Possessor ★★★★½

"Am I losing you?"

Identity crisis.

The design of Possessor is utterly chilling, the darkness and instability of its amplified interior realm as expectedly disquieting as its exterior manifestations. The film exudes a bleak originality that writer-director Brandon Cronenberg wholly capitalizes on within the crumbling cerebral confines of this disturbed genre hybrid. He demands the audience to surrender to the reticent spirit of his ghastly vision—numerous elements and moments gravitate toward a degree of tasteful ambiguity that enhances their visceral consequences—but what he delivers in return is nothing short of a resoundingly full-bodied experience teeming with macabre ideas and all manners of devastating, multi-faceted horror. It's a richly conceived work, one anchored by equally powerful performances (Andrea Riseborough and Christopher Abbott are both sensational), doubtless craftsmanship, breathless and unpredictable storytelling, inventively twisted special effects, and an uncompromising attitude.

Nightmarish, reflexive, manipulative, unhinged, and unexpectedly complex. Possessor echoes with mystery and genuine destruction, haunting all who witness its creatively bleak soul. This is such a wildly impressive evolution for Cronenberg that we can only hope it's not another eight years before we see the director's next film. Considering the substantial artistic and narrative leaps between this and his debut effort Antiviral, the possibilities for his third feature are seemingly endless. And that makes the anticipation all the more insufferable, and fearful.

"You're not safe for them anymore, are you? You told me yourself that you've become a danger."

P.S. Thank you, Music Box Theatre, for a safe start to their "31 Nights of Drive-In Terror" here in Chicago!

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