Last semester around April, me and my friends decided to go watch a gem of a movie called Evil Dead. Now, Evil Dead was a remake of a 1981 movie directed by Sam Raimi. The movie consists of a group of teenagers who go to a cabin to detox this girl:
but it doesn’t go well for her….
She eventually gets possessed by some demonic spirit. This transition from a young, living girl to a possessed demon-girl was interesting to me because while she’s still alive, her body seems to be decaying in the same way a corpse decays. Why is it that demonic possession is frequently manifested in the rotting of the body? By associating the dead body with the demonic body, there seems to be a sort of implicit judgment of the dead body as having a deep connection to Satan or demons. The dead body is unholy and thus possession manifests itself through turning the host body into a corpse.
As I grew to perceive the possessed girl as a quasi-corpse, scenes such as this one:
made me think more about the relationship between possession and death. The girl in the movie seems to no longer occupy her body, as seen when she says that Mia is no longer there. This reminded me of the saying, “S/he’s in a better place now” in that the body is thought to no longer contain the person’s soul. So, much like the dead body, the possessed body no longer contains the host soul.
In addition, my reaction to the sexualization of the possessed body seemed to parallel my reaction to necrophilia. As something that no longer exists in an easily categorized plane as living or dead, the possessed body seemed to function as something that cannot give consent. The sexualization of something that physically resembled a corpse made me uncomfortable, something that the makers of the movie wanted.