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Film / Ava's Possessions

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Ava's Possessions is an American supernatural Horror Comedy film written and directed by Jordan Gallard. It premiered at the Dead by Dawn Horror Film Festival in 2015, and was given a DVD and Video on Demand release in 2016.

Ava Dobkins (Louisa Krause) has had a difficult month. For the last 28 days she was possessed by the demon Naphula, who did some very bad things while it was in control. Now freed of the diabolical influence and with no memory of what happened during her possession, Ava discovers that she could still be held liable for the lives and relationships she destroyed. She is given a choice: attend a rehabilitation program for the recently exorcised, or face jail time or commitment in a facility for troubled ex-possessed people.

Ava opts for the rehabilitation program, which includes group therapy. As she pieces together the last 28 days and tries to rebuild the ruins of her life, she faces temptation to let her demon back in, and mounting evidence that she may have murdered someone. Her family is no help, forcing Ava to investigate on her own, while trying to figure out what left her susceptible to the demon in the first place.

This film contains examples of:

  • Alternate Identity Amnesia: Ava doesn't remember anything that happened during her possession.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Even if you haven't figured out Hazel's intentions yet, the name of the spell she wants Ava's help with sure gives the game away for those who know Latin.
  • Brutal Honesty: What Ava employs when Jillian and Roger set her up on a date... that doesn't last long.
    "Well if he can't handle my inner demons, then fuck him."
  • Canis Latinicus: While the name of the Demonium Invitabo spell is appropriate enough, the spell itself is gibberish with occasional words that sound appropriate.
  • Cartesian Karma: Ava must answer for all the things that the demon made her do, which cost her her employment and relationships, and could lead to jail time.
  • Christianity is Catholic: The priest who performs the exorcism is Catholic. To some extent this is Justified, as the Catholic Church does indeed have some exorcists (although not used that often), but others do, too.
  • Compartment Shot: As Ava opens the top drawer of her dresser, though it switches to Naphula's face.
  • Demonic Possession: The good news is that this phenomenon is common enough that there is an infrastructure in place to manage the fallout. This is also the bad news.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Demonic possession is seen as shameful but depressingly common, like drug or alcohol addiction, and one of the attendees wants to defy the point of the program by letting her demon back in because of how she felt while possessed. At the same time, it is acknowledged that possession can wreck lives and harm innocent bystanders and vulnerability to possession tends to run in families.
  • Fighting from the Inside: What those who are possessed are doing, generally. Hazel says that when she stopped fighting and just accepted Abbadon, it was better than drugs or sex.
  • Heroic Willpower: When Ava manages to keep Naphula from killing Roger and pulls the Spirit Steeper off.
  • Hollywood Exorcism: The opening credits.
  • It Runs in the Family: Vulnerability to demonic possession can be genetic, as in the case of twin sisters who were each possessed.
  • The Legions of Hell: There's 36 of them and their soldiers apparently come up to the human world to possess people every now and then.
  • Like Reality, Unless Noted: It's just like Real Life, except that demonic possession is real and not uncommon.
  • Magical Database: Apparently there's a Wiki all about demons who like to possess humans, including their names, descriptions, and common attributes.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Naphula the Annointed" doesn't sound so bad, but "Abbadon the Annihilator"...
  • Powers via Possession: Floating in the air, supernatural strength, and the ability to both climb buildings and survive jumping from the top of them. Also, apparently the ability to eat raw flesh without getting sick, and, of course, to speak fluent Canis Latinicus.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: A lot of the comedy comes from how mundane demonic possession is treated in the setting, though it is acknowledged that Ava did some pretty traumatizing things while under the demon's control.
  • Streetwalker: One of the people Ava has to track down and apologize to is a prostitute named Noelle.
  • Symbiotic Possession: Hazel and Abbadon. And, arguably, Ava and Naphula to get rid of Roger, though it seemed like Naphula didn't want to leave.
  • Transformation of the Possessed: Instantly, as soon as the de-... uh, "uninvited spiritual guest" takes control.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: The Spirit Possession Anonymous support group Ava attends focuses on helping its attendees rebuild the relationships destroyed under the demon's influence and making them mentally strong enough to resist the demon's return. Those who fail (willingly or otherwise) are kicked out and sent to an institution for demonic detox.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Ava curls up into this when she and Ben start to get hot and heavy together on her bed when she hears Naphula's drums and thinks she sees him in the window.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: A bystander claims that a possessed woman climbed up a building in the same tone of voice as if she'd just run off really fast (which might also have been true).
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: A variation involving a month-long demonic possession (which is treated similarly to alcoholism), but Ava is still required to retrace the chaos her demon caused.