Dabbe: The Possession (2013) (Turkish)
A mighty impressive horror film that is notable for its offbeat execution, superb story, atmospherics, suspense and unexpected climax.
Writer/Director – Hasan Karacadag
Cast – Irmak Ornek, Ali Murat Ozgen, Cansu Kurgun, Elcin Atamguc, Sultan Korogiu Kilic, Sabriye Gunuc, Can Tarakci, Nahide Ucar, Beren Ciftcisoy
In Turkey, Dr. Ebru, a psychiatrist, is researching and recording the phenomenon of exorcism being undertaken by a Hodja, Faruk. This project takes them towards her ancestral place Kibledere where her cousin Kubra is suffering from a mental condition for some time now and not responding to medical treatment.
They soon discover that Kibledere village is a fearful place where people have been following black magic. Things get darker when they meet Kubra and her family. There’s a conflict between Ebru’s scientific beliefs and Faruk’s faith. And Faruk is perplexed about why his approach is not working this time.
Because there’s more to Kubra’s condition than meets the eye. Their desperate efforts to unravel the facts takes them on a chilling quest that turns up astounding secrets and a dreadful unpredictable outcome.
One look at the trailer had me roped in. Being a horror fan and having seen a wide variety in the genre, it seemed super interesting and refreshingly offbeat.
Many factors set apart this fantastic horror. The setting and the place is Turkey. There’s always an allure when the place in question has history, culture and ethnicity. Moreover, the small town and village locations, the by-lanes, the houses and ethnic interiors add to realism and mystique.
Add to this the fact that it uses found footage style camera technique, which adds further to realism and gives a creepier feel. It reminded me of the similar technique used in Ragini MMS. Remember LSD by Bejoy Nambiar years back when he uses this technique to give that dark claustrophobic feel?
I noticed that the lighting used in night scenes and the interiors made it look all the more authentic and eerie.
Another aspect that the film uses is the debate between science and faith. Ebru’s probing questions, her reluctance to believe anything that just meets the eye, her counter explanations and her doubts makes it interesting.
Faruk’s character looks real sans the drama associated with Hodjas as portrayed generally in films. There’s a certain authentic feel about him, his intentions and his faith. The efforts that he makes to explain everything bringing in culture, science & mythology is very interesting.
Irmak‘s performance makes Ebru relatable. I liked Ali Murat too in his restrained portrayal of Faruk.
The film doesn’t resort to the usual horror tropes like jump scares etc.
It relies on its superb setting and atmospherics to create an eerie feel through out. Its suspense adds to unpredictability and intrigue. The exorcism scenes are few and very different from the dozens seen so far.
The unpredictable twist towards the end and the chilling climax is a bonus that horror lovers would find rare.
The fact that the film is based on real story leaves you with a stunned and unsettling feeling.
The film is a must watch for the horror lovers.
Its great backstory, offbeat execution, setting, atmospherics, suspense and twist make it worth every minute of it!