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Possession of Joel Delaney, The


USA 1972, 105 minutes
Dir. Waris Hussein
Genres: Horror


Aroview: Horror based on the 1970 novel of the same name by Ramona Stewart, about an upper-class Manhattan divorcee who starts to suspect her younger brother is possessed by the spirit of a deceased serial killer who terrorised Spanish Harlem.

Thematically this is an ambitious film which attempts an exploration of some weighty stuff including incest, racism, class privilege, mental health, mummy issues and a gay subtext. Shirley MacLaine is brilliant in what otherwise feels like a subpar Polanski or Friedkin film, and was indeed dwarfed by the release of THE EXORCIST one year later.

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