THE POSSESSION DIARIES ** USA 2019 Dir: Juan J. Fausto. 90 mins
THE POSSESSION DIARIES follows Rebecca (Katherine Munroe) as she video blogs increasingly strange events that take place in her house and body after she plays with a Ouija board. Rebecca believes she has unleashed the Devil himself after these paranormal experiences escalate. Facing disbelief from her aptly named boyfriend Dante (Johnny Oritz), Rebecca seeks help from a psychic and a priest in a quest to save her soul.
Set entirely in Rebecca’s bedroom, this film is clearly low budget. Stylistically THE POSSESSION DIARIES is reminiscent of the box-office hit PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (2007), which proved that budget was not essential to the success of possession plotlines. However, while PARANORMAL ACTIVITY focused on a few well-fleshed out characters and atmospheric practical effects; THE POSSESSION DIARIES includes too many, two-dimensional characters and opts for overused red lighting and voice distortion. This removes any credibility from the story and the fear factor is regrettably lost. As the leading character, Rebecca, has little personality outside of being possessed and her relationships with the supporting cast seems as false as the effects.
The film attempts to raise questions surrounding the credibility of women’s stories and domestic isolation but does not look at these in depth or offer up any real answers. All the elements of a classic possession movie are present, even a predictable twist-ending; but sadly, THE POSSESSION DIARIES fails to pull them off and ends up feeling cliched and superficial.
Review by Joanna Simpson