In “The Possession of Michael King,” the title character (Shane Johnson) sets out to debunk dark magic for a documentary. He blames a psychic’s advice for the accidental death of his wife, so he wants to get the word out that all this abracadabra is nothing but a bunch of baloney.
Michael visits a priest, a demonologist, a mortician, a psychiatrist and a medium to assist with summoning a demon. Instead of discouraging him, though, everyone he turns to seems to be an enabler, all too happy to help Michael tempt fate.
Although the experts he contacts break down the telltale signs of possession, he remains skeptical even as those signs manifest themselves. Weird that it never occurs to the videographer who witnesses all the paranormal activities firsthand to urge Michael to review the footage and see it for himself.
Writer-director David Jung here employs the found-footage trope made popular by “The Blair Witch Project” and “Paranormal Activity.” Although this film doesn’t miss the whole point of found footage as the recent “Into the Storm” did, Jung does little to help suspend our disbelief. Why would a possessed Michael continue to operate the camera or even turn on night vision? You simply can’t capitalize on a filmmaking fad by shortchanging the audience.
“The Possession of Michael King.”
MPAA rating: R for disturbing and violent content, language, drug use and sexual material.
Running time: 1 hour, 23 minutes.
At AMC Burbank Town Center 8.