boyfriend, Dante. He doesn’t add anything to the plot other than being a bit annoying and letting the audience know that he is in a relationship with Rebecca. He’s given a bit more depth towards the end of the film but by then it was too late. That depth didn’t have any real emotion behind it. Had something been done to inform viewers of his importance, I’m sure it would’ve been a memorable moment.

Rebecca’s best friend Esmy and her aunt Peggy didn’t add any real purpose to the plot either. It tried to put some importance to them throughout the film with Rebecca writing letters to them in case she didn’t survive. It was meant to be seen as an emotional moment but in reality, it just took up time in the story.

One of the unfortunate circumstances with doing films that revolve around possession is that everything with that premise has already been done. Films like The Exorcist and Paranormal Activity have done incredible work in establishing the importance of the possession sub-genre. This film tries to find a way to make its mark but it falls short to some of the classics that have come before it.

The majority of the film was shot through the perspective of the webcam, but it did have a few scenes shot in a more traditional manner. This would have had a bigger effect on the film overall but sadly it was difficult to hear what Rebecca was saying at times. It reminded me a lot of the Unfriended films, which I think did the perspective from webcam trope a bit better. It also hurt the special effects being seen as believable.

The Possession Diaries

Even after watching the film twice, I don’t understand the purpose behind it. What should have been a much more memorable seem, it seemed like it was a last-minute choice to save the otherwise bland film. The plot didn’t do anything to set up this ending, which only made things worse. The ending seemed like it belonged to a completely different film.

The premise of the film is very unoriginally. I can’t begin to count how many films have been done where either one person or a group of people mess around with a Ouija board and are pursued by an evil entity. There could have been other ways to make this more original, or at least find a way to make it stand out from other films. And since the premise has already been done before, there’ s no real scary moments in the film.

Father Brien and Madame Esmeralda are given too little time to fully make a mark on the film. I would have loved to have seen more of them, especially since they’re both played out to be important figures that will help Rebecca avoid being possessed. They’re both introduced and taken out of the film very abruptly.

The most memorable part of the film was the way in which Munroe portrayed Rebecca. She did an incredible job with showing how being in such stressful conditions would affect someone. Rebecca is the kind of character that the audience will surely be rooting for throughout the film. It presents her as someone who isn’t willing to be possessed without putting up a fight. It’s always incredible to see strong female leads who are written well and don’t just give in to whatever situation they find themselves in.

The Possession Diaries

I really wanted to love this film, but there were many questionable choices made that pulled me away. It’s unoriginal premise, confusing plot points, and non-impactful characters hurt the film in more ways than one. Rebecca’s character carries the entire film but is still not enough to save it. However, I’m beyond happy to see a story from a Mexican director. It’s another step in the right direction to getting more Latinx filmmakers to tell stories.

With all that being said, I cannot recommend this movie.

Recommend or not

The Possession Diaries is set to be released on June 4th and will be available for purchase on VOD.

Final Rating: 4/10