Experiencing things that we most likely never would in real life is exactly why we go to the movies in the first place. So, given this voyeuristic nature of film, it’s not surprising that there’s an entire sub-genre dedicated to addressing this concept quite literally: The body-swap movie. Whilst it lends itself well to pretty much every genre in the book, it’s proved to be a perfect fit in horror cinema, especially if you take possessions into account. But everything is about to pale in comparison to Brandon Cronenberg’s lates feature film, Possessor.
Combining all the trappings of the ’80s most memorable sci-fi movies, with an ambitious Nolanesque narrative structure, but forsaking action heroes for everyday – ergo much more relatable – characters, Possessor shadows Tasya Vos, a mother who’s desperately struggling to juggle family life with her complex job … as an elite, corporate assassin. If that wasn’t enough to deal with, she’s no ordinary assassin as she uses brain-implant technology to take control of other people’s bodies in order to execute high profile targets. As she sinks deeper into her latest assignment she finds herself waging an all-out war inside a mind that threatens to obliterate everything she stands for.
With the film releasing in select theatres and drive-ins today (October 2), we hopped on Zoom with Cronenberg and the film’s two leads, Andrea Riseborough (Mandy, The Grudge) and Christopher Abbott (Martha Marcy May Marlene, It Comes at Night) who revealed how this is a very personal project that came about during a period when the director was having trouble seeing himself in his own life and how certain aspects of the film will prove strangely prophetic to audiences…
Words: Howard Gorman