If you have exhausted all of the new movies on Netflix, and Disney+ is not quite scratching your itch for cerebral entertainment, then let me turn your attention to a movie which I believe will tickle your pickle. The film is Possessor – a brand new release from Brandon Cronenberg (son of legendary director, David Cronenberg).
Possessor is an intriguing movie which mixes science-fiction with psychological horror. The film is about a shadowy organisation which transfers the consciousness of contract killers into everyday folk, in order to carry out stealthy assassinations.
You may have already heard some positive buzz about Possessor, and this is because the film received its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival way back in January 2020. The movie then opened in the US and Canada in October, before landing in the UK on Friday, where it is currently available to rent through digital streaming platforms including Amazon and iTunes.
Possessor stars Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Sean Bean, Gabrielle Graham, Tuppence Middleton, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. It is clever, at times brutal, and also bloody marvellous.
Prior to watching Possessor, I didn’t read any reviews, but had heard some rumblings this was a movie to check out. Having now viewed the film – in its ‘uncut’ entirety – I can only add my own voice to those rumblings, and say this is a fantastic sci-fi picture.
As noted above, Possessor deals with a story about assassination, placing its focus on a contract killer who is hired to complete a mission through mind-manipulation. As the story develops, the mission gets a little more complicated, and this leads to a captivating tale which goes into some very dark places.
The darkness is clear from the outset, with the opening sequence setting the tone for what’s ahead. Although, as brilliant as the opening sequence is, it really only scratches the surface on the raw nature of the material.
At times this is a disturbing picture, with extreme violence, nudity, and some very memorable imagery. One scene in particular will stay in the mind long after the film is over, while others will certainly stir up a reaction.
Watching Possessor, I got a flavour of Christopher Nolan, Terry Gilliam, and of course, David Cronenberg, but this is very much Brandon Cronenberg’s own beast. It is a bold, thought-provoking, and very confident picture, with some fascinating ideas and a superb cast.
Now while I found much to like in this film, I appreciate that it will not be to everyone’s tastes. Some of the scenes will not sit comfortably with audiences, and this could cause a few to turn off.
But what I think is very interesting about Possessor is that even if it doesn’t quite hit the mark for everyone, the film’s central concept has a lot of potential. In fact, for better or worse, I could see this movie tweaked and repackaged as the inspiration for a long-running television series.
Would I watch a TV take on this movie? Of course. But I would still stand by the original picture, as I believe Possessor is something imaginative and truly unique.
Possessor is very much a late-night movie, certainly not one to view when the kids are around, but a visually arresting, fantastic feature nonetheless. It is mind-bending, boasts some great effects, and is most definitely one to watch.