The Assent [TADFF Review]

As I mentioned briefly before, we were told going into the festival that The Furies was going to be the goriest. They also warned us that The Assent is the scariest film of the festival. From what I’ve seen so far, I definitely agree. I didn’t think I would learn a few things about demonic possession during the film.

Assent - Teaser Poster.jpg

To be fair, the learning I had done was about the three stages. The first being the presence, the affliction, and then finally, the assent. These are things that you’re aware of if you’ve seen a few possession films. Which makes sense since it relates very well to how the film works out.

Unfortunately, there are arguably too many possession films and if we’re honest, not all of them are good. This happens constantly in the horror realm. To be a horror fanatic, it means to struggle and wade through some lesser works to find the real gems. I hope that people stumble onto this because it’s pretty good.

In The Assent, we have Joel, played by Robert Kazinsky (Pacific Rim) as a single father who does creepy sculptures as a hobby. I say that as a compliment, the production design in the film is pretty creepy and adds to the atmosphere of the film. His son Mason (Caden Dragomer) plays very well as a child who is possessed. And like that, the film plays out roughly as you can imagine. Priests come to try and help out, Joel who is schizophrenic and sees some wonderful creatures and none of us know what’s real or what’s not.

Films – and especially horror films can be very formulaic from time to time. And that doesn’t need to necessarily need to be a problem, there are ways to use that to your advantage. On top of that, not every film needs to break the mold that has been constructed before them, it’s what you do with it that makes the film count. Pearry Teo directs the hell out of the film, while sometimes still in the creature suit itself. Joel comes out as a father who is getting by, trying to do right by his son and you can feel that. While not as scary as we had once been warned, it still makes for an entertaining film with a few twists and turns.