Possessor

Possessor ★★★★

(Belated) Spooktober 2K20 Film #11 (this year is enough of a horror show that the rest of the year is Spooktober, definitely has nothing to do with me only getting a third of the way through my list before October ended)

I've never seen myself on screen more than when Vos as Colin, trying to calibrate herself into an AMAB body and trying to naturally adopt the cues that will make their body fit in, starts crying looking at themselves in the mirror, the emotional and mental weight of such a feat weighing on them.

There's the sharpness of the visuals and the bluntly sanguine, copious violence on display here for sure, but the most compelling passages for me were the spans centered around the feeling of wrestling for control of your mind, your body, your sense of center when there's someone ascribed another gender intrusively pushing you out at any chance they can get. It's a thread I wish the film pushed even further than its few viscerally provocative moments calling direct attention to it (i.e. the most relatably dysphoric sex scene any movie has ever committed to screen), but it fascinated me nonetheless. (In a sense, it somewhat reminded me of 2018 Suspiria's multiple partially developed ideological threads, albeit somewhat more overt and closer to fully-formed.) And if nothing else, the tension of that thematic conceit held me as much as I felt myself tense up before any of the film's bouts of carnage (which, to the film's credit, I did a lot).

Some days, I can only see my face as a flimsy warped mask, the limp facade of femininity. It can be hard to see myself for who I am when I feel I have to crudely tear the face I want, when it's not the face I see on myself naturally. When I've spent so much time forcing myself to be the man others saw, tears welling as I tried to force a smile, to not be seen as a gender interloper, a woman out of place when those outside expect a man to exit.

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