Brandon Jensen has always loved horror. So when he has the chance to study exorcisms, he decides he is going to go all out. He starts a fundraising online campaign that goes viral overnight. With the help of two people he meets along his way, Brandon shows the whole world The Possession Experiment.
The openings scenes are reminiscent of many a past film; a possession and the following exorcism that goes terribly awry. It starts off as a rehash of a horror trope that we've seen countless times before. On the plus side though, it was very well done — extreme and engaging with a good splash of violence and priest rape, which is always welcome, truth be told. I was disappointed because I thought I knew exactly what was coming for the rest of the film, but hopeful because it seemed like the director wasn't going to shy away from making it graphic and gory.
My presumptions about what was to follow were thankfully mistaken. The plot follows Brandon (Chris Minor) as a religious studies student preparing for a project for his Introduction to World Religion class on the aforementioned exorcism. He teams up with the class stoner (Jake Brinn as Clay), a med student (Nicky Jasper as Leda), and a medium to form a Scooby Doo crew to investigate the happenings and potentially recreate the possession. I liked the modern ideas of the GoFundMe funding paying for the experiment the fact that the plot was a lot more coherent than most similar films in this specific genre.
The actors, although fresh faces, were genuinely talented and bloody fantastic. The lead, Brandon, was stellar in his role and completely convincing. The rest of the cast did admirably well too; a very rare trait in a B-movie (with a meager $55,000 budget). Truthfully, the production value seemed at times akin to any of the big-name films that aren’t nearly as entertaining. Certain cut-scenes weren't as great...scenes that pertained to the greater plot, but the main cast was infallible — literally award-worthy efforts. The plot was actually a lot more thoughtful than I initially gave it credit for and while certain things are left unexplained, most of it is understood in context. It doesn’t hold your hand and explain what a satanic cult is or why they do what they do, which was refreshing.
The special and visual effects were both great, with the gore and viscera seemingly very real. The makeup was also creepy as hell but not overdone; just right. The audio was a little over the top at times, but that could be due to the shifting from audio sources from all the different forms of recording devices used. The editing did really well to switch from found footage style camera work to the more traditional angles and shots — all of it flows really well. There was a lot of love in sewing this film together and it shows.
The plot takes many welcomed twists and turns, some dark and diabolical, others predictable yet poignant. It's quality horror, nothing like the repetitive remakes and clones that permeate the industry. It's a different kettle of fish and a refreshing change that was absolutely unexpected. The last act is fantastic, giving good closure to a totally different imagining of the classic possession horror; a wild ride that doesn't disappoint. Everything descends into madness in the best way possible. I have no idea why the IMdB score is as low as it is because any indie fundi would really love this title. If I had to hazard a guess, it is probably due to people expecting the typical priest-centered or ghost hunter style films. Unfortunately, no Warrens were harmed in the making of this film.
All in all, a fantastic indie production that needs more fans. I highly recommend you give it a watch. Catch the trailer below. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.