Saturday, June 25, 2016

AVA'S POSESSIONS (2016)



Written & Directed By: Jordan Galland 
Cinematography By: Adrian Correia 
Editor: Jordan Galland & Daniel Hahn 
Music By: Sean Lennon 


Cast: Louisa Krause, Lou Taylor Pucci, Whitney Able, John Ventimiglia, Deborah Rush, Zachary Booth, Jemima Kirke, Carol Kane, Alysia Reiner, William Sadler, Dan Fogler, Annabelle Dexter-Jones

Ava Dobkins is recovering from demonic possession. With no memory of the past month, she is forced to attend a Spirit Possession Anonymous support group. As Ava struggles to reconnect with her friends, get her job back, and figure out where the huge bloodstain in her apartment came from, she's plagued by nightmarish visions - the demon is trying to come back.

While this film is brimming with original and good ideas. The problem is that while they are introduced some are never given the full potential to bloom. Others are abandoned too quickly and the main premise never gets truly explored before it turns into more of a mystery.

While the film ends up being intricately plotted by the end that makes the film truly look complex. It feels unecessary, like the filmmakers were worried about making a midnight film and wanted instead to make a comedic mystery that has supernatural elements. Just so they can mix genres and easily go off in any direction that seems fit.

Though the danger of the narrative is that it tries to reign itself in and connect the dots at times. Where it could have been fun and unexpected if things sometimes were more random and crazy with little explination to throw the audience off

While I have a soft spot for the film. I believe it could have been more effective as a short. As it would leave the audience wanting more. Even though this film is short you get your fill quite quickly and easily.

I am more shocked at all the recognizable names and faces in the cast amongst typical New York character actors as most are here more for quick cameos then actual substantial roles.

Which is a shame as this film has a great premise, but seems to mishandle it by paying attention more to elements that the audience might not necessarily care about as much as the filmmakers. The film seems to overthink as a result of this. Instead of being smart it seems to want to challenge the audience and itself then loses confidence and whimpers to something basic yet unpredictable.

Take Lou Taylor Pucci's character who seems like he is going to be an important character throughout as he does Play Into the plot and is used up to a certain point then kind of disposed of never to be seen or mentioned again. What was the use other than to turnover some plot points. That could have been explored without him?

Louisa Krause in the lead role is good and really out of the films I have seen her in. She is given the most material and the most complex character to play. So many emotions, so many different phases of her character.

The rest of the cast does well and what they are asked to do is really more types then characters it seems.

The ending works to a degree, but seems to continue and offer revelations that clearly weren't needed. Though I guess help add to the background and mystery.

For it's more modest budget the special effects are decent and work within the story. Though the soundtrack does get annoying. The music manages to keep the film feeling off kilter, but it Ends up coming off as more goofy then it should.

It is worth checking out if looking for something different and somewhat original. Though don't go in with high expectations. Just go with the flow of the film and I believe you will find yourself pleased with the film.


Grade: C

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