Home Horror Entertainment News 10 Recent Possession Movies You Shouldn’t Watch Without a Crucifix

10 Recent Possession Movies You Shouldn’t Watch Without a Crucifix

Fight for your rites!

by Timothy Rawles
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The Exorcist is going to be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, and with a sequel on the way, we thought we’d get into the spirit and offer up 10 modern possession movies that are actually good.

Imitation being the highest form of flattery, the below movies certainly stand on their own, but their gene pool can be traced all the way back to William Friedkin’s 1973 masterpiece.

People are still disturbed by The Exorcist half a century later. Just browse YouTube for First Time Watch reaction videos and you’ll see what I mean.

Filmmakers have been trying to catch the same lightning in a bottle the original did ever since it opened in December 1973. Remember Beyond the Door (1974) anyone?

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With such an extensive list of knockoffs spanning five decades, of course, we couldn’t list them all. So instead we’ve compiled a list of worthy possession movies that have been released since 2020. Some are good, some just okay, but all are entertaining and bring their own unique twist to the genre.

So grab your Bible, take your crucifix off the wall, and pour yourself a grail full of holy water. Then sit back, say a Hail Mary and watch what happens when the Devil takes up prime real estate in someone’s soul. (Note: the year indicates the time the film was released and streaming platforms listed reflect the U.S.).

Awoken (2020) Hulu

Melatonin isn’t going to be enough to get this kid to sleep. Nor is a bedtime story read by Samuel L. Jackson. Medical science intervenes. However, as we all know, a lab coat brigade is no match against demonic forces who couldn’t care less about HMOs. Awoken is a fun twist to the genre even though you might be let down by the deflated ending.

Plot: A young medical student attempts to cure her brother of a terminal sleep illness called Fatal Familial Insomnia, where you are unable to sleep until you die. On her quest to help him, a more sinister reason for his condition is revealed.

The Day of the Lord (Spanish) 2020 Netflix

It’s always that one friend with a possessed daughter who needs a favor. Thankfully The Day of the Lord puts that trope to good use.  Some of you might be turned off by subtitles, but that would be a shame because this movie is visually stunning. We get a demon temptress and a retired priest who finds himself oddly attracted to her.  Who will win?

Plot: A retired priest hunted by his sins is pulled back into darkness when a friend begs him to help his possessed daughter.

The Last Exorcist (Netflix) 2020

Danny Trejo is a national treasure. Put him in a priest’s outfit and he becomes priceless. Although this movie is probably more on the cheaper side, we have to give it props for not only harnessing the power of evil but also the acting chops of everyone’s favorite action movie Mexican-American, Mr. Trejo.

Plot: After every priest trained in exorcisms die in a terrorist attack, Joan Campbell must battle a demon from her past that, this time, possesses her sister.

 

The Last Rite (2021) Hulu

In yet another film, a woman feels like she’s being slowly possessed by an oppressive demon. She asks for help from the church, but is it too late? This film gets into psychological territory before it unleashes its supernatural battle royale. Crab walks, gaunt faces, and a few self-closing doors later, this one pays off in the end.

Plot: Lucy, a study from home medical student and sleep paralysis victim, moves in with her boyfriend and finds out all is not as it seems, when she falls pray to a demonic force hell-bent on ripping her apart from within.

Torn between sanity and the unknown, Lucy is left with no alternative but to contact a local priest, Father Roberts for help. With time running out and the dark force consuming her from inside, Father Roberts is forced to make a choice, do the right thing and get the church involved, or help Lucy by conducting his own exorcism against the will of the church.

The Seventh Day (2021) Netflix

Training Day meets Deliver Us From Evil, in this above par possession film. Guy Pierce is the Denzel Washington to Vadhir Derbez’s Father Garcia. With plenty of mood and a ton of possessions, this one ought to get under your skin.

Plot: There has been a drastic increase in possessions across the country. Father Peter, a renowned exorcist is serving the church by overseeing trainee priests while they take the last step in their on-the-job training – identifying possession and learning the rites of exorcism. Father Daniel Garcia is Father Peter’s latest trainee. As the priests plunge deeper into hell on earth, the lines between good and evil blur, and their own demons emerge.

While We Sleep (2021) Prime

Don’t dismiss this little film as just a rip-off of The Exorcist just yet, although it follows similar lines. This film packs a mighty punch. Crawling on ceilings, unnatural body contortions, and some entertaining action scenes, this one may not be perfect, but it understands the assignment.

Plot: While We Sleep follows a young girl who suffers from a sleep disorder and haunting dreams. The family hires a radiologist to discover the source of the bad dreams but what she finds is more terrifying and menacing than the dreams themselves.

Agnes (2021) Hulu

Here’s an interesting twist: a possessed nun. Rumors of possession at a convent spark an investigation by two inept priests. When they fail to expel the evil force it unleashes hell on holy ground. Full of jump scares, double-speed head twists, and bleeding eyes, Agnes is as mesmerizing as it is scary.

Plot: Inside a quaint convent, young Sister Agnes explodes with an outburst of rage and blasphemy, causing the church to send veteran priest Father Donaghue and a younger priest-on-the-rise, Benjamin, to investigate the incident as a potential demonic possession.

Demonic (2021) Showtime

This movie didn’t quite get the respect it deserved when it first opened. But, It’s a great film with an interesting concept. Thanks to technology, a young woman is literally thrust into the mindscape of her mentally ill mother who might be controlled by an insidious demon. Who will win? That’s the conflict that will carry you through this high-budget possession film. It’s directed by Neill Blomkamp, the man behind District 9 and Elysium.

Plot: A young woman unleashes terrifying demons when supernatural forces at the root of a decades-old rift between mother and daughter are revealed.

The Old Ways (2021) Netflix

This one is pretty well-liked among genre fans. It’s got strong women, plenty of body horror, and some intriguing special effects. With its Latin American folk vibe and hearty storytelling, The Old Ways isn’t groundbreaking but it sure does entertain. Be warned though, some animals don’t fare well in this film.

Plot: Cristina, a journalist of Mexican origins, travels to the home of her ancestors in Veracruz to investigate a story involving witchcraft and healers. Once there, she is kidnapped by a group of locals who claim that she’s possessed by the devil and that she needs to be exorcised. As she tries to escape this nightmarish situation, the woman starts to believe that her captors may actually be right.

The Exorcism of God (VOD) 2022

Exorcism of God is one of those films that came out of nowhere this year, and it’s got the goods. It would be underselling it to call it a bat-shit crazy possession film that literally lifts some of its imagery from The Exorcist. Great special effects, a really scary demon, and some fancy cinematography are all the more reason to check this out. It’s a mixed bag of genre homage that consists of six parts Evil Dead, six parts The Exorcist, and six parts The Conjuring. Where else are you going to see a possessed Jesus?

Plot: Peter Williams, an American priest working in Mexico, is considered a saint by many local parishioners. However, due to a botched exorcism, he carries a dark secret that’s eating him alive until he gets an opportunity to face his own demon one final time.

So there you have it. Ten modern possession films you can stream or rent right now. As always, let us know the ones we missed or if you disagree with our choices. Also, share with us your favorite possession films and where we can watch them.