As The Last Possession opens financial problems have forced Kent Peroni (Stephen Brodie, Baphomet, Companion), his wife Stephanie (Cassie Shea Watson, Ghost Note, Feast II: Sloppy Seconds) and their two kids Jack (Sawyer Bell, Kill or Be Killed, Daylight’s End) and Gabby (Lourelle Jensen) to move into the house Kent’s father Roger (Tom Proctor, The Devil Below, Obsidian) left him. Roger was a violent drunk up until the day he killed himself and going back there is the last thing Kent wants.
It doesn’t help that they’ve barely moved in when an earthquake rattles the area and opens up a strange hole in the backyard. It doesn’t take long before more strange things start happening and Gabby is seeing her grandfather’s ghost.
Writer Greg Shouse (Low Rollers, Technically Crazy) and director Dan Riddle (Technically Crazy) start The Last Possession off like a typical haunted house film. A family under stress, a house full of bad memories, strange occurrences first centred around the kids then the adults, everything you would expect from a film like this.
But, as the poster art and the tagline “Science Can’t Explain Everything” hint, The Last Possession isn’t a straight-up ghost story. Kent is a research scientist, although just what he’s researching is never mentioned, and does not believe in ghosts, let alone monsters, even when the rest of his family is seeing them. Until he sees them that is.
Then the film goes off in a direction that resembles the Ali Larter film The Diabolical or more recently, The Return and moves into science fiction territory. It’s actually hinted at in the first half-hour when the house is mysteriously trashed and the cop blames Mexicans who just snuck over the border and were looking for something to pawn so they can get further North. Yes, it was done by an alien, just not the kind the cop thinks.
The Last Possession has some interesting ideas, but it doesn’t do a lot with them. There’s Roger’s ghost which only Gabby seems to see, there’s the creature everyone sees. But it all still plays out like a typical ghost story. Even when Inez (Patricia Rae, Beyond Paranormal, Bloodsucking Bastards), a psychic who just happens to be the grandmother of one of Jack’s co-workers tries to cleanse the house and forces the alien to reveal itself it’s not much different from a straight-up supernatural film.
The one genuine new idea the film has, pitting the ghost of Kent’s father against the creature, doesn’t come into play until the last few minutes and it really doesn’t amount to much. Which is too bad because the crossover between the weirder alleged sightings of UFOs and various creatures like Bigfoot, Mothman, etc and the supernatural could be a whole new source of film storylines. Sony screwed it up when they tossed the best parts of John Keel’s book The Mothman Prophesies, Riddle and Shouse make the same mistake by playing it safe with The Last Possession.
If you’re in the mood for a haunted house film, The Last Possession may do the trick. It’s not an outright bad or boring film, it’s just a very predictable one that wastes the potential of a couple of good ideas. It’s well enough shot and it does have some effects, including a man in a suit creature rather than a CGI one. That alone puts it ahead of plenty of recent genre films.
Terror Films will debut The Last Possession on the Terror Films Channel on March 4th followed by a digital and VOD release on March 11th. You can check their website and Facebook page for more details.