Ian M’s review published on Letterboxd:
I think Possessor is a pretty cool movie. To be honest, this wasn't too far up on my watchlist until my buddy Colin said that he hated the movie but thought I would enjoy it. And you know what, he was sort of right!
Really really enjoyed the concept here. I never truly outgrew my angsty teenage love for stories about assassins, and the way Brandon Cronenberg twists the sub-genre in his own way is extremely entertaining to watch. Despite taking after his father in some obvious ways, this feels like Brandon coming into his own as a filmmaker.
I know a common complaint is that none of the characters in the film are likeable in the traditional sense, and I would agree. However, I'm personally fine with it because the characters we follow are so fascinating. In particular, I love the way Andrea Riseborough plays Tasya Vos. She sociopathic in a weird, offputting way, but also seems to containt many aspects of previous hosts she's possessed. It's a very nuanced performance that's a joy to watch in a morbid sense.
My main flaws from the film come from some elements that come off as a little cheap. In particular, certain sound effects are mixed oddly. It doesn't help that they're stock either, which makes them stand out even more. Also, I will admit that it took me a while to get behind Christopher Abbott's performance. I don't envy the fact that he had to play a dauntingly complex role, and towards the end I found myself more compelled by his acting. But man, it feels like he starts out so slow. Sure, he's supposed to act oddly for plot reasons, but his way of acting "odd" seemed to just be walking around slowly in his apartment sometimes. Maybe deliver a line at a snail's pace. I don't know, probably just a me thing.
I will reiterate, though, that I did enjoy Possessor. Despite some of the nitpicks I have with the end product, I'm actually looking forward to what Mr. Brandon Cronenberg does next! This was super creative, super stylish, and super gory! Me likey!