I went into Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor EXTREMELY skeptical (I’d seen his 2012 movie, Antiviral, and recall being somewhat repulsed by it. And while a movie that makes you feel anything – even repulsion – is in a way a good thing, it’s not something I knowingly seek out).
And I have to say, Possessor flirts with brilliance more often than most, never mind what I expected from Brandon Cronenberg.
Though what I like most is that it’s particularly challenging and poses some pretty interesting questions (and isn’t afraid to answer them in a manner you might not prefer it to).
It’s also worth mentioning – particularly referring to the uncut version – it’s pretty violent at times.
There’s not a lot of it, but when it happens, it’s pretty ferocious. In fact, it’s the irregularity of the violence – combined with the aforementioned ferocity – that makes it seem more shocking that it actually is.
Though what’s particularly odd is that it’s doesn’t feel either mean-spirited or exploitative (on the second viewing it made more sense to me than the first, when I wondered things like “Why?” and “Are those teeth!?”).
That’s not to say that it’s easy to watch (though I watched it twice, take that how you will) though it’s always interesting.
Another thing worth mentioning is that there’s a lot of story packed into an hour and 43 minutes, and if it were any longer it might not have worked as well as it ended up doing.
The FX is mainly practical – I’m sure there’s CGI somewhere (because what modern movie doesn’t) but I couldn’t pick up on it – and pretty effective at times.
Possessor isn’t a easily movie to quantify, and in this instance, that’s good (and so is this movie).