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DVD Review: Voodoo Possession

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voodoo possessionWith Christmas now behind us, there are some out there who start to get really depressed. After all, they figure, there’s two whole months of long, dark and cold ahead of us. But as far as I’m concerned, that’s just another way of saying “prime conditions for horror movies,” and carrying on in earnest. Helping to supply that urge is Image Entertainment, who sent out a copy of “Voodoo Possession” for us to review. This one won’t be available until January 14, but for those who want a little something different in their horror, this is a fine place to start.

Voodoo Possession” joins Aiden Chase, who’s lived his life with a sense of crashing guilt for years. But he’s out to fix that, and to do so, he’s going to have to go to a Haitian insane asylum to try and find his missing brother. But getting down there, Aiden will discover that the denizens of the asylum have all been possessed by what seems to be an ancient voodoo spirit. The only way to free the hospital–and Aiden’s brother–is to descend into the spirit world himself in order to break the curse and end the spirit’s reign of horror. But doing so will involve Aiden confronting a pretty sizable chunk of his own past, and that might well break him.

The phrase “go to a Haitian insane asylum” is pretty much one of those phrases that, in horror movies, equates to “asking for trouble.” It’s right up there on par with “read the summoning ritual out loud,” “mock the locals,” and several similar phrases that just don’t have a way of ending well for those who engage in such practices. Perhaps the only more dangerous phrase is “I’ll be right back.” But the movie itself is very well put together, and the first half hour does a nice job of being creepy and atmospheric, building up a nice head of steam, if maybe a bit on the slow side.

It does pick up fairly quickly, though, and will likely go down paths we’d all rather it not go down at all. There’s actually quite a bit more going on here than you might expect, and the end result is a surprisingly strong mix of horror and drama that does quite well. There will be some noteworthy twists here, well worth trying out, and this is one horror movie that’s going to actually put a challenge or two to the viewer. It can get a little strange in parts–sometimes downright esoteric–but for the most part, it will keep up the interest and do the job well.

Special features include trailers for “Sanitarium,” and “Mischief Night,” though neither will be available from the main menu, as well as a behind the scenes featurette. I’m a little dismayed by the lack of subtitles, but then, I usually am when the subtitles go wanting.

Dark, creepy, and occasionally exciting: that’s the combination of factors going into “Voodoo Possession,” a brisk horror romp that will take some of its viewers by surprise. It’s got a lot going for it, and the end result will do pretty well indeed.

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