This week, Gold Circle Films released The Possession of Michael King on DVD and Blu-ray. I’ve always been a fan of possession films and have become a true devotee of the found footage horror phenomenon as it has developed, so I knew I had to check this one out as soon as I could. I was not disappointed in the least.
Michael King is a documentary film maker and an atheist. After his wife is killed in an accident, he decides to make a film proving one way or the other whether the supernatural exists, and thus, whether his wife might still exist in some way or not. He is bitter and angry, understandably, and so his route is not one of belief and looking for positive results, but instead one of mocking and negativity.
First, he tries to summon a demon himself. When that doesn’t work, he contacts a demonologist and a necromancer to perform rituals on him to bring about possession by a demon and a recently deceased young man, respectively. They ply him with drugs and perform their rituals. And thus, we begin to watch Michael’s slow descent into madness and possession. It all starts with the constant sound of static in his ears, then hallucinations. His reflection is no longer his own, and the static becomes voices that tell him to sacrifice his daughter.
I’m not a guy who likes spoilers, so I won’t give them here, but I will say this movie, for me, was genuinely frightening, and Shane Johnson, who plays Michael, did a fine job of portraying a character who goes from being a non-believing jerk to a frightened father to a pitiable mess in the end. The film boasts an impressive cast of talented character actors. Patricia Healy (Ultraviolet), Cullen Douglas (Deadland), Julie McNiven (“Supernatural”), and Tobias Jelinek (Hocus Pocus) all give stellar performances in supporting roles.
The second star of this movie, however, was the sound department. They managed this film beautifully. Quiet whispers and demonic screams all took on a life of their own and resonated throughout the film.
If I had one complaint, it would be that the character of the wife wasn’t a little more fleshed out. There is a beautiful scene toward the end where Michael watches a video about a near death experience she had and I kept thinking if they’d taken more time to just give a little more information about her, it might have made his character a little more understandable, if not necessarily more likable.
All in all, if you’re a fan of the genre, this is a film that deserves to be in your collection. It’s very reasonably priced ($17.96 on Blu Ray at Walmart) and I would imagine it will be showing up on most streaming services in the next few weeks. Do yourself a favor and watch it today!