|Genre||Horror, Psychological Thriller|
|Release Date||October 2, 2020|
|Actors||Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Jennifer Jason Leigh|
|Rating||4 out of 5|
Table of Contents
Possessor Movie Summary
The Possessor is a 2020 science fiction psychological horror film written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg (also checkout Infinity Pool), the son of the famous body horror filmmaker David Cronenberg.
The film stars Andrea Riseborough as Tasya Vos, an assassin who works for a secretive organization that uses brain implant technology to inhabit other people’s bodies to use them to carry out killings for high paying clients.
Tasya’s mental stability is deteriorating as she struggles to maintain control of her hosts and separate her work from her personal life.
The film follows Tasya’s latest assignment, in which she has to possess Colin Tate (Christopher Abbott), the fiancé of Ava Parse (Tuppence Middleton), the daughter of a wealthy CEO John Parse (Sean Bean).
Tasya’s objective is to kill all three members of the Parse family and make it look like a murder suicide, so that the stepson can take over Zoothroo, the data mining company owned by John Parse.
However, things go terribly wrong when Tasya finds it hard to dominate Colin’s mind and fully take control. Colin begins to resist Tasya’s influence and fight back, leading to a violent and bloody confrontation between the two consciousnesses.
The Possessor is a film that explores themes such as identity, technology, violence, and corporate espionage. It is also a showcase of Cronenberg’s talent for creating disturbing and gruesome imagery, such as the scenes where Tasya inserts or removes the implant from her hosts’ brains, or the brutal killings that she commits with various weapons.
The originality of Brandon Cronenberg’s movie Possessor lies in its premise, its execution, and its style.
The premise of the film is that an assassin can use a brain implant device to take over the body of another person and use it as a weapon. This idea is not entirely new, as there have been other films that explored similar concepts, such as The Matrix (1999), Inception (2010), or Get Out (2017). However, Cronenberg adds his own twist to the idea by focusing on the psychological and physical effects of the process on both the assassin and the host, as well as the ethical and moral implications of such a technology.
The execution of the film is also original, as Cronenberg uses various techniques to create a sense of confusion, tension, and horror. For example, he uses split screens, distorted sounds, and color filters to show the struggle between Tasya and Colin’s minds. He also uses practical effects and makeup to create realistic and graphic scenes of violence and gore. He does not shy away from showing the brutality and the consequences of Tasya’s actions, which makes the film more shocking and disturbing.
The style of the film is also original, as Cronenberg pays homage to his father’s legacy of body horror, but also creates his own aesthetic and vision. The film has a cold and clinical tone, with a minimalist and futuristic production design. The film also has a synth heavy score by Jim Williams, which adds to the atmosphere and mood of the film. The film is a visual and auditory feast that challenges and provokes the viewer.
The acting in the Brandon Cronenberg movie Possessor is one of the main strengths of the film, as the actors deliver convincing and nuanced performances that convey the complex emotions and conflicts of their characters. The film relies heavily on the actors’ ability to portray two different personalities in one body, as well as the gradual loss of identity and control that results from the mind invasion process.
Andrea Riseborough, who plays Tasya Vos, the elite assassin who uses brain implant technology to possess other people’s bodies, gives a stunning performance that showcases her range and versatility. She portrays Tasya as a cold and ruthless professional who is skilled at her job, but also as a vulnerable and troubled person who is haunted by her past and disconnected from her present. Riseborough captures Tasya’s inner turmoil and confusion, as well as her struggle to maintain her sense of self and reality. She also convincingly switches between different accents and mannerisms when she inhabits different hosts.
Christopher Abbott, who plays Colin Tate, the fiancé of a wealthy heiress who becomes Tasya’s latest target, also delivers a remarkable performance that challenges and surprises the viewer. He portrays Colin as a charming and charismatic person who is dissatisfied with his life and his relationship, but also as a resilient and defiant person who fights back against Tasya’s invasion. Abbott manages to convey the subtle changes in Colin’s behavior and expression that indicate Tasya’s presence, as well as the moments of resistance and rebellion that reveal Colin’s awareness. He also displays a great chemistry with Tuppence Middleton, who plays his fiancée Ava Parse, especially in the scenes where they are intimate or conflicted.
The supporting cast of the film also does an excellent job of creating memorable and realistic characters that add to the story and the atmosphere of the film.
Jennifer Jason Leigh, who plays Girder, Tasya’s boss and mentor, gives a cold and sinister performance that hints at her ulterior motives and ambitions.
Sean Bean, who plays John Parse, Ava’s father and Colin’s future father in law, gives a menacing and arrogant performance that makes him a suitable villain and victim.
Tiio Horn, who plays Reeta, Colin’s co worker and friend, gives a warm and sympathetic performance that contrasts with Tasya’s coldness and isolation.
The directing in the Brandon Cronenberg movie Possessor is one of the film’s most impressive and distinctive aspects, as it demonstrates Cronenberg’s vision and skill as a filmmaker. Cronenberg directs the film with confidence and flair, creating a captivating and immersive experience for the viewer. He also shows the influence and inspiration from his father, David Cronenberg, the master of body horror, but also establishes his own voice and style.
Cronenberg directs the film with a clear and coherent narrative structure, which balances the different perspectives and timelines of the characters.
He uses flashbacks, voice overs, and intercuts to show the backstory and motivation of Tasya, as well as the process and outcome of her assignments. He also uses parallel editing to show the contrast and connection between Tasya’s real life and her work life, as well as between Tasya and Colin’s personalities and actions. He also uses transitions and montages to show the progression and deterioration of Tasya’s mental state, as well as the escalation and resolution of the conflict between her and Colin.
Cronenberg directs the film with a meticulous and inventive visual style, which creates a stunning and striking aesthetic for the film. He uses various camera angles, movements, and compositions to create dynamic and expressive shots that convey the mood and tone of the film. He also uses different lighting, color, and filters to create contrast and symbolism in the film.
For example, he uses cold and blue colors to show Tasya’s detachment and isolation, while he uses warm and red colors to show Colin’s passion and violence. He also uses distorted and blurred images to show Tasya’s confusion and loss of identity, while he uses clear and sharp images to show Colin’s awareness and resistance.
Cronenberg directs the film with a creative and effective use of sound and music, which enhances the film’s atmosphere and impact. He uses various sound effects, such as whispers, screams, gunshots, or heartbeats, to create tension and suspense in the film. He also uses silence or ambient noise to create contrast or emphasis in the film. He also uses a synth heavy score by Jim Williams, which adds to the film’s futuristic and sci-fi vibe. (see more below)
The score in the Brandon Cronenberg movie Possessor is composed by Jim Williams, a British musician and composer who has worked with Cronenberg before on his debut film Antiviral (2012).
The score is mainly synth based, with influences from electronic, industrial, and ambient music. The score creates a futuristic and sci-fi vibe for the film, as well as reflecting the film’s themes and emotions, such as anxiety, fear, or anger.
The score consists of 18 tracks, with a total length of 46 minutes and 23 seconds. Some of the tracks are named after the characters or locations in the film, such as “Tasya Vos”, “Colin Tate”, or “Parse Mansion”. The score also features some vocal samples from the film’s dialogue, such as “I’m not here” or “Pull me out”.
The score has received positive reviews from critics and audiences, who praised its originality and effectiveness. The score was also nominated for Best Original Score for a Canadian Film at the 2021 Canadian Screen Awards.
The cinematography creates a stunning and striking aesthetic for the film, as well as conveying the mood and tone of the film.
The cinematography uses various camera angles, movements, and compositions to create dynamic and expressive shots that capture the action and emotion of the film.
For example, the film uses close-ups, low angles, and handheld shots to create intimacy and intensity in the scenes where Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough) inhabits the bodies of her hosts. The film also uses wide shots, high angles, and static shots to create distance and detachment in the scenes where Tasya is in her own body or in the machine that connects her to her hosts.
The film also uses distorted and blurred images to show Tasya’s confusion and loss of identity, while it uses clear and sharp images to show Colin’s awareness and resistance.
The cinematography also uses inventive and effective visual effects, which are mostly done in camera. The film uses practical effects and makeup to create realistic and graphic scenes of violence and gore, such as the scenes where Tasya inserts or removes the implant from her hosts’ brains, or the brutal killings that she commits with various weapons.
Entire Movie Explained (Spoilers)
Below is a detailed explanation of what’s happening in the Brandon Cronenberg movie Possessor.
The movie is set in a near future world where a secretive organization uses brain implant technology to allow its agents to inhabit other people’s bodies and use them to carry out assassinations for high paying clients.
The movie follows Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough), one of the elite agents who works for the organization. She is skilled at her job, but she is also suffering from the psychological and emotional effects of the mind invasion process. She has trouble reconnecting with her estranged husband Michael (Rossif Sutherland) and her son Ira (Gage Graham-Arbuthnot), and she experiences flashbacks and hallucinations of her previous assignments.
The movie begins with Tasya possessing the body of Holly Bergman (Gabrielle Graham), a server at the Blue Light Sky Lounge, during a big event. Tasya uses Holly’s body to kill a powerful lawyer, Elio Mazza (Matthew Garlick), by brutally stabbing him to death. However, Tasya hesitates to shoot herself in the head, as instructed by her handler Girder (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and instead is shot by the security guards, and her connection to Holly’s body is severed.
Tasya returns to her own body, which is kept in a machine that connects her to her hosts. She undergoes a debriefing session with Girder, who tests her memory and identity by asking her questions and showing her objects from her personal life.
Tasya then goes home to see her family, but she feels alienated and detached from them.
She decides to take on another assignment, despite Girder’s concern for her mental state.
The assignment involves possessing the body of Colin Tate (Christopher Abbott), the fiancé of Ava Parse (Tuppence Middleton), the daughter of John Parse (Sean Bean), a wealthy CEO of a data mining company called Zoothroo. Tasya’s objective is to kill all three members of the Parse family and make it look like a murder suicide. The client is Reid, John Parse’s stepson, but the real objective is for the assasin agency to have full access to Zoothroo’s data.
The agency drugs Colin and implants his brain so that Tasya can synch with him and take control. She then takes over his body and tries to act like him. It appears that Colin is resisting and Tasya is not able to fully calibrate his brain with hers. Colin begins to sense that something is wrong with him, and he starts to resist Tasya’s influence and fight back.
At a big party thrown by John Parse, the Agency has Colin-Tasya stage a big fight with John and Ava, so that its believable that he comes back to kill everyone.
Tasya-Colin tries to kill John Parse by violently stabbing him in the face with a fireplace poker. Some really gruesome scenes here. Guess what, he lives! He then shoots Ava to death. Tasya-Colin is not able to shoot herself to end the mission.
Colin is fighting Tasyas takeover and is able to rip the implant out of his head.
Colin shows up at Reeta’s apartment for help, but Tasya is able to gain back control and kills Reeta in the shower.
The Agency sends in some tech support for Tasya in the form of Colin’s co worker Eddie, who has been a plant all along. He tranquilizes Tasya-Colin to help reset Tasya’s control over Colin.
However, Colin manages to continue fighting Tasya, preventing her from taking control and shoots Eddie dead.
Because Tasya’s consciousness is still inside Colin, he has access to her memories. He uses them to locate her husband and son. He goes to her home and threatens to kill them if she doesn’t explain what is happening and get out of his head.
Colin-Tasya hacks Michael (Tasya’s husband) to death with a meat cleaver. The son Ian stabs Colin. Colin-Tasya shoots Ian. Ian says “pull me out”. So it is here we find out that the Agency has been using the son to spy on Tasya all along.
Girder and Tasya wake up together, both having just come out from controlling their hosts. Girder was in Ian, Tasya in Colin.
Girder conducts the same exit interview as in the beginning, this time, Tasya does not exibit any remorse over killing.
Without a family, Tasya has become the ultimate assassin, with no emotional attachments. Ready to take over the Agency.
Possessor is an original film that offers a fresh and unique take on the sci-fi horror genre.
It is a film that showcases Cronenberg’s talent and creativity as a filmmaker, as well as his ability to craft a compelling and complex story with rich themes and characters.
Cronenberg directs the film with a clear vision and a unique style that makes the film stand out from other films in the genre. He also pays tribute to his father’s legacy of body horror, but also creates his own identity and expression.
The actors deliver powerful and believable performances that make the viewer empathize with their characters and feel their emotions.
The film is a remarkable achievement that deserves recognition and praise.
Rating: ★★★★☆ (out of 5)