Movie Review: Possessor (2020)

Written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg (son of the legendary body horror director, David Cronenberg), Possessor is a 2020 sci-fi/horror/thriller film. A body hopping agent, Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough) works under the guide of a handler, Girder (Jennifer Jason Leigh) for an agency specialising in assassinations, each carried out by implanting their agents in the minds and bodies of other people. When a hit is placed on a wealthy socialite, John Parse (Sean Bean), Tasya “possesses” Colin (Christopher Abbott), in an attempt to access John via John’s daughter, and Colin’s girlfriend Ava (Tuppence Middleton).

+ Riseborough and Abbot, as essentially the same person, are fantastic. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Sean Bean add some (arguable) star power to the cast, and Bean in particular deserves praise for how horrible a character he portrayed while being one of everybody’s favourite actors
+ thematically, you could say this is somewhere between, Inception and Upgrade, with some themes I personally first noticed in the original Assassin’s Creed video game, including that game’s “Bleeding Effect”, where spending too long as another person can have detrimental effects. This makes for many tense scenes with unpredictable results
+ this is not a film for the faint of heart, as full on blood and gore, numerous penises and some loose facial skin all make some horrifying appearances, as if seeing the name ‘Cronenberg’ didn’t already tip you off

– this is a shallow negative at best, but this movie is weird. As mentioned above, there are similarities to other media for better or for worse, but you’ll probably still finish the movie in a state of some confusion, with lots of questions

Should you see this film: I really liked this. The body horror is a bit more existential than the physically melting or fusion variety David Cronenberg fans may expect. Brandon Cronenberg, however, has put his own twist on the genre in a intense, technology based outing that will leave your head spinning.


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