“Sometimes, that small thought is all it takes to lose control.”– Jennifer Jason Leigh as Girder
By Cain Dennis
“Possessor: Uncut” is written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg. Cronenberg is a name well-known amongst many horror fans due to Brandon’s father, David, who is pretty much regarded as the king of Body Horror after being one of the first filmmakers to bring a significant amount of the genre to theaters in the 1980’s. “Possessor: Uncut” shows audiences why Brandon Cronenberg is shaping up to be a fitting heir to his father’s legacy.
I’ll stop the comparisons between the two Cronenbergs here and speak on “Possessor: Uncut” purely by its own merits. Brandon Cronenberg’s script is short, sweet and packed with powerful imagery and extremely violent action scenes. While I’ve seen this film described as straight horror, I feel its more of a sci-fi thriller with a bit of a corporate espionage edge to it, its really unique and I can say that I truly haven’t seen anything like it before. Andrea Riseborough stars as Tasya Vas, an assassin employed by a secretive corporation to do as they wish, killing in secret by controlling other people’s bodies using brain-implant technology. Tasya is experienced and professional, but she ends up inhabiting Colin Tate’s (Christopher Abbot) body and for the first time, isn’t completely in control. There isn’t a huge cast of characters but the actors all play their parts very well, and Jennifer Jason Leigh is exceptional as Girder, a corporate leader who instructs Tasya through her assassination jobs, Sean Bean appears as well. Before the title card, there is an exceptionally violent scene that takes place in a party, and it plays as a teaser for what we are getting into with this film. The camera never shies away even in the most brutal moments of the film, and it helps give a lot of tension and character to the events taking place onscreen. To be noted, I’ve only seen the uncut version so I can’t speak on the differences there may be between it and the edited version.
“Possessor: Uncut” is at its finest during its weirder moments. Blinding lens flares and melting bodies reconstructing themselves in nightmarish scenes represent the feeling of leaving your own body, boring through another mind and wrestling control away from the host. I really don’t think that there could have been a better way to show what these characters are going through visually, It’s disturbing and visceral and I couldn’t take my eyes off of the screen. At an hour and 43 minutes, Not a second is wasted and the strange, near-future world that Cronenberg builds never gets stale or uninteresting, even the brain-implant technology that is employed to take control over other people’s bodies is never fully explained, allowing the story to take full focus, The world that surrounds the events does enough to justify it all, and I never felt like I was missing out without being given deeper explanations for the way that these things were happening.
With “Possessor: Uncut” Cronenberg has given us a fresh vision of what horror can be, and has done so without an exorbitant budget, unnecessary gimmicks or huge stars. I strongly recommend that you give this a watch and I cannot wait to see what weird ideas Cronenberg takes on next.
I’m going to rate “Possessor: Uncut”
“Possessor: Uncut” releases on streaming on November 6th, 2020.