A Minute With: Sam Raimi's truly haunting "Possession"

Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:06am EDT
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By Dana Feldman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Film director and producer Sam Raimi, for the first time in a long career of spooking audiences with his horror films, has turned to real-life events for supernatural thriller "The Possession," opening in the United States on Friday.

Raimi, whose credits range from directing 2002's "Spider-Man" to producing horror flicks such as "The Grudge" and "The Grudge 2," produces "The Possession." The movie, directed by Ole Bornedal, is inspired by a newspaper account of a family that fights a demon known as a Dibbuk in ancient Yiddish folklore.

The spirit, which resides in a Dibbuk box, is said to possesses the bodies of people with the intention of devouring them. In "The Possession," the Dibbuk enters the body of a young woman and her parents must figure out how to stop it.

Raimi spoke with Reuters about his new movie.

Q: Is it true that you got the idea for this film from a story you read in the Los Angeles Times?

A: "Yes, my partner and I read the article entitled 'A jinx in a box?' by Leslie Gornstein about this Dibbuk box that brought horror to anyone in possession of it. Then I researched more online and thought that this could be a great script. There were so many stories of different people and their experiences. We decided to focus on one family that encountered the box. This newly divorced couple and how they have to put aside any animosity to overcome this evil. That fascinated me."

Q: I read that Ole Bornedal went a few unconventional routes during filming -- using real moths in one pivotal scene and casting reggae artist Matisyahu. Did you support the decisions?

A: "Yes, absolutely. He (Matisyahu) is not just an unusual choice for shock value, I think he's really right for the film and his performance was exceptionally true and original. Ole wanted to update the traditional view of the wise, old rabbi and Matisyahu goes against all expectations. Yet you believe in his faith and he made the idea of an exorcist new to me."   Continued...

U.S director Sam Raimi poses during a photo call for his film "Drag Me To Hell" at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, May 21, 2009. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard