Ava's Possessions full movie review - A fun take on the subgenre
Jordan Galland's "Ava's Possessions" stood out in the Fantasia International Film Festival schedule to me for being a movie about the aftermath of a possession.
When I originally heard about a little movie called "Tonight, We Stay Indoors" by no-budget filmmaker Joseph Larsen, I was intrigued in similar ways. If you don't know, "Tonight, We Stay Indoors" is essentially about what happens after a slasher movie. Yet "Ava's Possessions" seemed to take a completely different route with its aftermath story. A more traditional one than Joseph Larsen's very slow art-house approach. "Ava's Possessions" mixes crime mysteries and comedy with its horror themes, making it something that doesn't require you to be completely on edge.
Ava wakes up as her normal self, with a priest telling her that she has been possessed by a demon. This has been going on for a month, and her family have desperately tried to get through this month of torment. Finally Ava is back! Because crimes were committed during her possession, Ava has to take responsibility for them. She can either go to jail and serve the time, or she can go to meetings with the Spirit Possession Anonymous group. The group helps her on her journey to recovery - a long and hard journey as the demon might return. When things are starting to look up, Ava is told to get in contact with all the people she wronged during her possession, and she slowly finds evidence of something horrible having taken place.
"Ava's Possessions" feels like if you treat possession like going on a bender, and the movie takes place the day after when trying to remember where you were, what you did and who you slept with. Yes, it's very on the nose about this, especially considering that the demon that Ava was possessed by was a rich, snotty and careless demon. The movie is rather basic and you can quickly tell what the filmmaker was going for. This wasn't really issue to me until a slightly underwhelming end to the movie. For a movie with such a great premise, it felt like the movie became less and less original the longer it went on.
Don't let the above statement scare you from watching the movie though, it is still a very fun movie. It's still relatively fresh and unique, with plenty of fun horror movie clichés having been skewed to fit the mold. "Ava's Possessions" is not a horror movie, but I'd absolutely regard it as a movie made for horror movie fans. It's a perfect movie to watch when you want a horror comedy but have realized that the majority of them are the same.
I appreciated that "Ava's Possessions" never blossomed into full horror, and was always much more a mystery/crime comedy than anything else. The clichés were done in just the perfect way where they didn't feel like parody, yet somehow intentional. The possession scenes themselves were pretty much what you expect but they are treated well within the "lore" of the movie. Overall a pleasant watch that's worth keeping in mind when you want an easier movie.