POSSESSOR is a sci-fi horror movie by Brandon Cronenberg. It’s a real mindf*ck in many ways but also rather excellent. The body horror aspect of this movie should also appeal to fans of both Brandon and David Cronenberg. Read our full Possessor movie review here!
POSSESSOR is a sci-fi horror movie that works with mind and body in a new kind of way. Most of the effects are practical as we’ve come to love from both Brandon Cronenberg and his father, David Cronenberg before him. Still, the influences from other directors such as Dario Argento are also evident. In all the right ways, while still having his own touch and style as well.
Really, you shouldn’t know too much about the plot of Possessor – except that the key plot element is clearly the wet dream of any intelligence agency. Instead, you should just sit back, put your phone and any other distractions away, and let the movie take over all your senses. Yes, it will be uncomfortable at times – there will be blood, violence, and many mind-twisting moments.
Continue reading our Possessor movie review below.
Andrea Riseborough is the perfect chameleon
Sometimes, I forget exactly how many movies starring Andrea Riseborough I’ve watched – most recently both Mandy (2018) and Nancy (2018) as well as starring in a season 4 episode of Black Mirror. Hell, she was even in the 2020 The Grudge reboot, so she really is all over.
The simple reason, for “forgetting” what I’ve watched her in, being that she is such a brilliant chameleon. Almost like Tilda Swinton except I would have to acknowledge that Tilda Swinton often has more of a distinct vibe to her character that is still very much Tilda Swinton.
Andrea Riseborough manages to vanish into the characters she plays which is both a gift and a burden. An extraordinary gift because it makes her a brilliant actor. And a burden because you almost forget the actor herself. In doing so, you might forget to acknowledge the amazing gift she possesses. And yes, Possessor is (ironically, I know) a perfect example of this!
Perfectly in sync with Christopher Abbott
In Possessor, we get to witness first hand how Andrea Riseborough disappears into another character. And we also get to see how other actors are able to take on her persona. In particular, Christopher Abbott (It Comes at Night) does this for much of the movie, which almost gets him more on-screen than Andrea Riseborough.
You might like: Our review of Piercing (2018) starring Christopher Abbott >
And yet, I feel like I’m watching Riseborough still, which is a huge compliment to the brilliance of Christopher Abbott’s performance. Also, I want to mention Jennifer Jason Leigh, who might not have too much screentime but should still leave quite a lasting impression.
Finally, I must mention Gabrielle Graham (In the Shadow of the Moon) who stars in the opening scene. A short time on-screen but definitely memorable. Wow. Just wow!
Watch Possessor on various digital platforms!
As already mentioned, Brandon Cronenberg is the writer and director of Possessor and, as such, continues to build on his already impressive resume. His first feature film was Antiviral in 2012. Before this movie, he had made a few short films and since then he has continued to work in the music video and short film area. Possessor is only his second feature film!
As is the case with his father’s movies, not everyone will enjoy this sci-fi body horror niche that Brandon Cronenberg enjoys exploring. David Cronenberg has directed iconic movies such as The Fly (1986) and Crash (1996). While a comparison between the work of father and son is unavoidable, I do feel that Brandon Cronenberg is carving out his own style in this niche.
Overall, Possessor is a real mindf*ck of a body horror movie. I love that part of it! However, do keep in mind that this isn’t a simple story and it does become abstract in many ways. Again, this is something I love, but I also recognize that it is not for everyone.
Signature Entertainment presents Possessor on digital platforms on November 27, 2020, in the UK. It is already out on demand in the US. From February 1, 2021, it will be out on Hulu.
Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Writer: Brandon Cronenberg
Stars: Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tuppence Middleton, Sean Bean
POSSESSOR is an arresting sci-fi thriller about elite corporate assassin Tasya Vos. Using brain-implant technology, Vos takes control of other people’s bodies to execute high-profile targets. As she sinks deeper into her latest assignment, Vos becomes trapped inside a mind that threatens to obliterate her.