On Jordan Gallan’s Ava’s Possessions (2015)

by Kayann Mitchell

Welcome to Ava’s Possessions, an interesting and innovative take on the demon possession genre. It is something of a welcome relief given all The Exorcist clones and knock-offs we’ve been subjected to over the last 43 years. And thank Naphula for that.
When we first meet Ava (Louisa Krause) she’s harnessed and writhing on a bed in what is clearly not one of her better days. As she does so, her concerned family stand watch as Father Merrino (John Ventimiglia) successfully exorcises a troublesome and rather randy demon from Ava’s tiny tortured form and thus begins a fun little genre romp that plays deftly with themes of addiction, accountability acceptance and forgiveness.

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Instead of drugs or alcohol we get demon possession which makes this all the more enjoyable to watch as Ava has to piece her life back together following a rampage of demonic behaviour. Learning what she got up to while “under the influence” can be funny and hard to watch but we go along with Ava as she struggles with the shame and guilt of it all the while trying to learn to forgive herself for things beyond her grasp. It’s entertaining for us the viewer to watch her haunted journey back to “normal” which may make us utter whackos. But thats ok.

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My only concern is a third act that tries unsuccessfully to cram new ideas and storylines that lead nowhere into the last twenty minutes. It almost feels like it suffered from some editing snafus making the ending feel tacked on and disjointed. Thankfully though the rest of the film makes up for it with innovation and humour.

If you’re looking for a twist on an old trope, and who isn’t really, give Ava’s Possessions a go and tell em Kay sent ya!

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