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Thursday, December 17, 2020

Review: Possessor

Director: Brandon Cronenberg

Screenplay: Brandon Cronenberg

Year: 2020

If you consider yourself a horror movie fan, you have to be familiar with the name David Cronenberg. With movies like “The Fly”, “Rabid”, “Videodrome”, and others, he cemented his characteristic style where body horror stands out. His son, Brandon Cronenberg, seems to have taken the responsibility of continuing his father’s legacy with high concept movies, innovative ideas, and body horror, as he has already shown in “Antiviral” and he does it again in “Possessor”

In “Possessor” we follow Tasya Vos, who works for an organization that, with brain implants, can possess other people. The organization focuses on getting into other people’s bodies to lead them to commit murders for clients willing to pay big for it. Tasya is the one in charge of doing the possessions, but the work’s nature has left her permanently affected and unable to remain in control.

A movie with the Cronenberg staple guarantees explicit gore scenes and excellent special effects, and in “Possessor”, they brag about practical effects from the beginning. Not only the practical effects but the whole visual aspect, from the cinematography to the lighting, give the unique and experimental style of an art movie. The acting is the icing on the cake to make the visuals the strongest element of the film.

The plot of the movie can be described in two ways. On the one hand, the story is original and captivating and manages to make the viewer interested. On the other, the development is somewhat slow and rough, and it could have been better fleshed out. It would also have benefited from trimming down some parts and spending that time getting more into the characters and their motivations.

As a matter of fact, not getting to know the characters well and their motivations is one of the movie’s flaws. For the most part, we follow Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough; “Mandy”), but we never feel like we get to know her. We know that she is essential for the organization for which she works and that the excess of work is affecting her. However, it is Tasya herself who continues to push towards more work, and the why is never clear. One can assume that she is not happy with her life, showcased in her relationship with her ex-partner and son, and that leads her to seek refuge in work, where she can violently discharge her emotions, but this would be more speculation from the viewer than hard facts from the movie.

“Possessor” is one of the most interesting movies to be released this year and makes clear that the Cronenberg last name still has much to give to horror cinema. As expected, the special effects and the visuals presented are a full spectacle, accompanied by a complex and innovative plot that suffers from a rocky development in what rhythm and character development are concerned. Captivating and psychologically intense, “Possessor” is the kind of movie that generates completely opposing opinions, and in this circle, we agree on it being a great movie.

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