Possessor [Review]

Possessor premiered at Sundance earlier this year, and I’ve been waiting for what feels like forever (and also, no time at all, thanks Covid) to see it. Seeing nothing but praise for the film, and so I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting. This week I got to see it, and holy shit. Holy actual shit. They did that.

Considering we’ve lost out on so many films with delays left and right, I’ve been waiting and on the look-out for a great horror flick. And yes, there’s absolutely a lot of great stuff also coming out on VOD, and I’ve seen a lot of great films thanks to Fantasia, but I miss on a great theatre horror experience. Possessor is the film I’ve been waiting for.

To attempt to not give anything away for the plot, I’m only reiterating what the synopsis says on IMDb. Possessor follows Tasya Voy, an agent that works for an organization that uses brain-implant technology to enter other people’s bodies. Then, they’ll use those people to assassinate whoever the client pays them to do so. Think, a mixture of Being John Malkovich and Get Out, but with way more violence.

The film never tries to explain how it’s possible, and they don’t need to. They just have to make it feel believable. Brandon Cronenberg’s script and direction does just that, and more. It allows you to enter the minds of multiple character, mostly Tesya’s (Andrea Riseborough) and Colin Tate’s (Christopher Abbott) minds as they lose sight of reality, and even themselves. Everyonce in a while, the characters replace eachother and the film seems to be interrupted by bright yellow colours, that it’s clear that Tesya is slowly losing her mind, and unsure who she really is. We watch Tesya’s insanity deteriorate and can’t do anything as she and Colin act out violent moments.

The whole cast gives such great and layered performances. Christopher Abbott has been incredible in everything he stars in time after time, and I don’t usually see the right amount of praise as much as he deserves. And the same goes for Andrea Riseborough who left on a mark on everyone after the (great) insanity that is Mandy.

I’m unaware if I saw the Uncut version, or the regular release as they are currently advertising for both. But even though I’ve seen the film, I’m going to attempt to see it on the big screen as soon as I can. This is the type of film that builds on atmosphere, and the sound would be incredible in a loud, and dark theatre. A crowd would be incredible, but sadly, that’s not possible for the time being. The close-up’s are minimal, but they bring so much for every use of them. Even if it’s for the moments we wish we could look away from the violence.

Possessor is explosive, violent, and visceral. An unrelenting, and intense experience. While making you terrified of being lost in a mind that is not your own. Horror films don’t typically fall under the “crowd pleaser” moniker, but God, if this film played in front of the right horror crowd, they’d not only love it through and through, but also be obsessed with the violence and cheer louder than the speakers.

Expect me to talk about this more during my best of list at the end of the year.