Possessor ★★★★½

Brandon Cronenberg’s mind-bending second feature, Possessor, is a singular work of art made up of striking practical effects and insane performances from some of the industry's most underappreciated actors. Inspired by some of genre filmmaking’s greatest—Argento, Lynch and David Cronenberg—this ultra stylized smorgasboard of guts, gore & neon will leave some basking in its glory whilst others are annoyed. You must brace yourself for this blood-soaked and unrelentingly bonkers film.

Possessor follows Tasya Vos, played brilliantly by Andrea Riserbough, a unique contract killer who works for an ultra-secretive organization that uses brain implants to take over people’s bodies. Vos inhabits someone’s body then commits the assassination, committing suicide after the job is done. While she is a veteran in this line of work, the inhabitation of Colin Tate (Christopher Abbott) causes a dramatic change in her consciousness, as the mental strain of her job continues to wear her down. This high concept idea not only RULES, but also has a lot to say about surveillance capitalism and the dangers of the information age; all painted within an immensely gory psychic warfare. It’s ambitious, balls-to-the-wall filmmaking that we need more of.

Brandon gives his father a run for his money with the exceptional practical effects & make-up. Unleashing an assortment of melting faces, exuberant sprays of blood, and gouged eye sockets (here comes the NC-17 rating). It’s equally unsettling as it is glorious to watch. The insane practical effects are matched to perfection with a stunning color palette full of vivid reds, drenched in a minimalist cityscape. Additive to this eerie atmosphere is a droning & dread-inducing score from Jim Williams, continuing his brilliant work from films like Raw & A Field in England.

While not everyone will be a fan of Cronenberg’s visceral fever dream, the bold visuals & jaw-dropping practical effects should be enough for people to realize Brandon Cronenberg is a true visionary and not just the son of one of the greatest filmmakers of our time.

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