Possessor ★★★½

2020 Sundance Film Festival #10

“I haven’t been in control of myself lately.”

Well. What a movie I picked to end my Sundance adventure with. I saw it at a late screening, and I think the late night timing was appropriate, since this figures to become an instant midnight movie favorite. And that’s despite the recognizable talent involved, Chris Abbott from Hulu’s “Catch 22” is there, Jennifer Jason Leigh pops up, and the titular possessor is Andrea Riseborough, who thoroughly redeems herself after starring in the atrocious “Grudge” remake earlier this month.

Written and directed by David Cronenberg’s son Brandon, he manages to craft out a thriller/horror picture that certainly hearkens back to his father, but becomes his own. I saw a bit of both “Dead Ringers” and “Videodrome” somewhere in it. The premise and themes of questioning who’s really in control are horrifying, and all the special effects are practically done.

Not everything is executed perfectly in the plot, but it’s the sort of movie that gets under your skin. Visuals, score, performances, and a hell of a lot of gore (when I asked Mr Cronenberg the recipe for his fake blood, he flatly refused to divulge) make for not necessarily the best movie I saw at Sundance, but easily the most memorable. Three and a half stars.

Previous Review: The Night House

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