We’ve seen demonic possession in movies before. Ava’s Possessions is the first one to start the movie after the otherworldly event is over. It’s not easy to make a comedy out of this, because often enough it just ends in gags. Instead, we get a storyline that is for the most part on solid ground.
Ava (Louisa Krause) has just returned to her body after being possessed by an infernal entity. You immediately get the feeling that something else was going on while she was possessed. She apparently went on a demonic binging, attacking people and sleeping around. With her family trying to get her put into a institution, her friends being scared of her and any love interest not returning her calls, she’s really not ready to come back to society yet. Fortunately for her, there are channels.
Enter Spirit Possession Anonymous. You go to meetings, you do your exercises, you have to find every person you did wrong or scared shitless and make amends. You also must face your demon head on. Tony (Wass Stevens) is the no-nonsense organizer. But not everyone there wants recovery. Wild spirit Hazel (Annabelle Dexter-Jones) would love nothing more than to reunite with her malicious entity once again. To help them, they must get a spell from the eerie occult shop and its owner, Talia (Carol Kane). Also watch for Deborah Rush and William Sadler as Ava’s parents, specially her mom.
Director Jordan Galland somehow makes this work better than your average gag comedy by sticking to a story line with an element of liberation and redemption. Ava realizes that her life cannot go back to the way it was and it must change for the better. Ultimately, there will be a couple of twists along the way that will reveal that despite the super-naturality of it all, human mischief is still to blame for most evils.
Recommended for horror comedy and late night movie enthusiasts. The effects are good and the possessions are believable enough, although they won’t scare any casual horror fans. It has a slight Beetlejuice-like atmosphere without getting Burton-esque. In the end, it’s all about a young woman winning the battle against her own demons.
That will do for now.
(Sources: Fantasia International Film Festival)