Possessor ★★★

With his penchant for the same brand of body horror as his father’s early work, it remains a near impossible task to review Brandon Cronenberg’s films without succumbing to the cliche of comparing the two directors. But this is a problem that the younger filmmaker will nevertheless continue to face; after all, considering his dad pioneered a form of horror so distinctive his family name is used to describe it (“Cronenbergian”), it’s hard to assess his work strictly on its own terms, especially when it appears to be solely influenced by Cronenberg senior’s more straightforwardly genre inflected films.

Possessor, or Possessor Uncut as it has been confusingly retitled for US release, sees the younger director remaining in the shadow of his father, telling a tale of corporate espionage that often feels like a watered down Videodrome relocated to the boardroom. It has many striking surface level pleasures, with Cronenberg sharing his father’s eye for framing repulsive moments of violence that make them near impossible to look away from. But it still feels like the work of a talented director struggling to find a distinctive voice of his own, and is likely to leave many wishing they were watching the real thing, instead of a serviceable imitator.

Full review on AwardsWatch
2020 Ranked