7.4/10
12,902
118 user 115 critic

Possession (1981)

Trailer
1:57 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

A woman starts exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking her husband for a divorce. Suspicions of infidelity soon give way to something much more sinister.

Director:

Writers:

(original screenplay), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,431 ( 882)
5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Horror | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Set during the occupation of Poland during World War II. Some German soldiers, slaughter a woman, her son and daughter-in-law. The husband and his father escape by being in the forest. The ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Zulawski
Stars: Malgorzata Braunek, Leszek Teleszynski, Jan Nowicki
Suspiria (1977)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A newcomer to a fancy ballet academy gradually comes to realize that the school is a front for something far more sinister and supernatural amidst a series of grisly murders.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Servais Mont, a photographer, meets Nadine Chevalier who earns her money starring in cheap soft-core movies. Trying to help her, he borrows the money from the loan sharks to finance the ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Zulawski
Stars: Romy Schneider, Fabio Testi, Jacques Dutronc
Adventure | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A small group of cosmic explorers, including a woman, leaves Earth to find freedom and start a new civilization. They do not realize that within themselves they carry the end of their own ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Zulawski
Stars: Andrzej Seweryn, Jerzy Trela, Grazyna Dylag
The Devil (1972)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During the Prussian army's invasion to Poland in 1793, a young Polish nobleman Jakub is saved from the imprisonment by a stranger who wants in return to obtain a list of Jakub's fellow ... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Zulawski
Stars: Malgorzata Braunek, Michal Grudzinski, Iga Mayr
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A married couple grieving the recent death of their little daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Stars: Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland, Hilary Mason
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An unexperienced young actress is invited to play a role in a film based on Dostoyevsky's 'The Possessed'. The film director, a Czech immigrant in Paris, takes over her life, and in a short... See full summary »

Director: Andrzej Zulawski
Stars: Francis Huster, Valérie Kaprisky, Lambert Wilson
Repulsion (1965)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A sex-repulsed woman who disapproves of her sister's boyfriend sinks into depression and has horrific visions of rape and violence.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser
Videodrome (1983)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a very unusual fashion when he acquires a new kind of programming for his station.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: James Woods, Debbie Harry, Sonja Smits
Deep Red (1975)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A musician witnesses the murder of a famous psychic, and then teams up with a feisty reporter to find the killer while evading attempts on their lives by the unseen killer bent on keeping a dark secret buried.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: David Hemmings, Daria Nicolodi, Gabriele Lavia
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A surgeon causes an accident which leaves his daughter disfigured, and goes to extremes to give her a new face.

Director: Georges Franju
Stars: Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

During a rural picnic, a few students and a teacher from an Australian girls' school vanish without a trace. Their absence frustrates and haunts the people left behind.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Rachel Roberts, Anne-Louise Lambert, Vivean Gray
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Margit Gluckmeister
Heinz Bennent ...
Johanna Hofer ...
Heinrich's mother
Carl Duering ...
Detective
...
Zimmermann
Michael Hogben ...
Bob
Maximilian Rüthlein ...
Man with pink socks (as Maximilian Ruethlein)
Thomas Frey ...
Pink sock's acolyte
Leslie Malton ...
Sara, woman with club foot
Gerd Neubert ...
Subway drunk
Kerstin Wohlfahrt
Ilse Bahrs
Karin Mumm
Edit

Storyline

During a secretive business trip away, Mark learns that his wife Anna is growing restless in what he believed was their happy marriage. Upon his return home, he learns from her that she wants a divorce. They both go through a series of different emotions related to their situation, Mark's which is generally obsessive about learning why Anna, who he still loves, wants the divorce, and Anna's which is generally increasingly histrionic in getting away from Mark. Caught in the middle is their infant son Bob, who Mark uses as a gage to Anna's mental state. Anna states that her want for the divorce is not because of another man, but Mark finds out that Anna has a lover named Heinrich. In the meantime, Mark also meets Bob's teacher Helen, who looks exactly like Anna, but is her polar opposite in temperament. Starting a relationship with Helen lessens his obsession with Anna. But as Mark and Anna's encounters together reach more emotional and violent levels, Mark, with help of a private ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She created a monster as her secret lover! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

28 October 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Night the Screaming Stops  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Waterston was considered for the male lead. See more »

Quotes

Bob: Don't open! Don't open! Don't open! Don't open! Please don't open! Don't open it! Don't open! Don't open it! Don't open!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Celluloid Horror (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
I Loved It
29 April 1999 | by (San Francisco USA) – See all my reviews



I think that Possession is one of the most effective horror films ever made.

I've read mixed reactions to Possession. I think that this is because the writer/director intentionally introduces dozens of narrative ambiguities. There are many unanswered questions, and the viewer is placed in a position where she/he must become a creative participant by answering these questions for themselves. Audiences are by and large uncomfortable with this type of thing, but luckily I've seen a lot of experimental/unusual cinema, so I'm acclimated to it.

Isabelle Adjani is glorious in a dual role (which is a reversal of the Bunuel mindgame from 'That Obscure Object of Desire'--Instead of two actresses playing a single character, there is a single actress playing two characters.)

Adjani and Sam Neill's enacting of a horribly troubled marriage is spectacular. Heinz Bennet's distasteful character would give anyone the creeps. When Adjani is seen in the company of a terrible Lovecraftian monster, it's almost a relief after the awful domestic situations depicted earlier in the film. (I also appreciate how the monster is very tastefully seen only in fleeting segments.)

Everyone is right--Find the Japanese cut of this film. It has Japanese subtitles, but it is much more comprehensible with 40 more minutes of footage.


38 of 64 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
New Region One blu-ray from Mondo-Vision is simply gorgeous rabbit-room
Similar movies (besides the Brood)? WarNerve626
My interpretation Ken_Slagg
Avoid this movie hallsten
UK film critic Mark Kermode heisenberg83
The Truth about 'Possession' My Ego Tripped
Discuss Possession (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?