Brandon ‘Son of David’ Cronenberg dips his toes into the body horror waters that helped establish his father as a maestro of bloody genre cinema. Doing so may seem like a fool’s errand for the Canadian filmmaker, as he directly invites comparison to the work of his father, whilst also attempting to stand by his own merit. It is a bold move, one which is either built on confidence or arrogance. On the evidence of the film itself, however, you should come to believe that it falls more on the side of a vote of confidence, as it is audacious in such a way that you imagine Dad would be very proud of.
Andrea Riseborough stars as Voss, an agent for a company that has the technology to implant Voss into anybody’s mind in order to make them carry out assassinations. Voss displays a particular flare for this violent line of work, but it is beginning to take a toll on her, as all sense of normal life is torn away, her mind blurred by memories of brutal murder from jobs past. Her latest assignment could very well prove to be her breaking point.
The central premise of Possessor is undoubtedly an intriguing one. The idea of an assassin being able to control anybody they want to commit the perfect clean assassination, ones which end up looking like murder-suicides, is one that could be played out in any number of styles. You can almost imagine an Inception-like approach in an action sci-fi. But here, Cronenberg takes a darker, more disturbing path, one which focuses on the invasion of bodies, and an individual’s battle with violent urges.
Full review over at Filmhounds Magazine, originally published October 17th 2020.