Possessor ★★★★

Like father, like son. . .
Brandon Cronenberg's voyage into brain-wrecking terror not only is ruthlessly hypnotic, but also remarkably updates the genre his father helped establish so iconically, and does so to impressive effect.

Matching the clever with the terrifying as if David's mind was tranferred into Brandon's brain to take controll over his actions, Possessor meticulously delves into frightening conceptual storytelling with an effective slow burning first hour, only to completely escalate into full-on horrifying mayhem around the sixty minute mark. It's a shocking culmination to this bizarre psychological warfare and scarring mind control. The razor sharp tension cuts deep from that moment, raising intensity to multiple boiling points, bloodsoaked and brutal. The nature of the killings truly is vile and especially gory. Those outbursts of violence sure aren't for the faint of heart and you know things will get truly messed up when Sean Bean does show up.

The real star of this film is the technical craft. The soundtrack helps create an atmosphere of pure dread as the camera moves steadily through this filthy environment of down-spiralling hopelessness with carefully constructed precision. One mindbending sequence is especially nightmarish, delivering some genuinely disturbing imagery. While expertly setting things up to a violent climax, Possessor sometimes forgets to fully integrate its in fact most central character as portrayed by Andrea Riseburough, but she's a convincing on screen presence nonetheless. Christopher Abott portrays the extreme form of duality very well, and it's mainly the nuanced performances and the skillfull directorial control that successfully prevent the film from being over the top or silly.

There is an ambitious range to the conceptualisation, as its smashing its way to smart, mind twisting and visually striking territory, executed to often haunting and gut-wrenching results. Just feel it, let is mesmerize and startle you. Go through the experience, dive into it fully and try not to let it possess you. I bet you don't stand a chance.

Björn liked these reviews