Possessor ★★★

A queasy and intriguing horror-inflected techno-thriller that gets lost somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle between “Mandy,” “Inception,” and “Ghost in the Shell,” Brandon Cronenberg’s “Possessor” is so drunk on its own sick potential that it doesn’t have the time (or the balance) required to realize most of it. On the other hand, 90 minutes of Andrea Riseborough and Christopher Abbott engaging in ultra-gory psychic warfare over control of the latter’s body is more satisfying than what most of the current Best Picture nominees have to offer, so maybe it’s wise not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Although set in an alternate 2008 that’s a touch more analog than our own world (a low-key tweak that imagines what the 21st century would look like if we kept the ’90s alive on life support and built the future in Trent Reznor’s image), “Possessor” throbs with recognizably urgent concerns like gender, privacy, and the sins of corporate hegemony. Also: White people hijacking the bodies of black women and using them as patsies for targeted public assassinations — at this rate, I wouldn’t put it past us.


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