Luis_989’s review published on Letterboxd:
Brandon Cronenberg's Possessor was a film I was quite eager to see, both by Brandon Cronenberg because even though I didn't really like his previous film - Antiviral - the film itself was quite interesting and also I liked what I saw in the trailers.
Possessor is a surreal but cold journey. Cold in tone and cold in its atmosphere but this is significant because that same visual atmosphere feels specifically built to get you into the story.
The film opens by throwing the punches because it hasn't even been 10 minutes and we've already had a bloody on-screen murder.
We see a young woman approaching a man and then sticking a knife in his throat.
After that situation we learned that she was possessed by someone else. This person is Tasya (Andrea Riseborough). What Tasya does is that she literally possesses people's minds so that she can use them to perpetrate assassinations.
The premise is pretty good although unfortunately as Cronenberg is evidently a visual director, the narrative doesn't get the same level of effort that gets its staging and as the story progresses, the film begins to fall and hold on to the components that make it a kind of nightmare, where the gore charges a higher bill than the work of the characters.
And while I love films that lean more on the visual, when you remember more the visuals than the story, you know very well that something important was relegated.
Another negative point I should mention is that I don't feel like the director makes good use of Andrea Riseborough's talent, because even though she does a good job, she doesn't get enough to make something more interesting. There's really no background or explanation as to the reasons or motivations.
The little you infer never goes past the little that is offered.
Like I said, Cronenberg focused more on the presentation than on the depth. It's not a crime, but that's why his film doesn't go beyond.
Possessor isn't a bad film, but frankly it's inconsequential.
It's not fair to criticize films considering your own personal expectations, but this was hardly close to what I expected.