Sunday, October 02, 2016

Ava's Possessions

(2015) ***1/2
A young woman living in New York City is battling her literal inner demons. Ava's life is interrupted for an entire month once possessed of the demon Nephula -- there are murders, sexual encounters, and physical altercations in which she was involved but has no memory.

Following an intense exorcism, Ava attempts to patch up her professional and private life while piecing together all that occurred under Nephula's control. Her family are by her side to help her clean her apartment but remain emotionally distant, which seems simultaneously reasonable and toxic considering Ava's delicate mental state. In order to avoid jail time, Ava agrees to enroll in a rehab program for the recently exorcised -- Spiritual Possession Anonymous or SPA.

Attempts to have a girl's night prove futile as her friends do not believe that she had no control of her actions, implicitly holding her accountable for what she said and did. Her boyfriend won't return her calls, and upon returning to work at a record company she finds one artist she signed exploiting her plight for a new hit single (which isn't half-bad, by the way). With each new low Ava encounters making amends with those she wronged, the closer she gets to SPA's rebellious formerly possessed Hazel, who believes that she and her demon had a special connection and wants to invite him back into her body.
Ava's Possessions places the exorcism storyline in a new frame as one of many social condition to be rehabilitated, including mental illness, addiction, and substance abuse. Participants in SPA all share the feelings of isolation and guilt from friends and family members about actions for which they were not responsible. On the other hand, Hazel's explanation of why she wants to reconnect with her demon include comparisons to heroin and sex addiction. In my opinion, the most shocking and honest quote about this "condition" comes from Hazel, expressing sorrow after her exorcism from her demon: Nothing makes you more complete than the union with your shadow.


Catfreeek said...

Sounds like an interesting one.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Interesting observations. Yeah, that was surprisingly fun and different. I like that the world is presented as one where demon possessions are a regular occurrence.

(It's streaming on Netflix btw.)

DKC said...

Hmm, interesting concept. Sounds pretty good!

AC said...

Cool twist in perspective. And a plus that it is easily accessible.

JPX said...

What an unusual find! I'm trying to avoid movies about exorcism, zombies, werewolfs, and slashers this year because I have tired of the genres, however it is nice to see that they are still coming up with fresh takes on these old ideas. Terrific review! Of course, in real life "possessed" people are just psychotic.

Octopunk said...

Oh you and the constant psychology.

This is an intriguing account of a very interesting idea; it's too bad it's only 3 1/2 stars worth of good. I may have to give it a go.