Brandon Cronenberg directs Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott and Jennifer Jason Leigh in this sci-fi horror where an assassin leaps into stooges’ bodies taking over their lives until they have access to the target.
Lots of nice juicy disturbing qualities here but it runs out of steam when the focus moves away from Riseborough’s haunted existential parasite. The gender bending nudity and practical FX are strong, the violence excessive. The artier sequences where minds meld and separate are very impressive. Yet it is hard to fully care about these cold characters and their simulacra world. It feels too flat, too closed off, too much like a drab playset. And for all of Brandon’s strengths as a genre director (he understands the mission) you can’t shake off the irritating pall of nepotism. Not only would he not be making this feature if it wasn’t for his more famous groundbreaking father, but he wouldn’t be making it like this if it wasn’t for David’s brand identity. The best thing about Possessor is it is a homage to daddy, but whether you want to sit through Oedipal karaoke and not feel slightly gypped is a whole other thing. Ironically Possessor is a body horror throwback that cannot figure out its own identity while inhabiting another’s flesh.
Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk
We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/