This afternoon I opened up Netflix and the first thing that struck me was the second movie on my “Recently Added” list, Anguish. The description briefly describes a girl with an identity disorder that may be channeling the spirit of a dead girl. Immediately intrigued, the movie begins with a story about Lucy and her mother Sarah. Like many teenage daughter/mother relationships, they’re fighting but this fight ends in quit the tragedy. Lucy is killed in an unfortunate accident. The story shifts to teenage Tess and her mother Jessica. When Tess was a little girl her mom found her banging her head on the wall and ever since she has been on a steady stream of medicine to cure her anxiety. Tess’s father is a military man and only sees him through Skype chats. Her and her mom have recently moved into a small house and Tess’s anxiety seems to be on high because she soon starts hallucinating.
In a Sybil meets Exorcist twist, Tess’s diagnosed identity disorder seems to be more than just identities created to help her escape a traumatic experience as her identity disorder is a gift of spirits of the dead. Lucy, upset at how she ended things with her mom, comes back through Tess and Tess, now able to understand the problem she’s suffered since she was a little girl, is tired of fighting. But it seems that Lucy is not the only spirit that has latched itself to Tess. As the hallucinations and visions make her problems worse, her mom realizes that she may need the help of a priest rather than the help of a doctor.
Anguish takes the typical possession movie in a new direction so that it feels like a whole new movie genre. It is more a psychological terror than your typical run of the mill horror movie and the terror is really all in the story rather than in thrills and chills and jumps in the movie. While the movie is also slightly slow paced and dialogue free for much of the film, it may not be for everyone, but it’s a brilliant film for fans of the possession genre.
View additional information on the IMDB.