The movie begins with an obvious home video the purpose of which is to set up two of the guiding elements of the film. One is that Michael King (Shane Johnson) does not believe in God the Devil or essentially anything spiritual. The other is the very sad and accidental death of his beloved wife.
It is his wife death that motivates King to make a documentary film showing conclusively that the spiritual world is pure hocum . He chooses to test the dark side by pursuing demons and even Satan himself. As he moves steadily deeper into the dark world with adventure being recorded for his intended film the scenarios get increasingly bizarre.
At first all goes well and he dismisses on camera many of things he experiences. He begins with a conversation with a psychic his late wife visited regularly during her life. Apparently the physic had told his wife that she would soon become a very successful movie star. Michael King takes great pleasure in telling the psychic that her prediction could not possibly come true because his wife was now dead.
And so it goes with Michael King debunking one claim after another, taunting the evil spirits to capture him and enjoying the apparent lack of any ability for the evil spirits to do so. He is confident he will have an explosive film and forever debunk all of the spiritual myths.
But as he moves along to ever more dark and frankly increasing weird experiments his behavior begins to change uncontrollably. He begins hearing voices and having ever more disturbing visions. Michael King devolves into a a treacherous madman. But the question I was left with was it actually Michael King being possessed by the devil or was he just going insane? Then again is there really any difference?
The story line is intriguing and the performance of Shane Johnson was certainly worthy and at times even genuinely outstanding. However as the movie unfolded on the screen I became increasingly disinterested and I even flirted with the idea of leaving the theater. But I told myself I had to stay so that I could write a thorough and completely honest review. It was difficult to stay but I did.
A few year ago now I did some public relations work for a local film festival. As a consequence of the relationship I got to many films of many genres including many student films. Many if not most of those films were at least equal to and often far better than “The Possession of Michael King.” That thought troubles me because I know several filmmakers whose work is far more entertaining but who have thus far been unable to get their work on screen at a major venue such as AMC Theaters. I wonder how the team of “The Possession of Michael King” succeeded where so many other more deserving films have not. Oh don’t get me wrong I wish the team the best of success but in al l honesty I just cannot recommend this movie except perhaps to my ex-wife’s lawyer.
Copyright ©2014 Ron Irwin