Tasya (Andrea Riseborough) is an agent who works for a top-secret organization. This organization consistently uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people’s bodies. You see, when Tasya takes over someone’s body, she can turn them into the ultimate murderer or assassin. Tasya and her organization are generally hired by top-paying clients who usually require targets to be taken out.
After completing another successful mission ending in a blood bath, Tasya returns home to her partner and son, who are excited to see her. It has been a long time since she was home, and they are not aware of her true life and job. She isn’t home long before she is called back to work, though. This time Tasya receives an assignment to take over the mind of a man named Colin Tate (Christopher Abbot). But what seems to be just another routine kill becomes something far more horrifying. Tasya finds herself somewhat trapped inside Colin’s mind, which could jeopardise her, her organisation and the lives of her loved ones.
Visually, Possessor is extremely positive. The creative use of colours is appreciating, and the style of film is also fresh and unique. Thanks to the style and visuals when it comes to filming, Possessor is very capable of delivering large amounts of tension even during scenes that seem quite slow and simple. The horror elements on-screen during big reveals are also rather different to anything I have seen in cinema.
Possessor is a combination of both sci-fi and horror. When it comes to the horror element, I will state the film is rated R18+ for a reason. The film contains strong violence and horror themes (themes I am still trying to process as I write this review). The director Brandon Cronenberg has not held back while making this film. Some scenes include unsettling moments with brutal outcomes. Movie lovers will either find these scenes pleasing or disturbing. The film also contains an unnecessary amount of nudity. In a nutshell, Possessor is an acquired taste for some.
As a plot, Possessor moves along well, but be warned- it does move at a slow pace. Like the horror aspect, this will please or annoy viewers. Possessor does a tremendous job at building tension as well as mystery through moments with unpredictable outcomes (especially the film’s final moments which are unforgettable!). As the film began, I generally wanted to know the final outcome. Which character would succeed or will anyone win this battle in the mind?
Leading performances are pleasing and strong, but I also found it delightful to see supporting actors Sean Bean and Jennifer Jason Leigh delivering solid performances.
Overall, Possessor delivers something new and fresh to both sci-fi and horror. It is certainly a dark and disturbing film which I feel will not be well favoured by all movie lovers. The film brings a wonderful level of creativity regarding both the plot of this film and even the style of filming. Once you have seen the film, horrors and uncomfortable scenes will stay with you forever, including the film’s unpredictable third act. Kudo’s to director Brandon Cronenberg, who I am confident will continue to surprise the world in the future of cinema. Possessor (2020) is Now Available on Blu-ray & DVD. Also Now Available on Shudder!