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Monday, September 14, 2020

Stay Home, Watch Horror: 5 Possession Horror Movies to Stream this Week

Despite the massive success of The Exorcist and the precedent that it set, possession horror isn’t solely about demons, crises of faith, and exorcisms. At its most basic, the subgenre exploits the primal fear of losing control over your own person. Victims in a possession movie are rendered helpless passengers in their bodies as a more powerful, insidious force takes over and forces them to commit horrific acts. That potent combination of body horror and a complete lack of free will makes for inherently terrifying and fertile ground for exploration.

While possession horror tends to most commonly serves as the ultimate battleground of good versus evil, or heaven versus hell, the subgenre has also used possession to explore mental illness, Faustian bargains, reincarnation, and more.

This week’s streaming picks go beyond the standard exorcism movie. Running the gamut from lighter ’80s fare to mind-bending depictions of troubled minds, these five horror movies are available to stream this week.


Daniel Isn’t Real – Shudder

A freshman in college, Luke (Miles Robbins) struggles with severe anxiety over his future, school work, and mostly that he’ll end up like his mentally unwell mother, Claire (Mary Stuart Masterson). It prompts him to resurrect his charismatic childhood imaginary friend Daniel (Patrick Schwarzenegger). At first, Daniel helps Luke gain confidence and control over his life, but may not realize until too late that Daniel wants to control his body. Adam Egypt Mortimer’s psychological horror film presents a visually compelling internal struggle with one’s demons, mental illness, and creative inspiration. The already stylish and layered feature is bolstered by its fantastic performances from Robbins, Schwarzenegger, and Sasha Lane as Luke’s love interest, Cassie.


Shock – Prime Video, Tubi

Daria Nicolodi stars in this Mario Bava shocker as Dora, a woman that moves with her family into the home she once shared with her first husband, Carlo. Carlo was a rotten husband and a drug addict thought to have committed suicide when his boat was found adrift at sea, which triggered a psychotic break in Dora. Seven years later, in that house, strange events leave Dora convinced that her husband has come back from the grave and possessed their young son. Part possession tale, part haunted house story, Shock is full of paranoia and mystery. Above all, watch this one for one fantastic iconic scare that’s been borrowed and emulated in horror since.


The Devil’s Candy – Hulu

Sean Byrne’s follow up to brutal debut The Loved Ones doesn’t resemble the conventional possession horror movie at all. It flips the tropes of heavy metal horror on its side, too. Struggling artist Jesse Hellman (Ethan Embry), his wife Ingrid (Shiri Appleby), and their daughter Zooey (Kiara Glasco) move into their dream home in rural Texas. Shortly after, he begins hearing the same voices that drove its previous tenant mad. The more Jesse slips into strange spells that inspire his new art, the more he becomes unstable and unpredictable. It puts his family in grave danger. Byrne takes a more psychological approach to Jesse’s descent, keeping much of the evil lurking in the peripheral, lying in wait. It’s eerie, yet Byrne keeps things grounded through the heartfelt family bonds. Especially between father and daughter, and their shared love of metal.


The Taking of Deborah Logan – Prime Video, Shudder, Tubi

For her Ph.D. thesis on Alzheimer’s disease, Mia Medina (Michelle Ang) thinks she’s found the perfect subject in Deborah Logan (Jill Larson) for a documentary. In desperate need of the money, Deborah’s daughter Sarah (Anne Ramsey) allows Mia and her team to set up cameras in their home to record and study Deborah over the next several months. As the days progress, it quickly becomes apparent that there might be something more sinister at play than Deborah’s illness. Co-written by Gavin Heffernan and director Adam Robitel, this found-footage gem knows how to craft effective scares. It’s incredibly creepy, oozing with atmosphere for days. This pick is for those in the mood for major chills.


Witchboard – Pluto TV, Prime Video, Tubi

If horror taught us anything- and it teaches us a lot- we should never, ever play with Ouija boards. In Kevin Tenney’s (Night of the Demons) feature debut, Brandon Sinclair (Stephen Nichols) brings a Ouija board to a party hosted by ex-girlfriend Linda (Tawny Kitaen). It causes friction between him and his former friend Jim (Todd Allen), Linda’s current boyfriend. The love triangle gets complicated when Linda grows disturbingly obsessed with the Ouija, and people start dying around her. Tenney injects as much humor as he does atmospheric scares here, offering an underrated entry in possession horror that entertains. It is dated in style but charms nonetheless, especially with the bromance between Brandon and Jim.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/editorials/3631626/stay-home-watch-horror-5-possession-horror-movies-stream-week/

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