Tuesday, December 29, 2015

High School Possession - Review - @BrandonCSites - (AKA: High School Exorcism)

High School Possession (2014) *
D: Peter Sullivan
C: Jennifer Stone, Janel Parrish, Shanley Caswell, Ione Skye, Shanley Caswell, William McNamara, Kelly Hu, Chris Brochu, August Roads, Spencer Neville 

Plot Synopsis: A teen must prevent fellow students from performing an exorcism on her best friend. 

Review: Originally airing on Lifetime as a made for TV movie, we watch, for nearly 70 minutes of the film's 86 minute running time, as a high school student becomes mentally unraveled. After awhile, I wanted to yell at the screen and say "we get it". The main character is going bonkers! Can we move onto something else?  

From there, the film transitions to the main character's best friend turning to a clique of religiously devout students in performing an exorcism to help the main character rid herself of whatever demons are plaguing her. However, what neither of them realize is that this clique has a hidden agenda that could have deadly repercussions.  

Going into this, I was hoping they would give into the salaciousness of a movie with a title like High School Possession. After all, we have a main character who's coming off her rocker. She beats up students. She sleeps around. She goes into random fits of anger, screaming, hollering and knocking down things. There's an exorcism involving teenagers. There's double crosses & manipulations going on as well. Hell, they even have the main character hearing voices and seeing things that aren't there! This was prime material for some gleefully trashy antics. Just imagine what a filmmaker like Eli Roth (Cabin Fever) or Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk Till Dawn) could do with this material. 

Unfortunately, the film shows considerable restraint in approaching the premise and the cast seems to be taking it far too seriously. Did they not realize that they're working on a film called High School Possession?!? This restrained, serious approach comes from two sources. (1.) This was a Lifetime movie. So despite a trashy title, the people behind this are attempting to make what they consider a respectable film. (2.) Since it was a Lifetime movie, it had to fit into the TVPG or TV14 perimeters.

What we're left with is a movie that's far too timid. It's neither here nor there, because it tries to be something that it isn't. It lacks the conviction and gusto to embrace what it is. [Not Rated] 86 minutes.

AKA: High School Exorcism  

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