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"Possessor" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

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"Possessor" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Old 09-28-21, 09:35 PM
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"Possessor" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Possessor (2020)

Selected by numbercrunch

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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.

Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.







Old 10-25-21, 08:34 AM
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Re: "Possessor" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree with the Chronenbergs. A strange , surreal story about body jumping and mind control. I am not sure what the motivation for this was, but it was interesting.
Old 10-25-21, 10:25 AM
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Re: "Possessor" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Interesting is the right word. I’d definitely like to check this out again.
I got this from the library and about halfway through the image got doubled in certain areas of my screen. It looked really weird, but considering the movie I thought it was part of the film. I had to pause it for a bit and my player timed out. When I restarted it was normal. Must have just been a shitty disc.
Old 10-25-21, 03:06 PM
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Re: "Possessor" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Overall a great film and glad it made it as a subset pick. Possessor is well shot with great cinematography and an engaging serious thoughtful style of film making to the most ridiculous storyline that plays by it's own far out rules. It's a surprisingly layered plot with relatable themes of identity and belonging peppered into gory assassinations staggering between pulpy and contemplative. Possessor deserves the acclaim it's gotten and is the kind of serious minded science fiction we need more of. For my tastes I find the end disappointing because it takes something near metaphysical and paints itself into a narrow corner of 'this was all a scheme to get our assassin to be a better assassin,' which feels like a tacked on epilogue to the the existential struggle that proceeded it or even just the seering brutality of the kid's melon being splashed across the house. I like that Posessor isn't afraid to take liberties with reality to make the most of film as a medium but sometimes it feels like it pushes those too far with a surprisingly complicated movie logic.

I feel bad for the people trying to rate subsets comparing this to others like The Severed Arm or Slumber Party Massacre II.
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PhantomStranger (10-25-21)
Old 10-25-21, 05:08 PM
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Re: "Possessor" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Chalk up one more scene in Sean Bean's death reel. Does that man ever survive a film?
I thought this movie would have worked better without some of the absurd plot devices. Performing brain surgery on an assassination target that nobody will notice? Using unwitting innocents as meat puppets, and nobody investigates why random people murder rich men? This felt like a crude revamp of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse.

Last edited by Gobear; 10-25-21 at 05:21 PM.
Old 10-25-21, 05:27 PM
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Re: "Possessor" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

A graphic and disturbing thriller with provocative ideas. I'd expect nothing less from the son of David Cronenberg. It's a little slicker than most of his daddy's work, though I agree the worldbuilding is a little haphazard.

It's the kind of serious science fiction we rarely get anymore. Not a perfect movie but certainly alluring and engaging on multiple levels.

It did get released on UHD...

Old 10-25-21, 09:07 PM
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Re: "Possessor" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I agree with all ya'll about the originality of the concept and how much I appreciate seeing a sci-fi horror movie (there are too few of those) and one with a meaty concept. Sort of a Manchurian Candidate taken to the next level. Agree that the ending was anti-climactic. I loved Jennifer Jason Leigh's role though.

My only negative comment about the film is that there were several scenes in which the brutality got too extreme for my tastes. My hubs got up and walked out. That's always a bummer.
Old 10-25-21, 11:05 PM
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Re: "Possessor" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I was not happy this was chosen as a subset. Not because I don't like it, but I've already seen it too many times. It was one I've shown to a few different friends since I got it. I think this was my fifth time watching it.

Anyway, there is a lot of good stuff here. I appreciate that the movie seems to respect the audience. There's not a big exposition scene where everything is explained. You have to pay attention and figure out things on your own. In some cases, we don't ever get full explanations as to how this alternate world works, but that's OK.

I really like all the concepts of identity and self that are going on. You can really see how Vos is fragmenting herself to the point where she's losing those final shreds of her own identity. I think her finally not expressing guilt at the killing of the butterfly might be one of those last critical threads finally snapping.

I thought a lot more about motivations and who was really doing what this time around. I wonder how often certain things are being done because that's one of them wants subconsciously. For instance, the party scene and aftermath always let me with questions. I guess the big public fight was to establish "motive," but I wonder if some of the things said really came from the guy, lingering resentments. The attempted killing of the prospective father-in-law really makes me wonder who was really in control. It clearly wasn't the assassin because the target survived. What was done to that guy felt much more personal than a hired killer.
Old 10-26-21, 10:36 AM
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Re: "Possessor" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

I wasn't expecting to like this one, as I'm a fan of very, very few sci-fi films...but I really enjoyed Possessor (if enjoyed is even the correct word, as I was fascinated and repulsed by it in equal measures). It reminded me a bit of David Cronenberg's eXistenZ turned up to eleven, and it even had the star of that film, Jennifer Jason Leigh, in a major role. I watched the uncut version on Hulu, and I was surprised by both the amount of violence shown and by the, as the blurbs put it, "graphic nudity." It's another of the first-time views this Challenge that I'll eventually need to add to my collection.

My subset film rankings for the Challenge thus far:

1. Battle Royale
2. Carrie (1976)
3. Curse of the Demon
4. Freaky
5. Slither
6. Possessor Uncut
7. The Ninth Gate
8. Tower of Evil
9. Witchfinder General
10. A Bay of Blood / The Spiral Staircase (averaged together)
11. Planet Terror
12. Silent Madness
13. Slumber Party Massacre II (based purely on its out-of-left-field aesthetic)
14. In Search of Darkness
15. Road Games
16. Daughters of Darkness
17. Triangle
18. The Collector
19. Cure
20. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II
21. Grave Robbers (Ladrones de Tumbas)
22. The Severed Arm
23. Fade to Black
24. The Empty Man
25. The Mortuary Collection
26. Cutting Class
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jholmes (10-26-21)
Old 10-26-21, 10:32 PM
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Re: "Possessor" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Most violent, brutal episode of Quantum Leap ever!

But seriously...there are some goddamn nasty gore scenes in this. Stuff that made me cringe more than a couple of times.

So was the person who hired the kill of Bean or the reason why revealed and I just missed it? Did they always have a plant in her kid's head so they could do that if necessary? Can a guy just walk around all the time in blood soaked clothes and never get caught by the police?

I really liked the tenuous grip the main girl had on reality and how it could be so easily lost. I also thought the main male actor did a great job of portraying someone different in his skin. I enjoyed this one but can't say I loved it. I wouldn't mind a little more exposition but also didn't mind it being ambiguous a lot of the time. The chaos of the mind was well edited.

My rating: *** out of *****
Old 11-01-21, 11:43 AM
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Re: "Possessor" Reviews/Discussion - 2021 Horror Challenge

Vos, well pretty much everyone, was so unlikable in this movie that the shocking ending had no impact for me. Actually I was hoping Vos would die within her host but alas she lived to horrifically kill again.

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