Much like his pops, writer-director Brandon Cronenberg (son of David, in case that wasn’t clear) is interested in the visceral space where mind and body collide, as well as the tensions between old and new technologies. For his bloody and mind-bending second film, Cronenberg Junior creates a distressing beast that often feels like the missing link between Christopher Nolan’s Inception and Cronenberg Senior’s eXistenZ.
Possessor follows Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough), an agent who works for a secretive organisation that uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people’s bodies. She specialises in driving the unwittingly brain-jacked to commit assassinations for high-paying clients; and when the job is done, she commits “suicide”, killing her puppet and popping back into her original brain. So far, so devilishly ingenious, but this seemingly perfect crime technology is taking its toll on Vos’ consciousness, which is dangerously melding with that of her latest victim’s.
If you’re not averse to body-horror, this one’s for you – the disturbing visuals and uncomfortably thought-provoking (if somewhat overstuffed) themes regarding one’s sense of self, true autonomy, and the control rich society has on the individual, are well worth the mind meld.
Possessor / Directed by Brandon Cronenberg (US, 2020), with Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Sean Bean, Jennifer Jason Leigh. Starts July 1.