7.4/10
16,745
131 user 122 critic

Possession (1981)

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) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,000 ( 39)

On Disc

at Amazon

5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Suspiria (1977)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A newcomer to a prestigious ballet academy comes to realize that the school is a front for something sinister amidst a series of grisly murders.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci
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, Maciej Englert, Michal Grudzinski
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
The Tenant (1976)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A bureaucrat rents a Paris apartment where he finds himself drawn into a rabbit hole of dangerous paranoia.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Roman Polanski, Isabelle Adjani, Melvyn Douglas
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
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A married couple grieving the recent death of their young 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
Videodrome (1983)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When he acquires a different kind of show for his station, a sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a terrifying new reality.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: James Woods, Debbie Harry, Sonja Smits
Audition (1999)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Johanna Hofer ...
...
Detective
Shaun Lawton ...
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:

Murder. Evil. Infidelity. Madness. 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  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$234,258 (USA) (16 October 1983)

Gross:

$1,113,538 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

There is wall graffiti reading "You're just another brick in the wall", with an Anarchy symbol for the last A. See more »

Quotes

Mark: You know, when I'm away from you, I think of you as a monster or a woman possessed, and then I see you again and all this disappears.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in End Roll (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Possession: Utterly Mad

Famously violent, bloody and brutal, Possession is a member of that most hallowed hall of "Video Nasties" we know and love. Boasting scenes of some noteworthy infamy, Andrzej Zulawski's complex allegorical explanation of marital disintegration is known for its thematic obscurity.

In Cold War Berlin, Mark returns home from unclear duties to a marriage which is on its last legs. His wife Anna, suffering from increasingly inclement behaviour and mood swings brought about by their ailing relationship, is revealed to be having an affair, leading Mark to investigate. What he discovers is more bizarre even than his wife's drug loving German lover.

The one feeling which appears to be universal in conjunction with Possession is that of helpless confusion. As the credits roll, the only thing we can justifiably think is "What just happened?!" The film is utterly mad; unendingly so. From start to finish, I struggled not to miss a beat amidst the mire. Difficult to follow and impossible to understand at first, Zulawski's frustrating work leaves us scratching our heads for the entirety of its running time. Possession's gradual descent from a Kramer Vs. Kramer-esquire marital drama to a bloody and supernatural allegory is as surprising as it is bizarre and mental. Thereafter, we are treated to a visual feast of harrowing images and strangely violent outbursts. The increasingly insane plot is marred by overeager performances, though it is considerably attention grabbing. The film is not at all a bad one, providing a deeply interesting message (which may take time and thought to fully comprehend) albeit through a hazy, complicated and apparently nonsensical narrative. Additionally, Heinz Bennent's Heinrich is a wonderful and whimsical character, bringing an element of farcical comedy to the plot.

Managing to shock and surprise as well as stupefy, Possession is a film well versed in oddity. Exploring an interesting topic with a veiled depth, it gives us a message in an unconventional way which is quite brilliant in itself.


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page