‘Possessed’ promised to be one scary movie and was doomed to be trashed as “just another scary movie”. But never in my life would I think that a horror movie can also be thought provoking.
I was looking forward to scenes of a girl grimacing in pain while chanting Latin prayers and writing Aramaic on the walls, and then throwing up green stuff while twisting her head 180°. But there were no such clichés. There was some levitation and miraculous healing, and some things that are quite out of the ordinary (unusual elements we never find in the
Hollywood concept of
spiritual possession and exorcism).
Kasi nga, this is a Korean movie, and it has a very unique story and plot development.
Possessed a.k.a. Living Death a.k.a. Faith (shet naman sa dami ng versions ng title neto) is a 2009 Korean horror film written and directed by Lee Yong-joo. It was also shown in the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival.
The movie contains certain elements of the typical horror movie. The musical score is, as usual, freaky. It starts with the main character receiving a peculiar phone call from her sad and odd younger sister late in the evening, only to find out that her odd sister was already missing that same day.
Then there’s the ambiguous mother who simply said that her younger daughter was gone without even giving an exact explanation on when and why, and without even asking any questions. By the way, the mother is some sort of a fanatic Catholic/Born-again Christian devout- the kind who carries a megaphone while crying out “Do you believe in God? The end is near” on the very day she found out that her youngest daughter was gone missing.
Of course, the young daughter is possessed by an evil spirit or demon or it could be Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, or it could the combination of the dark demon called Enrile-Revilla-Estrada-Marcos that are astral-projected by four Filipino legislators whom I wouldn’t name here, or more probably the girl was assumed by the astral-projected spirit of Nancy Binay. Whatever. The young girl is possessed by the devil.
Obviously, the main character is a skeptic college girl who asked the help of another skeptic police investigator, who has a sub plot in the movie, a drama of his own that the viewers are forced to watch and imprint in their minds because you know very well that there’s gonna be some connection to the whole story.
And as expected, there’s a chain of suicides and unexplainable deaths and abnormal causes of deaths. One girl who had problems with her father, one woman who had cancer, the shaman woman who tried to exorcise the devil out of the girl, and the security guard of the building.
No movie has ever dealt with the issues of spiritual warfare, the nature of evil, the nature of man, and the fact that human beings can be as evil as demons as well.
The possessed girl’s four neighbors conspired to drive out the devil from her. They started good, but ended really bad. When they found out that the girl could emanate drips of blood that could be used as a talisman for healing or protection. Soon, instead of trying to heal and save the girl, they exploited the devil and used it for their own purpose. During one ritual, things went really bad. And the devil was really pissed off.
You’d actually feel like you want to sympathize with the devil. But you know how the Fallen Angel’s like- very deceptive and wise. But it’s really interesting to note that humans are just as capable of despicable evil and cruelty as the Devil himself. Where was faith when the innocent was crying out for help? Where was reason when no one could figure out a way to escape from all this hell? At the end of the day, the real victim is the innocent and helpless one.
What would really deliver us from evil? Blind faith? Skeptic logic? Spiritual warfare? Or undying love?
This is a horror movie to die for. Figuratively speaking.