TADFF 2019 – Film Review: THE ASSENT (2019)

THE ASSENT *** 2019 USA Dir: Pearry Teo. 90 mins

Joel (Robert Kazinsky) is a father struggling to care for his son Mason (Caden Dragomer) since the death of his wife. Struggling to put food on the table because of his low-paying job and mental illness, he relies on his therapist (Florence Faivre) to help him cope. But after some disturbing events in his home, he begins to suspect his son may be possessed.

The interesting thing about THE ASSENT is that it’s a possession movie that doesn’t focus on the exorcism. The real conflict isn’t between Mason and the Devil, but between Joel and his inner demons. His failure to protect his son. His schizophrenia and the fear he’s passed it on to his child. His obsession with darkness. This is a film about anger and weakness and the fear of disappointing the people who rely on you most.

There are some good scares, although the monster is more effective before it’s revealed—and some of the dramatic tension is broken by the comedically serious Father Lambert (Peter Jason) and a confusing ending. But fans of the possession genre will certainly find something unholy to love about this demonic little gem.

Review by Julia Lynch


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