Possession is not an easy film to watch. I mean that in multiple ways, since I’m not sure if it’s been on a streaming service before and well its just a movie you need to ponder on. It has been a movie that’s been on my radar since I first learned about it six or seven years ago. It was just added to Shudder, as I’m writing this on January 5, 2023. When I first learned that it was going to be added to that service, I knew that I would watch Possession as soon as I could.
Andrzej Żuławski and Frederic Tuten wrote a hell of a movie. I wasn’t sure where the story was going at any point during my journey through the movie. That’s on top of the direction from Żuławski himself. I was surprised at how much this movie had in common visually with the remake of Suspiria. It being set in Germany before the Berlin Wall came down is probably the reason that the two movies share a common visual style, its almost as if they have more in common than the two Suspiria movies. The Lovecraftian aspects of the story come and go likes waves that leave you feeling as off kilter as the characters in the movie.
Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill make the movie as powerful as it is, even now. Adjani’s performance is something to behold. What she goes through in throughout the movie is on a different level and something that can’t be given proper description through words, because there are performances that defy words and have to be seen. Neill’s performance plays off of Adjani’s perfectly. All of the performances lead to the movie being what it is.
Carlo Rambaldi did an amazing job with the creature. If it hadn’t been for the opening credits I wouldn’t have known to be on the lookout for said creature. The different phases of the creature are impressive. The previously mentioned visual style makes sense with the set and costume designers doing amazing work. The music by Andrzej Korzyński sets the tone as soon as the movie starts. The score does a lot of work to keep the audience on edge.
Possession is a movie that will keep you on your toes throughout its entirety. There’s so much that I haven’t said just in case you’re reading this and haven’t seen it yet. It also feels like a movie that came out thirty to forty years too early. It feels like it would be right at home in the current climate of cinema, even though it would be derided as elevated horror. I first learned about it because of the Trailers from Hell YouTube channel. Possession was just added to Shudder, and I don’t know how long it will be staying on the service, so I recommend watching it as soon as you can. I give Possession 9 electric cleavers out of 10.