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  • "Ava's Possessions" follows the titular character, a young woman who wakes up one day tied to her bed after an exorcism. Having wrought havoc on the public during her demonic spree, she is ordered by the court to a "spiritual possessions anonymous" group to reorient herself. But in making amends with the people she wronged, she uncovers a plot deeper than mere possession.

    While it may sound like a substandard and silly representation of the possession horror genre, "Ava's Possessions" is really a morbidly funny, mysterious, and amusing post-millennial riff on a subgenre that has been drowned in terrible found-footage films and badly-scripted Z-grade movies.

    This film presents the aftermath of demonic possession in a contemporary world, albeit a topsy-turvy one in which such things as group therapy for ex-possessees are a real thing, and friends are insouciant to the fact that you've been taken over by a demonic entity. It's these kinds of idiosyncrasies that make the film slightly humorous, but it never really at any point becomes a comedy. The film is nicely shot and makes use of an overt neon color palette, which is rather beautiful. The performances overall are very good as well, with Louisa Krause as the semi-cynical Ava. Carol Kane also has a cameo as a downtown New York witch/botánica proprietor.

    Overall, "Ava's Possessions" is an amusing, slightly sardonic, and energetic horror movie. It is not profound by any means, but it is a self-aware rewriting of the conventional possession film that came to be defined in the wake of "The Exorcist." It's a playful twisting of conventions, is nicely shot, and considerably well-acted. Those expecting a B or Z-grade possession flick should be nicely surprised.
  • Ava awakens to find a priest at her bedside; unbeknownst to her, she's been possessed by Naphula, a demon from hell, for the past month, but the priest has successfully exorcised the demon and she's herself again. When her family confirms this story, Ava's first question is whether anyone called in sick for her at her job. Unfortunately, the demon caused a great deal of injury, mayhem and property damage and, well, legally somebody has to pay for that and since it was all carried out by Ava's body, guess who's going to jail? Unless she agrees to join a self-help group, the SPA or Spirit Possession Anonymous, that is. Of course Ava does so, but it turns out that her possession was rather more than she, or almost anybody else, could have suspected....

    This is a very funny horror spoof that is yet totally true to its internal logic; in a New York City (and, presumably, world) where demon possessions are real and well-known, what happens to the victim once the demon has been done away with? This film answers that question quite entertainingly. Louisa Krause as Ava and Wass Stevens as Tony, the SPA leader, are both very engaging and believable, and the behaviour of some of the other once-possessed people is pretty hilarious too, especially Whitney Able as Jillian, who longs to be possessed by her demon once again. Recommended!
  • Finally someone made a movie, that is so obvious, you really wonder, how no one came up with that simple yet brilliant concept yet. All the exorcism/possession movies end, after the exorcism - whether it went right or wrong, there's not much we get after that. There have been sequels to exorcism movies of course and they show a sort of aftermath, but this is an "original", without any background as to what happened before.

    Well until you watch the movie and it backtracks at certain points so we do see what has occurred. It's all done in a rather light (still vivid) fashion, that doesn't shy away from gross or graphic content. If you are into the idea, you will like what they did with it. The movie is worth it (the performances too).
  • Finally, a new angle for the old satanic possession standard. Ava's Possessions starts where other movies end: a stoic priest is able to expel the demon Naphula, and the main character Ava is free from its perverse influence. However, it's not that easy to return to normality, because Ava and her family will have to face the practical and psychological consequences of possession. Director and screenwriter Jordan Galland establishes a realistic situation, combining subtle humor with a provocative mystery which impulses the story and assigns a motivation to the leading character. However, that mystery isn't the main point of the film; the most important thing is discovering how Ava's terrifying experience altered her perception of the world and brought her new qualities which will be useful for her to investigate her activities during that "lost month": who she met, why such many people hate her and where a mysterious clock showing up at her apartment came from. What did Nephula exactly do while it was controlling Ava's body? At the same time, we follow the process of "therapy", who works as a support group at first sight: the surviving victims sharing stories, receiving counseling on their re- integration to societies and forming friendships with people who went through the same situation; oh, and they also invoke the demons who possessed them, in order to get trained to expel them without the need of ecclesiastical intervention. All those sub-plots are eventually fused on an ingenious way, until leading to a very satisfactory ending. As for the cast, Louisa Krause displays a perfect balance of internal strength and cynical apathy in her role; and I would also like to mention the solid performances from Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Carol Kane, Whitney Able and the great William Sadler. In conclusion, I liked Ava's Possessions very much, and it deserves an enthusiastic recommendation mainly because of its creative premise combining humor, drama and interesting characters, proving that there still are new things to explore into the satanic possession sub-genre. Who would have imagined that the most interesting aspects of a possession wouldn't be the screams and contortions, but the human problems coming after the exorcism?
  • This movie drew my attention due to its somewhat original premise. Instead of focusing on her possession, this movie asks the question, what is life like AFTER your demon has been exorcised? It's a question not many movies have asked, so I sat down and took it in.

    AP has some starts strong, with a mystery at hand. I love movies that keep me off-kilter and I wasn't quite sure what was happening. This puts the viewer in the shoes of Ava, who also has no memories of her possession and therefore, no idea of the damage she wrought. There is also a lot of dark comedy here, with the rehab for the once possessed and Ava dealing with the things she did (beat up people, slept with strangers etc)

    Sadly, the movie loses focus and gets convoluted, with too many players on the board. They also have sub-plots like a girl who wants her demon back and a serial killer on the loose, that just didn't do anything but confuse the main plot. If they had left this stuff on the back burner, Ava's Possessions would've been a much stronger film.

    Points for originality and the acting is pretty decent, but unfortunately they tried to do too much and it ended up taking away from the main story and weakening the entire flick.
  • Ava's possessions is a fairly original take on a tired sub genre. instead of being a straight forward exorcism film it answers the question of what it is like after the demon has been exorcised. through this plot device we are treated to a lot of dark humour which is also pretty refreshing for this particular sub genre. some may look at the demonic possession as a metaphor for addiction because of obvious similarities in the context of the films story. while I agree that this was probably the intent of the writers I think it was mainly for the reason of using it for comedic effect which actually worked quite well. the acting in the film is actually very good and the direction is as well. the problem here lies in the script. like many other horror films it seems like it is afraid of keeping it simple. the film feels the need to add sub plots that are really not essential for the success of the movie. the concept is already original enough and they could have easily told a decent story with some genuine atmosphere and loads of laughs. for instance the sub plot involving her friend wanting to get in touch with her own demon seems very out of place for the story they were originally trying to tell. it was as if they didn't know how to fill up the run time and came up with that idea to pad it out. while the score was also not anything truly memorable it was a good and fit the films tone very well. the lighting was also very good, a lot of glowing blues and greens that add a nice touch.

    overall I would say Ava's possessions really was just average. could have been much better if the writers chose to not bog the film down with unnecessary sub plots and utilized the full potential of the original and fresh take on the exorcism genre. many more scenes of humor and horror could have graced the screen if they kept the plot simple.

    the verdict: 5/10
  • Normally, a possession movie ends with the victim baths in sunlight or in some cases wanders into the dark. In "Ava's Possessions" it's just the beginning as the priest commences the procedure along with opening credit. There's quite the idea here, comically displays the aftereffect of the unfortunate event, but it becomes too busy with overload of subplots, colors and eventually too plodding for its own good.

    It begins right after the exorcism, a young girl must face the consequences of her actions, even though she is not responsible for them. Soon she joins a support group filled with equally outlandish characters. This is a good quirky premise, it even includes actual collateral of damage to property as well as a couple of comical antics.

    Mystery or horror aspect is not entirely prevalent as it dabbles more on world affairs. Most of the time is spend dealing with real life problem and threats, although it plays with the theme to make it as though there's more than what it seems. Nevertheless, it doesn't peak more than a few shock value.

    The use of satire is sometimes decent, but it tries to make connection from possession to real life problems. These analogies might be appealing at first, yet it repeats itself too much. Furthermore, the design for costumes and setting is heavily colored, which can be distracting at times. Acting from the cast is not bad, but there are too many characters to distribute the focus evenly.

    It's a nice twist on the genre, the mix of thriller and occasional satire might work as well, but it tries to fit too much into overwhelming and messy presentation.
  • A girl recovering from demonic possession is forced into therapy, but flashbacks make her doubt the origin of her troubles.

    What if we did a coming to terms story, but instead of drug addiction it's ... demonic? I dunno, wouldn't that be kinda lame? No, think about it - we set up all the usual conflicts but make the heavy stuff literal without losing the METAPHOR.

    This really rambles on. I do like the concept, and the performances are good. But the dialogue is sooo Brooklyn Jewish, the story doesn't take itself seriously enough to create drama or frights, the humour is "gentle", and enough already with the daughter-mother antagonism. Also too many characters, and the most interesting one - the empathetic girl friend - trails off.

    Directed by the writer, and I guess he did the photography, editing, music and effects too. Just not enough contrasts for good story telling. Music is interesting, but it never lays off and leaves a taste of the elevator. There is one brilliant smash cut: punch lands on a ball break at a pool table.

    Overall - pleasant viewing with some atmosphere, but no real spark. Reminded me of Life After Beth.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    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.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Ava (Louisa Krause) has a possession issue of which she is cured in the first scene. Her immediate response is "How long was I out?" and "Did anyone call in sick for me?" Facing multiple criminal offenses, Ava opts to go into "Spirit Possession Anonymous" where she meets Hazel who liked being possessed and wants to embrace her demon.

    The film is a light demonic possession as compared to "Repossessed." There are a number of good scenes and lines, but it tapers off. There is a mystery aspect to this, one that is fairly easy to figure out, and doesn't really add to the film as the comedy aspect outweighs the mystery aspect.

    Worth a view for fans of horror comedy.

    Guide: Swearing, sex. No nudity.
  • About 20 minutes in I had to check that I wasn't watching a series pilot. AVA'S POSSESSION doesn't really take off like a movie should. The back-story is a mismatch of flash-backs and hints from the family that don't accelerate the plot much. I realise I'm supposed to suspend disbelief a bit more than usual due to the genre, but the alternate world, where possession is relatively common, wasn't as fleshed out as I thought it should be.

    That aside, it is funny in parts, and watchable in a very predictable and cliched way. Overall: a bit flat, a bit lazy and nothing to get excited about.
  • Minus_The_Beer21 October 2017
    Beginning where most, if not all, exorcism-related horror movies end, "Ava's Possessions" travels the path less taken, chronicling its titular character's recovery from a brutal bout with a demon name Naphula. It's an interesting angle to take and director Jordan Galland makes considerable hay with the concept, even if some elements fall flat. But in a genre where possession is old-hat, it's rare to see a fresh and unique take on the material. If nothing else, this film is quite unlike anything you've ever seen before.

    With a style that owes considerably to Nicholas Winding Refn's retro-noir "Drive," "Ava's Possessions" works with a brilliant color palette, numerous cockeyed and crazy angles and a moody, atmospheric score by Sean Lennon. Galland is a relatively inexperienced director (his time spent in the entertainment business has been mostly musically related) but he shows a steady hand here, establishing a style that is familiar yet titillating. Even when certain threads of the film's plot don't quite hold together, the film is an audio/visual feast. Whether it's the gory make-up and effects or simply the pouring of an orange soda, "Ava" is quite a sight to behold. As far as little-seen horror films you stumble upon in Netflix's library in the middle of the night, you'd be hard-pressed to find something this colorful and unique.

    Where the film stumbles is in its overly complicated story. Clocking in at under 90 minutes, there's no reason for this film to be as cluttered with needless plot debris. While watching Louisa Krause find her way post-exorcism is compelling, we are constantly tripping over side characters who insist on telling us their story, too. Problem is, this is Ava's story and that story should be compelling enough on its own merits. After all, the film is essentially a metaphor for recovering from drug addiction, and that ambitious angle is never quite fully capitalized upon in favor of characters who, quite frankly, aren't really all that interesting. Sure, we are treated to veterans like Carol Kane and William Sadler, both of whom are solid in their roles, but comedic actors like Dan Fogler and Deborah Rush ("Strangers With Candy," represent!) are given so little to do with their talents, its a wonder they were even cast in the first place.

    Flaws aside, "Ava's Possessions" is still a nicely made, fresh and enjoyable take on a tired genre. It tries to break new ground and mostly succeeds. Genre fans will appreciate a new spin on familiar material, while bleary eyed late-night viewers will find themselves possessed by its aesthetics. Amidst all of your Netflix binging, this one should definitely not be purged.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    When I read the premise of this movie, I knew I had to see it. I thought the idea was so unique, and I personally don't know of any other movies that show what happens to a person after the spirit they are possessed by is exorcised. If you know of any, please let me know in the comments, because I would love to see them.

    The movie starts out with the typical scene of a girl tied to the bed, and the priest doing his thing. (My mind just went to a bad place when I typed that… maybe it's all the cold medicine I'm on.) Then a month has passed, and we see the aftermath of Ava's destroyed apartment, and her family physically pulls back from her when she approaches them. Ava's mom has a patch over her eye, and you just know it was Ava's fault.

    Ava's then talks to her lawyer, and he tells her that she has three options; go to prison for harming people and property damage, go to a crazy home, or go to SPA and get help so her demon doesn't come back. She chooses SPA, and we get to see how other people react to their lives after the spirit leaves their body.

    I will say I wish there were more scenes in the SPA group. I think a lot more character development could have been done here, and seeing how the different people were coping was very interesting, and in some cases, humorous.

    Although this is a horror movie, to my it was more of a mystery. Ava's family wants her to leave it all alone, and just get better, but she wants to find out why a demon possessed her. The mystery itself was done okay. For me the clues were laid out very quickly, and were not hard at all to figure out.

    The reason I'm giving it four stars instead of five, is all the unanswered questions at the end. But I would say to definitely give this one a watch.

    Major Spoilers Ahead.

    There are various ways that you can get possessed. They put forward the idea that it might be genetic, and another way is for someone other than yourself, to do a ritual and burn an object from your childhood that meant a lot to you.

    Ava has a creepy bear go missing before she's possessed, and she keeps having waking dreams of the burnt bear talking to her, trying to give her information. If someone did burn the bear, who was it? I'm thinking her sister, because towards the end, Ava sees a mark on her sister's neck. But if her sister did do it, why? They seemed to get along well, and there was never any motive given at to why she would want her sister possessed/out of the picture.

    Then Ava stumbles across a file towards the end of the movie, that pertains to her mom, hinting towards the genetic aspect. If this was the case, was Ava's sister possessed at one time too. But if so I would think the family would have realized it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Other reviews already mention the unnecesary subplots. For me if they just stuck more to the world that a demon possession could offer would have been much much better.

    Instead of the unnecesary art gallery guy that ends up out of the story, have her having conversations with her demon.

    Instead of a serial killer subplot, have her discover or visit the cult that adores the demon that possessed her and show how they would treat her as a chosen one or messiah or something.

    There were many many interesting situations to explore but goes with subplots that don't have anything to do with the act of being possesed.

    Those just made feel the movie too long. A shame since the idea was awesome.
  • 2 May 2016. It's really a disappointment when the end of a decent and likely unique and new look at post-Exorcist horror has a tacked on ending in the tradition of most clichéd horror B movies. With a great use of a musical track for a horror movie, this if it can be called a sedate but refined version of Pulp Fiction (1994) and The Devil's Carnival (2012) presents the occult in a fresh and humanistic way. The well developed psychological, horror thriller avoids the by now over-used blatantly scary scenes and instead uses a more Hitchcock-directed approach.

    Unlike some reviews and descriptions, there is very little comedy in this mostly dramatic rendition of a contemporary horror movie. The parallel of the addictive qualities of possession to alcohol or substance dependency recovery is really an eye-opener. Oddly enough this movie doesn't enjoy the prominent gore shock factor to be appealing for some. The main character and later the group leader are both somewhat repulsive at first so that the movie begins on an off-putting manner. Yet overall, this movie is a captivating crime mystery with an occult lure to it.

    Other powerful comparable, if not better, movies might be Nomads (1986), Wicker Park (2004), Constantine (2005), Silent Hill, (2006), Shutter Island (2010), Devil (2010), Black Death (2010), and The Raven (2012).
  • I dunno... this should have been a pretty great dark/quirky cult movie, along the lines of Repo Man and After Hours and others like it. The cast was great, the cinematography was appropriately oddball (so many Dutch angles! so much neon lighting!)... and that music, with all its funhouse-mirror doo-wop and moody rockabilly-ish twang, was ready for action.

    And yet, it just didn't go there, which is a real shame.

    Characters kept having these stilted awkward talky scenes where the whole thing just dragged. It's like someone with some influence felt this could be a horror trope parody, and someone else kept wanting it to be a lightly-creepy noir-ish thriller of the Lynchian variety, and yet someone else kept trying to keep things on track towards the kind of breathless, no-holds-barred screwball wackiness that should have been but never actually came to be.

    Anyway, it's kind of a mess as it is, and it sure seems that could have been avoided.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Cooky. Ava's Possession doesn't rely on jumpscares, or even really anything to scare you other than the odd bit of strange makeup. What does make this film a worth while watch is the performance from the main actress, coupled with the interesting, if not predictable, story.

    It's nothing bad on the film's part, and looking at the aftermath of a possession is certainly a new and interesting angle. The film seems low budget in it's sets/makeup/effects, but these are never overdone and don't seem out of place. Instead the low budget aspects seem to add to the film's overall charm.

    Glad I watched it as it was quite enjoyable. I'd see myself watching again at some point and recommending!
  • axapvov25 January 2018
    Is too bad this isn´t good because the concept is gold. It goes for a neo-noir horror mystery comedy, how cool is that? It is mysterious alright. It kind of floats around, without much highs and lows, between the main character trying to figure out what happened during her possesion and her efforts to control a possible demon´s return. The 12 steps for possessed people is genius. It sets a world where this kind of things seem normal and that feels nice, like getting something annoying out of the way. The problem is it tries to be so many things at once than it´s mostly none of them. The ending is atrocious. I´m not a fan of this digital filming stuff, it looks horrible. Overall, it´s a sexy and funny horror mystery, cool enough to be worth the time.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I really liked this movie. I may be biased because I adore film noir, but I was impressed with this movie's plot. It was more of a mystery than a horror film, but it was certainly a thriller. They were really creative in showing possible life changes that occur after a possession. Also POSSIBLE SPOILER! there is an excellent twist that I was totally not expecting! But that's all i am going to tell you. I totally recommend Ava's Possessions because it had a twist AND a freaking cool cliffhanger. Just go watch it. Like open a new tab and stream this movie, watch it, then tell everyone you know. I don't care what the critics say. Just go watch and tell me what it made you feel.
  • Ava is just your average twenty something who's just been exorcised. She's now trying to figure out what went down when she was a demon. Ooops. I mean "entity." (You're not supposed to say the D word - inside joke with the movie). She gets some leads and finds some clues and eventually comes full circle. She may even end up in jail for her crimes. Ava (Louisa Krause) plays her part extremely well, both as a demon and a regular woman. All the other actors are just okay. I'd recommend this movie if you like possession movies. I watched this movie on Netflix.
  • This amateurish mess of a movie tries to be a horror/comedy but falls flat. It is neither scary nor humorous. I spent the entire flick wondering why respected actors like William Sadler, Carol Kane and Lou Taylor Pucci (who is unrecognizable here) would stoop to participate in this sorry excuse of a film. Perhaps they owed someone a favor. When the lead character attended a meeting of 'Spirit Possessions Anonymous' I thought this may be similar to 'Scary Movie', 'Naked Gun' and other satirical comedies, but no such luck. I won't bother to describe the plot of this disaster, but some of the dialog is priceless...such as 'I think my demon likes me, I'm the first girl he was ever inside.' and 'It was negative space, like a donut hole.'