WARNING: This article contains mild spoilers for Possessor.
Possessor follows Tasya Vos (played by Andrea Riseborough), a corporate assassin who, by use of a futuristic toolset involving invasive neuroscience, possesses people to carry out her hits. While Tasya attempts to keep herself as close to business-as-usual as possible, the film showcases her struggle to stay within the realms of sanity, and indeed keep her cool under pressure during a job gone wrong.
Over the course of the 100 minute movie, viewers will witness Tasya slowly losing her grip on herself.
Tasya first seems to be struggling, but it quickly becomes obvious that she wants to crack. She is looking to kill more people because she finds pleasure in it.
And this pleasure is displayed frequently throughout the film, as the extremely graphic scenes of violence put under the microscope are truly unsettling.
Evoking feelings from The Fly, The Thing, and – in a way – Terminator, Possessor shows every gruesome detail of brains being splattered across a wall.
In an interview with Express.co.uk, director Brandon Cronenberg recently defended this extreme violence, and explained how it was all required to progress the narrative.
Cronenberg first explained the thought behind the spine-chilling murders: “From a more overarching design perspective, I felt the violence was extremely narrative.
“So much of [Vos’] character is her relationship with violence, and these experiences she’s having as she’s killing people.”
Cronenberg then opened up on exactly why he needed to maintain a strong level of detail throughout the film.
Cronenberg said: “I felt it had to be fairly graphic, partly so that people could feel it in a visceral way and understand what she was going through.
“But also the violence in the film tracks with her psychology. Sometimes, it’s much more observational and brutal, and sometimes she’s looking back on it and it’s almost sensual. Fetishtic.
“Scene by scene, depending on where she was, we would approach if differently.”
Almost all of the disturbing sequences pale in comparison to the film’s final moments.
Without spoiling anything, the last scenes showcase another horrific and macabre scenario, but defer the reasoning behind it to the viewers’ interpretation.
I asked Cronenberg for a definitive answer to this end scene, to which he coyly responded: “I sometimes get those questions, but to be honest I’d rather answer them two years from now. The film was designed to leave some space for discussion.
“Although I had some very specific ideas as I was making it about what the story is, what the characters are doing, and why they’re doing those things, the execution was designed to leave space for the audience to be creative and interpret it in their own way.”
With a chilling smile, Cronenberg concluded: “I like films like that – I like films that leave it open.”
The review said everything about the cyberpunk flick was “spectacular.”
“Every single detail in Possessor – from the costuming, to the dialogue, to the visual hooks and references – everything is spectacular. This is one of the films of the year, without question.”
Possessor is available on digital platforms now.