- Published: Saturday, 03 October 2020 16:06
- Written by Lupe R Haas
Director Brandon Cronenberg is certainly related to the King of Venereal Horror - David Cronenberg (SCANNERS, THE FLY, DEAD RINGERS). Brandon's new film, POSSESSOR is a highly-stylized sci-fi thriller about the loss of human connection through technology. Brandon Cronenberg is certainly a new visionary director to look out for.
In a modern day body snatching story, Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough) is a corporate assassin who can possess another person's body and mind through a brain-implant technology to execute high-profile targets. On her latest assignment, the new subject's (Christopher Abbott) mind overcomes her possession threatening the mission. Sean Bean plays Vos' target while Jennifer Jason Leigh plays the assassin's boss.
POSSESSOR UNCUT is the unrated director's version of the film which garnered a lot of buzz after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival this year.
In his second directorial feature, the son of David Cronenberg follows in his father's footsteps thematically but not stylistically. Like the senior Cronenberg, Brandon explores how invasive technology transforms someone's mind. The brain-implant technology desensitizes Vos the more missions she completes. She's slowly losing her humanity including her emotional connections towards her son and ex-husband. She practices her greetings before seeing her family as if she no longer knows how to act like her old self. Jennifer Jason Leigh is also devoid of any motherly instincts encouraging Vos to keep away from her family in order to stay focused on her job. Vos is merely a weapon to can't afford to lose.
Andrea Riseborough finds the most interesting characters to play. With her expressive eyes, Riseborough doesn't need to utter a single word, and it works here with her limited dialogue. Instead we see Vos' conflict between her family and her job, but as the story progresses she's losing touch with herself with a dead stare. That empty stare is captured well by actor Christopher Abbott when she takes over his body.
POSSESSOR presents a grim future in its cinematography. The movie is largely devoid of saturated colors, favoring a grayish scale outside the lab. In the lab, there's a high contrast between the subjects and the dark background as if they are living in the shadows or inside someone's mind.
The shocking and unexpected finale to POSSESSOR will leave you reeling
POSSESSOR is not a happy watch. It's a grim story of violence and gore. However it's an artistic piece of filmmaking and an introduction to a new visionary.
NEON's POSSESSOR: UNCUT in now playing in theaters Friday, October 2.