Possessor ★★★★

The AV Club review of POSSESSOR summed it up best by calling it "a mindfuck without a safe word." It took eight years for Brandon Cronenberg to follow up his impressive debut ANTIVIRAL, but POSSESSOR firmly establishes him as a major name in sci-fi/horror, forging his own path while not shying away from the fact that David Cronenberg is his dad. POSSESSOR feels like David Cronenberg in his heyday, and its story does in some ways invoke memories of EXISTENZ (especially with the presence of Jennifer Jason Leigh in a supporting role), but with the corporate espionage of Olivier Assayas, the phantasmagorical colorgasms of Panos Cosmatos (again, likely by design with MANDY's Andrea Riseborough in the lead), and the very cold, emotionally barren Canadian aura of his dad's CRASH. Brandon Cronenberg wears his influences on his sleeve (should I mention it's a little MATRIX-y as well?) while somehow creating a wholly unique vision. The labyrinthine plot means it's best to go into this blind, but it's imaginative, suspenseful, unbelievably gory, and that Andrea Riseborough mask is the stuff of nightmares. Four stars for now, may go up half a star on a repeat viewing.

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