Today I am going to be sharing my five favourite possession horror movies. As previously mentioned, I try to diversify my lists each time, so you won’t see The Exorcist, Annabelle, The Conjuring etc. They are all top-tier films, but I’ve discussed them already. This particular sub-genre typically explores demonic possession, either via an evil entity or cursed object. I’ve always found these types of features very confronting because it’s unsettling to have something/someone take over your mind and body without permission. Without further ado, let’s get into the post!
Directed by the iconic Mike Flanagan, Oculus follows two adult siblings, haunted by their parents demise from years ago. The pair believe the antique mirror from their childhood home, known as the Lasser Glass, was behind the tragedy. As they work on repairing their own fractured relationship, the cursed object seeks to infect their minds and stop them from learning its deadly truth. As you’ll see in this post, I am a big fan of these types of possession stories. Malevolent forces that reflect more than what one sees on first glance is always a winner for me. This film is full of gore, disturbing scenes and tension-building. I loved how the flashbacks helped build the story piece by piece. It is definitely worth a watch!
Similar to Oculus, Mirrors follows troubled ex-cop Ben Carson (played by Kiefer Sutherland), who takes a job as a night guard at a burned down, now ruined department store. As he patrols the charred hallways, Ben begins to see horrifying images in the ornate mirrors that still adorn the walls. After his sister is killed, he becomes convinced that a supernatural force is after his family next. This film has a scene so horrifying, I remember my friend telling me left the cinema after it came on. If you’re curious and can stomach it, check out the video below. It will make you screw up your face in disgust. This movie has such effective scares and solid acting.
3.) The Last Exorcism
I recently watched The Last Exorcism for the first time and really enjoyed it. It’s a found-footage film that follows an evangelist named Cotton Marcus, set on disproving exorcisms. When he travels (camera crew in tow) to assist a man with his supposedly possessed daughter, Cotton gets much more than he bargained for. What seems innocent at first, quickly devolves into a deathly dangerous situation. The visuals and contortions of the girl’s body movements were truly sickening. I feel like this movie was really well done, given the horror sub-genre. If you’re not sure where to start with possession stories, I would begin here.
4.) The Blackcoat’s Daughter
Currently streaming on Shudder, The Blackcoat’s Daughter follows the lives of three young women and how they ultimately intertwine at the end. I don’t want to reveal too much because this film has a pretty shocking twist. I think new viewers should go in blind. However, I will say this possession story is very different to the rest of the movies mentioned in this post. I recommend paying attention and being open to everything that happens along the way. Once you realise what’s going on, you’ll be on the edge of your seat.
5.) The Exorcism Of Emily Rose
Last but certainly not least, we have The Exorcism Of Emily Rose. I know some people refuse to watch this film because it is based on real-life events but please note, the true story is actually really sad, not scary. It follows Reverend Moore, a priest on trial for performing an exorcism on a young girl named Emily Rose (played by Jennifer Carpenter), who died in the process. It is revealed along the way that she was actually suffering from epilepsy and DID – instead of demonic possession – and should have received proper medical care. In the 1950s, schizophrenia and fits weren’t as easily diagnosed as they would be today. Therefore, the symptoms would typically be attributed to satanic influences. We jump back and forth between the court case, the events of the past and the lead up to the fatal exorcism. It’s a truly brilliant movie.
Thank you so much for reading! What are some of your favourite possession films? Do you agree with my list?
Peace & Love xoxo