Taken over
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Movies dealing with possession

Taken over
By Jevon Phillips and Emily Christianson

Movies about demonic possession have always been popular with moviegoers. We’ve compiled a list of some of the films in which possession is at the center of the goings-on, often coming from unexpected sources.

Above: Anthony Hopkins takes on the role of a priest who is slowly possessed by a demon in the 2011 film “The Rite.” That film is based on true accounts(Egon Endrenyi / Warner Bros.)
‘The Exorcist’ (1973)
The image is of Linda Blair before the pea soup. Before the bed was lifted and the priests were propositioned and the head spun. The tale of “The Exorcist” centered as much on the victim as the priest, showing the evil and danger and perversion of demonic possession. There have been many knockoffs and sequels, but this set the standard. (Warner Bros)
‘Fallen’ (1998)
Demons are often thought to be fallen angels, and John Hobbes must deal with one. Denzel Washington, as Hobbes, is trying to figure out why the killer that he caught and watched being executed seems to be continuing his murderous trail. Turns out, the killer can possess anyone by just touching them, and is a cursed fallen angel named Azazel. (Nicola Goode / Warner Bros.)
‘Child’s Play’ (1988)
Sure, it’s funny that a doll can be possessed -- unless that doll is chasing you with a hatchet and a murderous heart. A dying killer uses voodoo to transfer his soul into a popular doll at the time called a Chucky doll. Not a demon possession, but a supernatural one nonetheless. (Rolf Konow / Rogue Pictures)
‘Paranormal Activity’ (2007 - 2012)
All four of the “Paranormal Activity” movies show the slow progression of possession, and the dogged determination of a demon obsessed with a particular family (and its first born male). The prequel-sequel second movie even displayed how, despite the crude exorcism, it’s sometimes an inescapable fate. (Paramount)
‘Jennifer’s Body’ (2009)
Megan Fox has been called many things, but frighteningly intimidating probably isn’t one of them. As a cheerleader possessed by a demon, she (or the demon possessing her) kills off guys who she thinks deserve it using only her charm -- and supernatural strength. (Doane Gregory / 20th Century Fox)
‘The Shining’ (1980)
The pressure on writers is immense when the deadline is approaching, and maybe more so when otherworldy voices are guiding your keystrokes. Could be considered more of a haunting-induced mania than an outright possession, but Jack Nicholson‘s decent into murderous rage and his son’s “red-rum” lipstick scrawl on the wall are some of cinema’s most enduring images of horror. (Warner Bros.)
‘Christine’ (1983)
‘How do you kill something that can’t possibly be alive?’ We don’t know, but a demonically possessed ’58 Plymouth Fury with an upside down cross hanging from the rearview mirror is not something we want to see in our rearview mirror. (Columbia Pictures)
‘The Amityville Horror’ (1979)
George and Kathleen Lutz and their three kids moved into 112 Ocean Ave., a large Dutch Colonial house in Amityville, N.Y.. What they didn’t know was that Ronald DeFeo Jr. had shot and killed his family at the house a year earlier -- and the house didn’t like visitors. A rule of thumb: When a house tells you to get out, you probably should pack and go. They waited it out a while, and, well, don’t flaunt the rule. (American International Pictures)
‘Ghostbusters’ (1984)
Paranormal exterminators Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) know how to handle a haunting, that is until they get a call from Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver). She’s trying to get rid of an unwanted visitor, a demigod named Zuul. Before the ghost hunters can boot him out, he possesses Dana and declares himself “The Gatekeeper” while his friend “The Keymaster” takes over her neighbor Louis Tully (Rick Moranis). Together they release the destructive god Gozer who manifests as the equally terrifying Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. (Columbia Pictures)
‘The Last Exorcism’ (2010)
A reverend who had lost faith in exorcisms after hearing of an autistic boy killed due to one, decides to let a documentary crew film him as tries to debunk a call for help. The film debates whether or not this is a case of possession or mental instability, and the resulting mayhem never truly resolves the issue. (Patti Perret / Lionsgate)
‘The Convent’ (2000)
Besides kids and puppies, what’s the worst thing a demon could possess? Nuns. That’s where “The Convent” comes in. A horde of demons has possessed the denizens of a nunnery, and some kids decide to check it out on a dare. Luckily for them, that’s where Adrienne Barbeau of “The Fog,” “Escape From New York” and numerous other films comes in (on a motorcycle, no less) to save the day. Guns blazing. (Alpine Pictures)
‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ (2005)
When the courts get involved, the supernatural can often be overridden. The character of Emily Rose in the film was inspired by the true story of Anneliese Michel, a young German Catholic woman who died in 1976 after unsuccessful attempts to perform an exorcism. In the film, she was possessed by six powerful demons, including Lucifer, who pretty much refused to let her go. Priests involved in the exorcism were found guilty relating to her death, in both real life and in the movie. (Diyah Pera / Screen Gems)