How Can This Go Wrong?! (the Possession Experiment, 2016)
Beginning with a tragic attempt at Exorcism, the Possession Experiment leaps ahead about 20 years and introduces us to a theology student choosing to do a thesis on the inviting of a possession. Surely, this is a wise move.
After discovering the tale of a coverup of an exorcism that went horribly wrong Brandon convinces his stoner class partner to conduct an experiment in which he will call upon a demon to possess him and stream the entire thing online.
This, of course, sparks an outcry from the local religious community. His father reveals that Brandon has connections to the failed exorcism that he had never been told about.
The film is an attempt at a modern spin on exorcism and possession stories, but it is heavily informed by stories outside that genre. At one point it becomes more of a combination of a slasher and resident evil styled monster flick. When the big twist comes, it all feels pretty…well, too little too late.
The character motivations seem to be very lacking. There is nothing in the script or performance to sell the audience on the notion that Brandon has real solid emotional reasons for exploring this dark material. He has no real sense of faith, nor an apparent desire to debunk possession. He just thinks it will make a cool thesis…I guess?
The Posession Experiment actually holds a lot of potential as a s[iritual horror film….but it never comes close to exploring it.