Film Review: Psychological, Religious Edge to ‘The Possession of Michael King’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – The problem with most horror films is that they don’t understand what really scares us, and substitute bloody messes or the jack-in-the-box “boo!” instead of what really gets under our skins. “The Possession of Michael King” is a rare and special exception, taking demonic possession to broad depths of psychological and religious symbolism. Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

The story of a non-believer who seeks to make a film about proof of demonic possession has a full laundry list for that genre – the odd movements, the voices, the killings, the Church, the “found” video footage and the weird zealots aiding the possessed along the way. What it does differently with the material is in the context circumstance of extreme emotional distress, to the point that it all could be psychosomatic – fiercely so, but possible in the way its presented. Writer/director David Jung creates an environment of dread, one that marries to a tragedy that is almost unspeakable in its sadness.

Michael King (Shane Johnson) is a successful filmmaker with a bright future and a brilliant family. Wife Beth (Julie McNiven) is liquid sunshine in his life, and she gives him a daughter Ellie (Ella Anderson) and a reason to thank God, even though Michael doesn’t believe in him. Tragedy comes to the family in the form of an avoidable automobile accident, and Beth dies as a result.

Three months later, a battered Michael is contemplating his next move. As a filmmaker, he lands upon a subject that explores whether the Devil, Satan or Demons exist. He collects the data, and starts to film rituals he invites onto his own person, in trying to get himself possessed. Crazily, it starts to work, and Michael is visited with voices in his head, bizarre skin eruptions and insane actions that no medical or religious source can explain.

“The Possession of Michael King” has a limited release, including Chicago, on August 22nd. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Shane Johnson, Ella Anderson, Luke Barnes, Cullen Douglas, Tobias Jelinek and Julie McNiven. Written and directed by David Jung. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Possession of Michael King”

Shane Johnson
Captive: Shane Johnson as the Title Character in ‘The Possession of Michael King’
Photo credit: Anchor Bay Films

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Possession of Michael King”

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