emma katharine’s review published on Letterboxd:
your autonomy is the one thing that can't be taken from you.
drenched in psychedelic reds and yellows that seemingly pay homage to an alternate universe in which wong kar wai and dario argento had their aesthetics homogenized in some kind of analog 90s sci fi blender, coupled with the kind of ominous synth score that will not permit you to get comfortable, possessor is visually and aurally assaulting, and at times, overwhelmingly invasive.
we rarely consider the idea that our Self can be taken away from us and if we do it's almost always by a supernatural kind of demonic possession. in the world of possessor, corporations send assassins into other people's bodies via brain transplants and execute others in order to gain power/fortune. perhaps the foundation for terror here is simply that this is not such a farfetched idea, in that it's not unreasonable to assume corporations have people killed for their benefit and that we are malleable pawns in the eyes of capitalism.
i don't often speak of the time i was drugged at a party, but the experience of having rohypnol in your system is absolutely horrific. what i remember most is this: my father, thinking i had gotten exorbitantly wasted, fussing at me demanding to know whose house i had been to - and while i was screaming the name in my head, i couldn't get the words to come out of my mouth. synapses weren't firing, my brain wouldn't connect to my body. this became more evident when i tried to walk up the stairs to my room and literally had to crawl on all fours because i couldn't put one foot in front of the other, again because my brain wasn't connecting to my body. my mind was sporadically active, aware of what i needed to do and say, but my brain was no longer able to communicate with the rest of me. so there i was, trapped inside myself, unable to manifest any decisions i made down to the smallest of movements.
your autonomy can, in fact, be taken from you. and it is the epitome of a waking nightmare.
there are two people struggling in the same consciousness, desperately trying not to be the one that slips into the ether of nonexistence. we think of death all the time, we spend most of our life trying to except that one day it will end. it's not often that we face the idea of being completely erased, living in a space where we only briefly realize that we exist at all. the absolute power of being able to usurp a person's sense of Self and render them a hollow commodity as a means to corporate greed's end is, in my estimation, the most horrific concept imaginable, and yet we follow the story of a woman accepting that this is her purpose in life, that she will now exist only in other people's bodies in service to her job.
i felt scared. i felt my heartbeat accelerate when the music picked up. i felt my psyche shifting into the realm of uncertainties while Christopher Abbot struggled to ascertain what was happening to him. i got the same kind of shivers in my fingers that used to come with sleep paralysis, watching everything unfold in front of me, unsure if it was real, knowing that i was helpless to whatever came next. helplessness is everyone's biggest fear. when we're confronted by a monster, by an obstacle, we understand how to fight. but what when the villain is invisible? what when it's inside us, but not us? this is a monster you cannot see, cannot fight. it will take you over, and you'll feel it happening, and there will be nothing you can do.