The next feature film from Brandon Cronenberg is a lurid sci-fi thriller that brings a distinctive giallo-futurism into a narrative of a girl who inhabits the minds of other people through brain enhancement technology. Effectively a cross involving a contract killer and also a puppeteer, she takes charge of the’server’ to be able to execute what seems to be a murder-suicide to anybody not in the know. However, the task requires its toll on her mind, and her most recent mission, at the body of a person about to wed an heiress, turns to a psychological battle with a premature death death toll. Possessor is ultra trendy and uber violent, however, despite having a high tier cast, it is not always completely clear what’s happening and who’s in charge of the finger over the cause.
That absence of narrative clarity isn’t necessarily an insurmountable difficulty, however, since Possessor is a movie which accomplishes a whole lot about the strength of its mind-melting visual effect and its cruel atmosphere. With crucial support and cautious marketing, the film could hit a catchy theatrical sweet place between arthouse and terror. It surely represents a step up concerning vision from Cronenberg’s introduction Antiviral.
What is especially notable here is the caliber of performances throughout the board. Since Tasya Vos, leading broker for a nearby organisation catering to the murderous demands of high-paying customers, Andrea Riseborough is unnerving and potent. There is an animalistic, predatory caliber to her pale gaze; her humankind was siphoned away from the intense nature of her job. On how to reconnect with her son along with his dad after a mission, she rehearses small-talk and pleasantries, wearing her very own former character such as a costume for a character.
“I can not have my celebrity performer falling apart on me”, she purrs to Tasya, her hands twitching involuntarily like clenched around an imperceptible neck. It is a frightening small gesture that signals that Girder is well-aware that Tasya is quite overly good at particular aspects of her job. At a memorable cameo role in the movie’s opening, Gabrielle Graham also makes a direct effect.
But from the start, something does not sit comfortably. Tasya struggles to keep control.
Cronenberg unleashes a battery of creepy metaphorical visual impacts, revealing dissolving faces, deep eye-sockets and flayed skin. There is also enormous amounts of blood, dispersing like red butterfly wings round the entire body of the security victims of Colin/Tasya’s itching and indiscriminate cleaver (or beef, or anything else comes to hand).
Using its alienating, virtually abstract cityscape background and a color palette that drenches the narrative in unnatural blues and vibrant reds, the image looks terrific. And it is this atmosphere, instead of the slick and slippery facts of the narrative, which will probably leave the strongest impression on audiences.