Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Possession of David O' Reilly (2010)

Fear 2/5
Gore 1/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 2/5

The Possession of David O’ Reilly starts off interesting enough. A husband and wife awake on their couch after spending a night indoors and falling asleep. Just before the wife does so, she’s heard muttering ‘Don’t open the door.’ Shortly thereafter, a knock occurs and the husband answers, finding a distraught friend (David) on the front doorstep. After he’s welcomed in, we learn that he recently found out that his significant other was having an affair with another man. Being the good friend that he is, the man of the house asks his friend to stay. But that's not his real reason for showing up.

That night, our distraught friend sees and hears things. We get brief glimpses of a creature in the backyard. Shuffling noises, thumps on doors and heavy breathing add to a slowly building atmosphere. At first, these actions are ignored so as to not disturb the good friends which have allowed him to crash. But each night, with the figures getting closer and closer to the home, it becomes too much for him to ignore and he partly reveals to his friends what’s been happening. It isn’t until a figure is seen in the light of day and David completely flips his shit does our couple become really concerned about what it is exactly that is troubling our now full-on paranoid and anxiety filled friend.

After this last occurrence, our homeowners don’t know what to believe in regards to what’s taking place. The husband is inclined to think that these events are really happening while the wife is hesitant to call it anything but a friend who’s in desperate need of psychiatric help. But later that night, we come face to face with what is haunting David as the presence makes itself known. A demon-like creature which looks like something straight out of the mind of Clive Barker, presents itself to David but you never really know if his friends actually see or come into contact with the creature themselves. What we do see is them reacting to the hysterics of their friend as well as further confusion developing as to what is actually going on. And confusion starts to develop within the viewer at this point.

This confusion grows as they come into contact with a woman that’s living upstairs. Our evil presence comes out again later the next day and all 4 of our story’s participants run upstairs and hole themselves up in her apartment. In the darkness of the apartment, we see different newspaper clippings which briefly reveal certain things which may have happened in the complex. And we see our demon as it’s followed them into the apartment. But nothing happens to them as they make a clean escape, back downstairs and into the home of our good Samaritan friends.

Here’s where things start to really unravel as the film heads into ‘I’m not sure where to take this next or how to end it' territory. After a series of more supernatural events, some of our onscreen characters meet an untimely demise. As the story concludes, no clear cut resolve is achieved. We see David blabbering on about what's happening. Our closing shot shows the lady of the house bloodied and on the floor. And then our film abruptly ends. Was David really possessed or just cuckoo nutsos? Did he transfer the demon to his buddy's wife? It would have been fine to have left the film open ended if there were larger themes being explored. But as is, its just one big resounding 'thud.' What a muddled mess of a film.

Cortez the Killer


arbraun said...

Great blog and nice review! I hadn't even heard about this movie. I agree in that I like to know what's going on, but if it's kept disclosed, it has to be a bigger issue. Keep up the good work.

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Pax Romano said...

In spite of the ambiguous ending, I did enjoy this film - thought the acting was great and the atmosphere menacing.

Cortez The Killer said...

@arbraun, thank you. Hope to see you around on the blog more. The film kind of made you feel that way. Like there was a bigger issue with the script. Or just a plain lack of how to get to an overall point.

@Pax, I liked the menacing nature and the great atmosphere as well. But in the end, I just felt like it was all for naught. And I was left wondering 'Is that it?' Very disappointing.