The Possession, or as I prefer to dub it, The Jewish Exorcist – or, alternately, Yahweh Got Game – is at heart a neurotic family drama set in motion by the divorce of apparently secular Jewish parents Clyde and Stephanie Breneck (Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick).   Expectedly, this has upset the lives of their adolescent daughters Hannah (Madison Davenport) and, more markedly, Emily (Natasha Calis).  Even worse, Mrs. Breneck has begun dating an Anglo-Saxon dentist and Wagner fan (Grant Show) – which is to say, a crypto-Nazi on all three counts – thus further diminishing the chance that this broken family will ever be put back together again.

Shit really starts to hit the fan, though, when Mr. Breneck buys Emily a mysterious wooden box at a yard sale.  We know the box is bad news because, in an earlier scene an old woman, its previous owner, hears it whispering Jewish gibberish at her and decides to try to beat it with a hammer, but only gets a thrashing and body-slamming from an invisible entity for her trouble.  Her son, a nice middle-aged Jewish boy who just then happened to be stopping by to visit Momma, sees nothing wrong with passing the curse on to somebody else if he can make a buck, and sells the troublesome antique to unsuspecting Mr. Breneck.  Slightly reminiscent of the Hellraiser puzzle box, but scarier because it’s bigger, covered with Hebrew abracadabra, and full of creepy, crusty Jewish stuff, this “box” – which, unfortunately for everyone involved, contains a dybbuk, or cranky, perpetually whispering, old Jewish hag, plus a host of annoying Jewish moths that infest the house – becomes an immediate obsession of pubescent Emily, who develops a sharp possessiveness and sensitivity about having her “box” touched, preferring, rather, that she should be the only one to handle her “box”.

Tragically, several people, beginning with her father, also want to touch Emily’s “box”, and that always leads to trouble.  When he becomes concerned that the “box” is causing Emily to misbehave, Mr. Breneck tosses it into a dumpster, but that only causes her to run out of the house, psychically pinpoint and retrieve it, and vomit a lot of Jewish moths.  When a mischievous schoolmate touches her “box”, he gets a vicious feminist beatdown, and when her black teacher, Miss Shandy, i.e., shady shine or schvartse shiksa (Brenda Crichlow), confiscates Emily’s “box” and then, like a street thug, tries to prize it open with a knife, her eyes start leaking blood and before you know it the “box” has asserted its will and exacted its Jewish revenge.  The crypto-Nazi dentist, who never touches Emily’s “box” but probably wants to, must, of course, also be punished, if only for liking Wagner operas; and, after Emily lures him toward her by giving him come-hither goth-slut stares, she grabs some well-deserved Holocaust reparations by telekinetically and bloodily extracting all of his Anglo-Saxon teeth.

Mr. Breneck, fortunately, has seen the original Exorcist and realizes he’s in over his head; consequently, after surfing the net and watching some exorcism videos, he gets religion and drives to New York to try to guilt-trip some rabbis into helping a brother out.  One of them, Tzadok (“Hasidic Reggae Superstar” Matisyahu) – the titular Jewish Exorcist! – mans up and agrees to throw down and from that point you just know the dybbuk’s days in possession of little Emily are numbered.  Jewish mystical mumbo-jumbo, after all, is pungent medicine, and – while less frequently prescribed, perhaps, than other varieties of movie mumbo-jumbo – easily trumps medievalist Tolkien tomfoolery, voodoo, gypsy curses, santeria, snake-charming, evangelical tongue-speaking and laying-on of hands, and costumed Catholic Latin-spouting and incense-swinging, for instance, as the premier form of unrestricted spiritual warfare on the silver screen.

Disorienting aerial shots occasionally remind us that Yahweh, like some sociopathic, masturbating voyeur, is watching everything that happens on earth, and can smite the gentiles at any moment the sanctity of the Jewish “box” is challenged.  He, in His omnipresence, is the true hero or the vengeful eminence grise of The Jewish Exorcist.  Through His unwitting agent, the dybbuk, He orchestrates and manifests His almighty will; and, while the dybbuk is identified as a force of “evil”, we must grant that this vicious old hag has ultimately effected a positive outcome by causing, albeit unintentionally, the reunion of a family and presumably also the eventual restoration of the Yahweh-approved sacrament of holy matrimony.

Unintentionally funny more often than scary, The Jewish Exorcist does, in its defense, contain two or three moments that could pass for a species of low-voltage suspense, and the actors are generally fun to watch as they make total fools of themselves.

Ideological Content Analysis indicates that The Jewish Exorcist is:

3. Racist and especially anti-Negro.  Mr. Breneck is a college basketball coach by profession and in one scene we see him in action, honing his team by means of a peculiar imaginary ball exercise.  The Jewish Exorcist would have us understand that black guys wouldn’t even know how to dribble a ball unless there was a Jewish professor on hand to tell them how it’s done and train them by means of a creative psychological experiment.  Apart from this scene and the aforementioned sorrowful fate of Miss Shandy, there is the conspicuously placed deflated basketball amid the wreckage resulting from the film’s final jump-scare: a reminder that the achievements of blacks are as nothing compared to the will of Yahweh and His plan for His chosen people – a caveat, in short, that Yahweh Got Game.

2. Pro-marriage/pro-family.

1. Zionist/anti-miscegenation.  “Keep your filthy gentile hands off my Jewish ‘box’!” wails this hysterical horror flick at every opportunity.  The sanctity of the crusty, moth-filled Jewish “box” must be guarded at all costs and by all necessary violent means.  Significantly, when Miss Shandy tries messing with Emily’s “box”, a ghostly breeze enters the room from nowhere and the miniature American flag on her desk starts flapping energetically, signifying that whenever the national chastity of the Zionist “box” is threatened, spirito-militaristic Israeli-American patriotism will be invoked and wrathful Yahweh will visit neoconservatism mercilessly upon the earth.

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