Possessor ★★★★½

It’s hard to deny similarities between Brandon Cronenberg and his father, David. But through his first two features, Brandon has still managed to carve out his own style in the cold, sharply stylistic environments that are clean in a way David’s films hasn’t been for 50 years. Possessor has a sci-fi concept cool enough to sell to any action-aficionado, with its mind-possessed bloody executions, but Cronenberg never forgets the need to balance the assassinations with Andrea Riseborough’s personal side and her struggle to live an actual human life.

In the marriage between the icy, germ-free visuals and Riseborough’s hollow distance to everything, there’s a tragedy of lost humanity. Possessor never gets lost in its concept, instead its matter-of-fact approach to wacky sci-fi completely sells the world and allows the emotions to exceed. The muted score and careful pace further helps to create a suffocating mood throughout the film. Unfolding here is a pure tragedy, an inner maze of horror far beyond the image of a brain blown to pieces, rather it’s the execution of that final humanity that cements the film as a captivating piece of fascinating darkness.

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