Monday, December 11, 2023

most taunted.

A work college recommended this lo-fi found footage epic t'other day as they said it was a fairly spooky movie made much more entertaining by the added perv gurning.

I've absolutely no idea what that means by the way.

The Possession of Michael King (2014).
Dir: David Jung.
Cast:  Shane Johnson, Cara Pifko, Dale Dickey, Julie McNiven and The Devil.

Photofit everyman Michael King (Johnson, famous for his role as Soldier on the Beach in Saving Private Ryan) is a groovy documentary film maker with a beautiful wife, poppet daughter and a healthy disregard for anything paranormal or religious based.

Yup he's a cool headed, science is king kinda guy.

Which would be great if the movie was anything other than a possession themed one, which alas it isn't.

You see things started going a wee bit awry for our film making mucker when his wife Samantha (voice artist Pifko from The Clone Wars), canceling her holiday plans on the advice of a psychic named Beverly (road map faced Dickey) is tragically killed in an accident.

There is a wee bit of good news tho' when it transpires that it was pissing down with rain the week they'd planned to go to Blackpool anyway.

Silver linings and all that.

Blaming Beverly for his wife's death whilst cultivating a rather fetching five o'clock shadow Michael decides to channel his grief not into the usual pattern of tearful masturbation sessions followed by a couple of Pot Noodles but
into making a documentary regarding his personal quest to discredit not just psychics but anything and anyone supernatural related.

Including Yvette Fielding and Mystic Meg, who if I'm honest I'd thought had died years ago.

Which in fact she had.

But not when this film was made.

Time is funny like that.

Yvette: Tunnel or funnel?

Anyway with his best buddy on camera duty Michael takes on the role of narrator cum whipping boy with relish diving head first into every kind of paranormal activity he can find; from chatting to asthmatic ex-priests to taking part in a demon summoning, spunk guzzling drug orgy via a corpse bothering undertakers unusual pre-burial practices, our hero throws himself into the bizarrest aspects of the supernatural with the gusto of Peter Murrell spotting a bargain camper van.

Or a luxury £95000 Jaguar.


Which is all well and good (not to say admittedly well done) until that is he discovers that he may well have become possessed by an actual bone fide demon.

And one with an unhealthy ant fetish to boot.

King: Prawn or spring rolls?

Cue sixty odd minutes of our eponymous hero having acid-style flashbacks and growling at his daughter, attempting to do impressions of old man Steptoe
into a night vision camera, scratching himself in inappropriate places whilst vainly trying to touch up his sister Beth whilst she sleeps.

Saying that tho' she is played by the yumsome ginger goddess that is Doom Patrol's Julie McNiven so you can understand why, possessed or not.

Plus he's gentleman enough to pull her nightie down when he's finished which kinda makes it OK as far as the film is concerned.

"Don't leave me 'Arold....."

Is this a real case of possession or just a grieving widows slow decent into madness?

Will the rash on his tummy ever clear up?

Are the ants CGI or especially trained?

And most importantly will he fuck his sister?

Or yours?


Writer director Jung shows some real promise and a flair for good old fashioned frights with this his debut movie, creating some genuine creepy moments (the psychiatrist office and Satanist celebration scenes to name but two)  before the whole film rapidly degenerates into a horribly cliched possession by numbers found footage laugharama resplendent with comedy gurning and embarrassing 'Boo!' effects that cheapen the whole experience causing it to hemorrhage viewer interest like a haemophiliac child at a self harm convention.

Which is a shame because the film could be so much more.

You can almost forgive it when a quite frankly scary plot twist seems imminent (that Michael is actually being possessed by his dead wife) but this turns out to be just the demon showing off his comedy voices.

Perhaps the demon of bad film-making entered David Jung during the shoot and deliberately sabotaged  the movie for fear of it telling the truth about demonic possession?

"It could be yooooouuuuuuu!"

Actually this makes some sort of sense, I mean how else can you explain how the ultra-real, show stealing performance from Shane Johnson suddenly goes from showing a genuinely warm believable character to an end of the pier panto villain with the flick of a light switch?

It's Last Exorcism syndrome all over again.

If anyone could remember it.

And on that bombshell can we at least have a person possessed by a demon that isn't a contortionist at some point in the future?

I mean the effect is good and all but it really became tiresome during The Devil Inside and that was nearly fifty years ago.

Here's an idea, how about a demon that does a slightly different circus skill?

Like balloon modeling or uni-cycling?

Now that would be scary.

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