Possessor assessment: Straight up one of many goriest horror films ever

This assessment was initially revealed at the side of the premiere of Possessor on the 2020 Sundance Movie Competition. It has been up to date and republished at the side of the movie’s launch in theaters.

Logline: An murderer who hacks and takes over folks’s our bodies to finish her assignments finds herself trapped in a person unwilling to go down with out a battle.

Longerline: Possessor stars Andrea Riseborough as Tasya Vos, a mom of a younger boy, a spouse separated from her husband, and a for-hire killer who can obtain her consciousness into targets’ brains as a way to covertly enact bloody homicide within the identify of company pursuits. She has … so much on her thoughts.

Exiting and re-entering her mind strains Tasya’s psyche, however her boss (Jennifer Jason Leigh) insists on yet one more pressing job: the triple homicide of a high-profile CEO, his daughter, and Colin (Christopher Abbott), the daughter‘a boyfriend, who shall be Tasya’s automobile for all three homicides. The diligent murderer accepts, and after kidnapping Colin and injecting a cyberpunky implant into his cranium, she’s off to the murderous races.

Tasya’s eroded thoughts leaves Colin with the wiggle room he wants to keep up a semblance of management. What follows is a botched operation, to place it in spoiler-free phrases, and a violent id disaster.

The quote that claims all of it: [Blood-spurting sound of cleaver repeatedly hacking into a human torso.]

tasya sits in a brain hacking machine in possessor

Photograph: Courtesy of Sundance

What’s it attempting to do? With Possessor, Brandon Cronenberg (Antiviral) grabs the body-horror baton from his father, Videodrome director David Cronenberg, and rams it into the viewers’s collective eye. The film is relentless and suave exploitation, much less involved with blunt messaging than blunt-force trauma. There’s a great deal of literal gore — each stabbing in Possessor goes about 28 stabs longer than your typical slasher would stab — and the summary battle staged in Colin’s thoughts. Sequences through which Colin grapples Tasya on the metaphysical airplane mix the retro surrealism of flicks like Mandy with monstrous prosthetics and liquifying visible results.

Possessor strings collectively its gory sequences with a spy-movie tempo. Cronenberg’s method to exposition is mainly the anti-Inception, leaving the principles and character dimension unstated as a way to lower straight to the fear. Confusion is a part of the equation, mirroring the blurry double imaginative and prescient of Tasya and Colin’s shared perspective, however the director by no means loses his grip of what the viewers really must know to grasp the bodily turmoil of every character.

Does it get there? Possessor works as a result of there’s greater than blood pumping by way of its veins. The film as company and technological servitude on its thoughts, with Tasya’s assassination work mirroring Colin’s day job as an information tracker who faucets client webcams to log to log residence furnishing gadgets and monitor shopping for habits. Each individual on this dystopian future is having their strings pulled by an invisible different. Cronenberg makes his onerous sci-fi level in grotesque vogue.

Tasya (Andrea Riseborough) bathed in red light in Possessor

Photograph: Courtesy of Sundance

The acute violence, which Cronenberg typically shoots with close-ups that can tickle special-effect make-up geeks, finally bolsters the larger image. Tasya is being pushed to the brink to get the job finished, and at the price of her synapses. Colin, although pushed by one other individual, has blood on his palms, and turns into distinctive form of noir sleuth within the course of. Something can occur, and all the things does occur. From the conjured hell emerge two discordant, human performances out of Riseborough and Abbott.

What does that get us? A wildly entertaining film that’ll in all probability wind up with an NC-17 ranking. Regardless of the taboo honor, Possessor additionally has the best stability of world-building and ambiguity to be a dialog starter. Household performs a key function in Tasya’s unusual profession alternative, and the affect of company forces turns into a central sticking level because the film drills down towards a conclusion. Themes of gender, class, and financial warfare are all on the desk. However horror is the clear precedence for Cronenberg, and by god, the flesh wounds are jaw-dropping. Possibly even jaw-removing?

Probably the most meme-able second: Can folks put up disembodied fingers on Tumblr with out getting banned?

When can we see it? Possessor is now out in theaters and drive-ins.

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