Isn’t it great when you watch a movie on a whim and it completely floors you?
I read about Possession somewhere on the internet a week or so ago. I can’t remember where, probably on someone’s “best horror movie” list or something, but I decided to take a chance on it because I generally like Sam Neill.
How I’d never heard about this movie is beyond me. It’s right up my alley. It’s the type of movie that’s really tough to categorize. There are definitely some horror elements, but at its heart, it really is more of a psychological thriller than anything else.
Sam Neill’s character is just discovering his wife has made a cuckold of him, and he’s trying to figure out whether or not he will be able to save the marriage. There is a child involved, and he is struggling what to do about custody and the fact that he still has feelings for her. Giving him even more to think about is that his wife’s behavior is becoming increasingly strange. The wife is played by Isabelle Adjani, who is a French actress I’ve never heard of, and she plays a woman who is becoming unhinged as well as it could possibly be played. I mean it’s really quite a performance. She actually outshines Sam Neill, who is fantastic in this movie, which was great because I watched the movie specifically for Neill.
I won’t spoil any more, but the plot takes a left turn about halfway through and it’s so bizarre and unsettling that any fan of horror should probably try to get a hold of this movie (there are ways, and they may or may not rhyme with abhorrent). There are scenes you’ll definitely want to watch again, scenes you’ll barely be able to look at, and a few characters that are so disturbingly unusual that you won’t know whether to laugh or be terrified. This one really snuck up on me and surprised me, and although I can’t say I understood the whole thing after just one viewing, I’m super glad I watched it.
If you liked Jacob’s Ladder or Don’t Look Now (and you should!), I really think you’ll enjoy Possession.
(of note: For some reason, whoever designed the several different versions of the cover art wanted people to think this movie was some sort of skinemax-type softcore porn movie. Don’t let that fool you. It’s definitely not.)