SUNDANCE 2020 FILM REVIEW! In just his second feature, Brandon Cronenberg, son of David, has delivered the first great sci-fi horror movie of the decade with Possessor. In the future, corporations use internal agents to inhabit innocent people’s bodies to carry out high-profile assassinations for strategic gains. Tanya Vos (Andrea Riseborough) is one such agent. In fact, she’s the star player at her secretive killing firm. But when the brain implant process takes its toll during an assignment, she begins to lose a grip on her own identity. Exploring self and identity, Possessor deftly explores heady material in a sci-fi horror candy coating, delivering a challenging ferocious film.
“…corporations use internal agents to inhabit innocent people’s bodies to carry out high-profile assassinations for strategic gains.”
The action and concept are presented straight away with a bloody assassination in a nightclub. Miles away, Tanya lays on a white leather chaise with her head in a contraption guiding the host body from afar. After the assassination, she is to kill the host body with a shot to the head. Yet with this latest contract, her boss, Girder (Jennifer Jason Leigh), notices that Tanya is losing her grip on her true identity. Hesitant, Tanya accepts one last job in the form of Colin (Christopher Abbott), a coked-out rich boy with access to the CEO of a major tech company. The goal is to inhabit Colin’s body and have it murder Colin’s soon-to-be father in law John Parse (Sean Bean).
After going home to visit her estranged husband and 7-year-old son, Tanya returns to the facility to complete her final assassination. After the transfer, trouble ensues as various glitches in the technology are creating artifacts, hallucinations, and unpredictable behavior. Worse still, Colin’s hijacked personality begins fighting its way back to the surface. Will Tanya get the job done? Will Colin take over and trap Tanya in his body forever?
"…deftly explores heady material in a sci-fi horror candy coating..."