Possessor ★★★★

Dear LORD if you thought Antiviral went to some egregious extremes as something of a one-note slog, Brandon Cronenberg would like to formally invite you to bathe in a much more sinister, skillful nightmare of horrors. Requisite semi-dystopian world-building's all here: the body-swap/meld conceit serving as a visceral eldritch struggle of 2 souls vying for total control, complete with appropriate aestheticism. This is downcast from the get-go, Riseborough's Tasya Vos as a down-and-out estranged wife and mother and increasingly spiraling toward total mental degradation.

Whereas Antiviral was more concerned with singularity of concept and commentary on the extreme nature of modern celebrity, Possessor combats this with something a bit more humane as the grotesque and ethereal mesh with a cataclysmic base state of affairs. It threatens to lose sight of itself for something a bit less indicative of Cronenberg's stylism and more basically suspenseful, but ah, let me assure you it very much DOESN'T. The man really upped his game to a standard dad would endorse wholeheartedly, Riseborough and Abbott - nailing the tricky-as-hell duality of similar characters/roles - crushing every square inch of this thing to match the tremendous stresses of their bizarre scenario. When this "hits its stride?" HOO boy, folks.

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