Mark (Sam Neill) returns home from work after being absent from his wife, Anna (Isabelle Adjani) and his only son Bob (Michael Hogben), for quite some time. However, Mark’s time of peace with his family is short-lived. One day, Mark comes home and finds Anna has left without notice, requesting a divorce without any reason. Mark is suspicious and conducts his own investigation, desperate to seek the truth about Anna’s sudden change in heart.
But the more Mark discovers about Anna, the more eager he is to convince her to return home. He also finds out she has been displaying deeply disturbing behaviour, starting with a secret love affair. On the flip side, Mark becomes increasingly dangerous and overly passionate about discovering the truth no matter what stands in his way. Now he is extremely dangerous and harmful to himself and others.
Possession is best described as a heavy drama with many extremely horrifying and disturbing moments. What begins as a small story grows into something far greater than I expected, and many scenes are uncomfortable to witness, including psychotic behaviour, violence and gore. In the end, there’s enough here to force viewers to look away on several occasions or feel squeamish.
The onscreen atmosphere is wonderful and haunting. There’s tremendous camera work here, capturing close-ups of key characters and violent moments that feel authentic. The tension builds up at a slow pace, but viewers will find themselves wanting to know what on Earth is going on with Anna. Some mysteries are quite baffling, and the ending contains enough questionable aspects that multiple rewatches will more than likely be in order (including for myself).
Leading performances, like everything else around the storyline, are done with perfection and are filled with many creepy moments. The performances are a major highlight, especially from Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill, who both become increasingly dark and wilder as the film progresses. Audiences will witness a surprising transformation that is impossible to remove from your mind once you’ve experienced it first-hand.
Overall, with an unsettling atmosphere that starts small but only grows and festers into something far more dark and disturbing, Possession is not an easy watch. It’s still a breathtaking experience based on the visuals and camera work alone. Performances from Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill are incredible as we witness their characters undergoing a major transformation. While there’s so much greatness regarding the drama and horror style, I am a little saddened to say many audiences will be baffled by certain areas of the plot. I’m confident that viewers will have a greater understanding after multiple rewatches are had, but given how messed up this film is, I’m not sure I want to return back in a big hurry.