It would be impossible to speak of POSSESSOR, without speaking about the Cronenberg legacy and legend. David Cronenberg has had a major influence on the cinema of the self. Breaking into the metaphysical space by rupturing the physical body. It seems, as they say, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree and son Brandon Cronenberg has begun to take up the mantle. POSSESSOR charts the work of Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough). She is an assassin, who occupies the bodies of others in order to execute her orders.

A disruption of the personal is obvious, when you are living inside someone else. Tasya exhibits signs of mental decay and her second mission breaks her down completely. She has to take control of Colin Tate (Christopher Abbott). He wants rid of his father in law wealthy CEO John Parse (Sean Bean) and also his own partner, Ava (Tuppence Middleton). But the moment of truth brings about destruction and mayhem.

This in the end is the thrust of POSSESSOR. The control of other people’s bodies using brain-implant technology to execute high-profile targets. Sounds simple but it allows Cronenberg to discuss the mind – body connection. This underpins the blur of detachment that we have with cinema. These transformations begin to corrode how we see a protagonist and how we see the other. The other being others onscreen and their agency.

Visual explosive, bloody and horrific, Cronenberg gets in a dose of body horror, psychological angst and existential energy. It is not perfect, with moments that spill out of the controlled aspects of the narrative but it is a brilliant opener to the future direction of a film maker with something to say and a lot to live up to.

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