Since the release of The Exorcist, we’ve seen countless possession films try over the years to bring something new to the subgenre, but ultimately fall short of doing anything remotely clever with its tropes. Then along comes a project like Ava’s Possessions by writer/director Jordan Galland, which does a wonderful job of putting a unique and intriguing neo-noir spin on the world of demonic forces by allowing us to see the aftermath of such occurrences and how someone afflicted would be forced to deal with putting their life back together afterwards. Galland’s approach also has a bit of a humorous edge to it as well, making Ava’s Possessions truly one of the more surprising and thoughtful genre films I’ve enjoyed in some time.

Ava’s Possessions begins where most horror movies leave off- right after the exorcism of a young woman by the name of Ava (Louisa Krause) who just spent the last 28 days wreaking havoc while being possessed by an evil force. And while she’s been healed of her supernatural affliction, Ava’s journey of discovery is only beginning as she must put the pieces of her life back together and deal with her actions while she wasn’t feeling ‘herself.’ And as if that wasn’t enough, Ava also must contend with the demon that overcame her, as she learns through her Spiritual Possession Anonymous group that her ordeal isn’t necessarily over now even though she’s been exorcised.

As mentioned, the biggest thing Ava’s Possession has going for it is that Galland isn’t interested in treading the same ol’ possession story we’ve seen time and time again with a take that is refreshingly bold and something that immediately stood out to me as a horror fan. Beyond that hook though, Ava’s Possessions has a great noir-ish story pulsating through its veins, the cast all deliver performances that are wonderfully engaging- especially Krause who carries the film assuredly with a star-making performance- and the soundtrack by Sean Lennon has an infectious pulpy-synth vibe to it that does a wonderful job of immersing us deep inside Ava’s neon-fueled nightmare.

The cinematography work in the film by Adrian Correia is also some really fantastic stuff, often utilizing color and textures within the environment to heighten the sense of surrealism and confusion that Ava is experiencing on her journey to discovery. If forced to nitpick, my only real issue with Ava’s Possessions is that early on in the film, we’re introduced to Ben (played by Lou Taylor Pucci, Spring and The Evil Dead remake) as a love interest and protector over Ava but his character gets lost in the shuffle during the third act, ultimately leaving their relationship unresolved and unfulfilled which I was hoping would be addressed.

As a whole, Ava’s Possessions is a fantastic take on demon-centric storytelling and offers fans something a bit different and far more character-driven than we’ve seen in the horror genre as of late. Galland does a fantastic job of digging into the real ramifications of spiritual possession and Krause is downright mesmerizing with a powerfully raw performance that makes it hard to look away, even for just a moment.

Movie Rating: 4/5

  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.