SYNOPSIS: THE POSSESSION EXPERIMENT tells the story of Brandon (Minor), who has always been drawn to the supernatural. So when asked to pick a topic to base his final world theology class project on, he decides to explore the dark world of exorcisms. Teamed up with three classmates, the group investigates a multiple homicide that they eventually discover was an exorcism gone horribly wrong. Brandon becomes obsessed with the event, and in a strange turn of events, decides the only way to research this topic is to undergo an exorcism himself.
Scott B. Hansen‘s film is a visual feast for most of its run. At moments, it appears to be two different films with any scenes specifically involving the occult are spectacular. They rival any big budget film like The Conjuring. On the other hand, the scenes that are not directly linked to these moments come off as afterthoughts with a low quality to them. The difference between the two is rather astounding. The acting from the majority of the cast is down right atrocious, with three perfromances withstanding this criticism. Lead Chris Minor, who carries the film on his shoulders, does a great job taking on a familiar horror trope with his emtional heart on his sleeve. Jake Brinn, as stoner sidekick Clay, gives a down to earth portrayal. You could easily think he was plucked from a local college to play this role overnight. Our lady of the hour in The Possession Experiment is actress KT Fanelli. Her commitment to playing a woman too far gon to save is, frankly, award worthy. Color me impressed with her ability to take on the physicality required to make this a convincing performance.
While the screenplay may not seem to be anythign new, there is one heck of a clever twist. And the ending, which really doesn’t arrive until you get into the credits, is fantastic. The highest praise I am eager to share about The Possession Experiment is the phenominal practical effects. I actually cringed and looked away several times. As someone who lives and breathes new horror films 3-5 times a week, that’s saying something. Two more positives come with the effective sound editing and an updated live stream concept that brings the script into the 21st century. Not so hidden are the homages to A Nightmare on Elm Street and Rosemary’s Baby. If the acting had been up to par and the ancilary shots matched in quality, this film would most defintely hod its own weight in a world where horror standards get higher every day.