Fantaspoa 2015 Review: Sam's POSSESSED Presents An Exorcism With Clay And A Fragmented Script
Possessed (aka Pos eso) is a peculiar Spanish animation which recalls the claymation classics of Wallace and Gromit for the design of its characters - after all the director Sam worked as an animator for Aardman - but not due to its tone, since it replaces the kindness with gore, black humor and the classic elements from the exorcism horror movies.
At first, the film puts us in the shoes of priest Lenin, who acts as an adventurer, finding religious relics of an apparent great importance. When we think this is going to be relevant for the rest of the story, we realize that in reality, the father actually doesn't want to dedicate his life to finding such relics. Rather, it is the wish of his superior, while he himself wants to spend time with his faithful followers and his own ill mother.
This is just one of the plot-lines in a movie which feels very fragmented during almost its entire duration time, since we also witness a tale that's not related to the priest at all. It's the tragedy of a beautiful and famous dancer, who was a former protagonist of a high-profile romance with a recognized bullfighter, and who is now a widow, a mother of a very problematic child, and a victim of an agent who wants her back in the business.
It's curious the way the first transition from one story to the other happens: the priest's mother is watching a report on TV about the dancer, and suddenly we start to explore the life of the latter. It's difficult to care for both tales as there's no cohesion at all, in fact the story of the dancer soon feels as a mere pretext to make of Possessed a fun splatter film.
On the other hand, and while it has a singular background (his communist parents), the priest character becomes less relevant and is given a somewhat simplistic development: feeling guilt for not being with his mother at the time of her death, he basically becomes a vagabond waiting for the moment when the writers finally decide to unite both stories. Eventually he will be only a key figure on paper only for the foreseeable final act, when everything becomes a rendition of the exorcism films.
Possessed lacks a fluent script, and in the end it is certainly the great claymation work - with colorful demons and several clay figures getting killed in gory ways (though some digital effects are not as noteworthy) - which is the most accomplished aspect of Sam's debut feature.