Possessor follows an agent who works for a secretive organization that uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people's bodies - ultimately driving them to commit assassinations for high-paying clients.

Director:

Brandon Cronenberg
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Popularity
783 ( 55)
13 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gabrielle Graham ... Holly
Hanneke Talbot ... Katherine
Matthew Garlick Matthew Garlick ... Elio
Daniel Park ... Policeman
Andrea Riseborough ... Tasya Vos
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Girder
Hrant Alianak ... Lead Technician
Rachael Crawford ... Dr. Melis
Rossif Sutherland ... Michael Vos
Gage Graham-Arbuthnot ... Ira Vos
Kathy Maloney ... Reporter
Megan Vincent ... Alice
Danny Waugh ... Patrick
Christopher Abbott ... Colin Tate
Tuppence Middleton ... Ava Parse
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Storyline

Tasya Vos is a corporate agent who uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people's bodies, driving them to commit assassinations for the benefit of the company. While she has a special gift for the work, her experiences on these jobs have caused a dramatic change in her, and in her own life she struggles to suppress violent memories and urges. As her mental strain intensifies, she begins to lose control, and soon she finds herself trapped in the mind of a man whose identity threatens to destroy her own.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No Body is Safe


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody disturbing violence, strong sexual content, some graphic nudity, language and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film received an "R" rating in the Canadian province of Alberta, which is equivalent to the "NC-17" rating by the MPA. See more »

Goofs

When John Parse is being mutilated, his skin in the close-up shots of the wounds on his face looks completely different than it does in the rest of the scene. Mainly, it has a different color and is much smoother. See more »

Quotes

Colin Tate: Just think, one day your wife is cleaning the cat litter and she gets a worm in her, and that worm ends up in her brain. The next thing that happens is she gets an idea in there, too. And it's hard to say whether that idea is really hers or it's just the worm. And it makes her do certain things. Predator things. Eventually, you realize that she isn't the same person anymore. She's not the person that she used to be. It's gotta make you wonder, whether you're really married to her... or married ...
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Alternate Versions

Possessor exists as a cut US R rated version and an uncut MPA Unrated Version titled Possessor Uncut. The producers were keen to differentiate between the two versions and the 'Uncut' tag is an official re-titling of the film. UK releases are the Uncut Version and are 18 rated. See more »


Soundtracks

In the Dark
Written by Maddy Wilde, Kurt Marble, and Mike Pereira
Performed by Rapport
Courtesy of Arbutus Records
By arrangement with Terrorbird Media
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User Reviews

TL;DR Violent and disturbing, anchored by outstanding performances
2 June 2020 | by Clearbay_327See all my reviews

In this film, set in the near future, brain implant technology allows one person to inhabit the mind, body, and spirit of another. A clandestine corporation uses this technology to assassinate wealthy and powerful people for profit. The film explores what happens when the host starts to fight to regain control from a guest who is not entirely mentally stable, to begin with.

Interesting enough premise. The film is set in a very bleak version of the future where cities appear to be sparsely populated (perhaps from some event that greatly reduced the population such as plague or war; a motif borrowed from Argento's Tenebre). The film relies heavily on psychotropic imagery, and this adds to the overall frightening and confusing atmosphere since most of this imagery is nightmarish (distorted faces reminiscent of David Cronenberg's The Brood, warped colors, bursts of sound and images, blurs, rapid-fire images and strobing flashes of light). The film further relies on ultra-violence as a motif that rivals even the Italian slasher films of the late 1970s and early 80s (such as Susperia, Tenembre, Opera, etc.). Possessor contains explicit sexual motifs including full male nudity and erect penises, which reminds me very much of Antichrist (2009) or The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). These are juxtaposed with explicit imagery of knives penetrating flesh. All of this results in a nightmare landscape. The ending is purposely left confusing so that that the viewer can arrive at their own conclusions. For some viewers, this will be frustrating.

All of this wraps up into a very worthwhile enough film, but for viewers with a more sophisticated palate (if you are looking for a Blumhouse type film Possessor is not what you are looking for). It is disturbing to be sure. However, it is very well made and anchored by two very outstanding performances from Andrea Riseborough and Christopher Abbott. It also features Jennifer Jason Leigh and Sean Bean in very laudable supporting roles (whether or not Sean Bean dies I will not spoil). Possessor is a "Criterion Collection" caliber film that will give the viewer some satisfaction analyzing and will with you long after you see it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Canada | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 October 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Possessor See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$252,664, 4 October 2020

Gross USA:

$752,885

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$910,809
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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