Possessor ★★½

HORRORx52 (2020 Edition)


14. 2020 Horror

got bored of doing this challenge so now i’m restarting in an attempt to watch like 40 more films by the end of the year. we’ll see. anyway i saw this at the Frida drive-thru in Tustin, CA with three other people and none of us had any idea what was going on. we alternated between trying to figure out the plot and “ooo the lighting,” “ooo the cinematography.” and then it ended. ok.

some people have read this as being, like, a comment on workaholism. sure. love it. i think letterboxd has such a hard-on for any obvious shred of anti-capitalist sentiment that you’ll praise whatever for having it even when it’s not that good. Engels’ explanation for why he revered Balzac, a conservative satirist sympathetic to the French nobility, includes this:

Realism, to my mind, implies, besides truth of detail, the truthful reproduction of typical characters under typical circumstances….The rebellious reaction of the working class against the oppressive medium which surrounds them, their attempts–convulsive, half conscious or conscious–at recovering their status as human beings, belong to history and must therefore lay claim to a place in the domain of realism….The more the opinions of the author remain hidden, the better for the work of art. The realism I allude to may crop out even in spite of the author’s opinions.

he’s saying you don’t have to go all-out with it like crazy to make people get that you hate work or whatever; keep it realistic and they'll get the point. i find the better critiques of capitalism to be the ones that display the social ills engendered by our present systems, but don’t spell out any connection to those systems unless you make them yourself. doing that shows you respect the inherent maturity of the audience, and you don’t think the masses are just overgrown toddlers grasping at the screen for answers. not to mention much of the time the people making those works have no knowledge they’re doing a critique of capitalism at all–they merely describe symptoms but don’t acknowledge an interrelated cause (Haneke’s Funny Games would be a lot better if he concealed The Point a little more; i think then he would reach his obsessive goal of empowering the spectator, instead of disabusing them.) in Possssesssssor, capitalism, like, makes you kill your whole family. you know, cuz everybody who works too much gets a gun, and murders their children. maybe if Son Of Berg kept this a little more under the surface instead of screaming The Point at everyone he might have actually reached the first layer of subtlety, and delivered an interesting message. i’m surprised i actually had to read *any* review to pick this up, cuz i’m sure any fourth grader could’ve made the connection all the letterboxd folks who are praising this for being “brilliant” are also making. maybe that means i wasn’t paying attention. it’s not like there’s even a point to the movie besides the critique....

idk this was boring.

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