I’d like to say that Justin Chang just hates found-footage horror (though this has a tiny bit of “mockumentary” style added) but he knew enough to name Afflicted as an example of a “far more effective” found-footage thriller. Unfortunately, he also points out that the special-effects work (which I’ve heard is mostly practical) is ‘impressively nauseating’ and earlier in the review mentions ‘grisly supernatural shocks’. Goddamnit, now we’re going to have to see it eventually. It doesn’t hurt that Dread Central (among others) had good things to say about it, either.
Check out the trailer below, and read the rest of Mr. Chang’s review on Variety.com by clicking “View original” in the lower left.
Oh, and a note on the premise of the movie (we’ve only seen the trailer, but read quite a few reviews, enough to state the following): the lead character starts to mess with the supernatural due to the death of his wife, which has destroyed him. He wants badly to find any evidence that the supernatural exists, because if he can, that means there is an afterlife and he’ll get to see his wife again eventually, which obviously will help soften the blow of her death. If you know the motivation of Sigourney Weaver’s character in Red Lights, it’s similar; in that movie she plays an agnostic who has spent a good part of her life and career debunking anything remotely supernatural, especially scams …because deep down, she finally admits, if she can find even a grain of proof that there’s an afterlife, she can take her son off life-support. I highly doubt this movie is anywhere near as intellectual, but there it is. Also, Michael King doesn’t immediately start trying to actively invoke demons to possess him minutes after she dies; from what we have read in reviews, he works up to it. Not the entire movie, since this IS an 80-minute long found-footage flick, but still. If it turns out I totally misread the reviews and he just goes batshit the minute she dies and starts carving pentagrams into his chest immediately, we’ll amend this post.
If you’re interested in reading Dread Central’s more positive review of The Possession of Michael King (that title really doesn’t do the movie any favors), just click here to check it out; plus they have other coverage, including an interview with director David Jung. Also, Icons of Fright loved it, here’s a link to their review by Natty.
“The Possession of Michael King” opens in selected theaters today, and will be available on DVD/Blu-ray/VOD on Tuesday, August 26th