THE POSSESSOR

REVIEW BY VIVIAN KAY QUINTERO

Brandon Cronenberg curved if you will a name for himself with his very first film Antiviral. A film about how we as normal everyday individuals obsess over celebrities. Wanting to be them in some way, clinging to the idea that if we just had a piece of what they had, imagine the possibilities. Well, in Antiviral that piece is diseases that said celebrity would have. From sexually transmitted diseases to fatal incurable diseases, anything was up for a price. Plus, just muttering the name Cronenberg in a quiet room with any number of people and you’ll get that one horror fan to raise their eyebrows and start up a conversation with you. Also Brandon has been surrounded with film his entire life. He even worked on the 1999 film eXistenZ doing special effects and without a slight of hand, he has walked into the light and inherited the throne as the new King of visceral horror. Unlike Antiviral, Possessor is a far different beast. The violence has been turned up to 10, the color pallet lingers in the more earth tone colors and provides a deeper aggressiveness to the camera work. And bringing on broad a veteran in the likes of Jennifer Jason Leigh (eXistenZ, The Jacket) someone who has worked with his father David Cronenberg…my goodness!!! In addition to Leigh, there’s Andrea Riseborough (Mandy), Cristopher Abbott (The Sinner, Piercing), Rossif Sutherland (Dead Before Dawn, Hellions), Sean Bean of the illustrious films Silent Hill (for which wasn’t that bad) & the horrendous sequel Silent Hill:Revelation and finally Tuppence Middleton who starred along side the very man who constructed the blue print for visceral horror David Cronenberg in the film Disappearance At Clifton Hill. Possessor starts out in a very violent fashion were we find a woman getting ready to work a gathering of sorts. Unknowingly of what’s in store, I gladly follow the character an innocent viewer through a dense brown polished ballroom. The woman’s bright baby blue jumpsuit stands out almost complimentary in the atmosphere that surrounds. People are talking amongst themselves enjoying the evening and just as I settle in waiting for the first taste of weird…it happens. Though the moment isn’t engulfed by a strange unworldly being or someone engaging in some bizarre possessed behavior for their beloved celebrity no, it’s just pure brutality. This beautiful woman in baby blue unwaveringly stabs a man in the throat and the blood ensues. A smile slowly and methodically casts over my face. I knew I was in for quite rideTasya Vos is an assassin for kills in the most unorthodox way imagined. She is placed into the mind of a someone that is picked as the vessel. An innocent person that is close to the target and she carries out her assignment. Once she is able to assassinate the individual that is wanted dead, she is then suppose to have the vessel take their own life. Though what we find is that she’s starting to show that her job is wearing down little by little, chipping away at her sanity and the ability to distinguish reality from her other memories from her previous jobs.Jennifer Jason Leigh we find out is the woman who created this new found technology. A brain implant that is placed into the chosen vessel that Tasya will inhabit, to carry out her task at killing the target chosen by the corporation that both Tasya and Leigh’s character Girder work for. To be honest, the idea is quite genius if you ask me, and also very horrifying. Being an individual who has absolutely no idea that they are being used to kill someone. Just a terrifying thought to have, seeing the direction of where our society and military is headed with technology today. As we find out Tasya is not only a heartless assassin, she’s also a mom and a wife. Fighting the changes that is happening to her, Tasya rehearses everyday lines, to gain focus when interacting with her family. You see the mental wear and the physical wear. She even has recently been showing signs when it comes to having the vessel take their own life, she cannot go through with it, and the corporation is taking notice. Seeing the that the job is wearing Tasya down mentally and physically, Girder (Leigh) offers Tasya time off, for which Tasya refuses and wants to get to the next task at hand, killing Sean Bean’s character John Parse a renowned business man. The corporation chooses the closes individual to Parse, a man by the name of Colin Tate, played by Christopher Abbott. Abbott is a small time crook trying to make a better life for himself, engaged to Parse’s daughter Ava Parse (Tuppence Middleton) who is a controlling and emasculating. Knowing all of this, Tasya is inserted into Tate’s mind to carry out the assassination of John Parse. The only thing is Tasya begins to lose control and her mental strain intensifies causing her fall deeper and deeper into losing herself and becoming a prisoner inside Tate’s mind. And if that wasn’t bad enough Tate’s identity begins to try and obliterate Tasya’s as she fights to maintain control and finish her assignment of killing John Parse.Now I’m not going to go any further with this, due to the fact that Possessor has been very hard to come by. It seems the longer this film is shrouded in mystery the more horror fans strive to see it, and I for one who one of those individuals, though of course not anymore. I was extremely please with the film in its entirety. The story was engaging, the environment that Possessor carries you into and the shear madness that is laid out is genius. So much is going on, that Brandon seems a lot more comfortable in this format. Taking over 3 years to complete and being his second full length feature in 8 years, he has not missed a step in the direction of the rightful new King of Visceral Horror. I truly enjoyed Possessor in every way imaginable and I look forward to Brandon’s next film of whatever it may be, I will be waiting open armed, like a loving parent welcoming home my beloved child.