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Possessor - Brandon Cronenberg

  • 09-11-2020 10:36am
    Registered Users Posts: 4,029 ✭✭✭


    I thought Brandon's first movie, Anti-viral, was interesting but a little flat. This is much better, a truly brutal and dread inducing nasty ride through a disturbing world.

    Highly recommended. Best viewed knowing as little about it as possible.

    Also, would highly recommend finding the 'real' copy of the movie. The version on Amazon unfortunately isn't the original and some of the nudity and the worst of the violence is removed.

    It's still very violent, but most of the missing graphic scenes are actually contextually important, it's not really like something like Hostel or Saw where it wouldn't really make any difference on your perception of the film or the story.

    There are maybe three scenes in particular are quite important to the plot that are missing, the rest of the cuts don't really matter.

    I was incredibly disappointed to have seen the edited version first without realising this.... and then the superior original, which is obviously how the director intended for it to be seen.

    I can understood to a degree the nudity being removed as what's altered is some very explicit material - albeit mostly serves a purpose - but I thought we were past the days of censoring violence.

    The difference is quite noticeable and without going into spoiler territory the original is far more effective to the narrative.

    For those that have seen the movie, the altered scenes I noticed most, and listed in order of importance IMO, are:

    Original: Tarya Vos is shown to be explicitly sadistic and cruel when torturing Sean Bean, deliberately breaking his teeth and gouging out an eye, and drawing satisfaction and/or pleasure from same.
    Amazon: The teeth and eye scene are removed entirely, completely lacks that gruesome edge completely compounding that Vos is becoming increasingly sadistic and taking more and more pleasure from inflicting pain and suffering, when she was once an efficient and professional killer. Vital plot point IMO.

    Original: When having sex with Ava, Vos is shown to have breasts and a penis, signifying the identity struggle, difficulty in controlling the host and the constant surge between host/parasite.
    Amazon: This scene is removed, despite it being important to the plot and very effectively representing ongoing struggle for full control of the host

    Original: When Colin is on "carpet and curtain" duty, the scene where he's looking at the people having sex on webcam features explicit content, such as an erect penis and a woman with her legs completely spread to camera.
    Amazon: This is mostly removed, scene still has nudity and strangely they left in part of the explicit legs spread shot. Possibly the point of so explicitly showing male genitalia was to invoke the subsequent identity crisis/struggle with the host that Vos experiences, so like the removed sex scene above, important in my opinion.

    Original: When Vos shoots Ira, there are graphic impact shots, last one being a gruesome headshot with accompanying disturbing audio.
    Amazon: Removed completely, we only see Vos shooting, and then the body falling down. No grisly impact shots/audio.

    Original: When hacking Michael to death, Vos is shown to brutally and graphically rain down cleaver strikes to his torso.
    Amazon: The graphic element of this is removed, we see the strikes but explicit gaping cleaver wounds aren't shown and some anguished cries removed. The hand slice scene and wilting fingers remains the same however. Overall while the original is more effective and disturbing, this doesn't change much.

    Original: When Holly is killed in the police shootout, the camera stays on her face where several streams of blood spurt from a bullet wound as she lays dying.
    Amazon: The scene still exists but is much shorter and is only 1 second instead of 3.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,029 ✭✭✭Homelander

    For anyone interested, the title of the original is Possessor Uncut, to distinguish from the US r-rated version. Unfortunately the latter was the only legal way I had of watching at the time, without realising it was censored.

    I am not sure where it's available legally here. It's coming to UK market end of this month, iTunes has the uncensored version but not sure if available outside the US.

    Still disgusted I watched the censored version first but pre-ordered the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and will watch it again when I get that.

    I've watched it twice now (censored version, then uncensored) and after letting it all sink in I'm starting to think it is the finest movie of the year, truly haunting, unique and leaves a lasting impression, as all good film should.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,243 ✭✭✭p to the e

    Haunting is definitely a good word for this. Those industrial synth sounds really make me think of "Mandy". He's certainly a chip off the old block of his father for the realistic violence and making the viewer uncomfortable.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,266 ✭✭✭flasher0030

    Watched about 15 mins of it. Lots of gore. I'm not really put off by that.
    But is the film actually good. Or Is it an arty type film. I'm looking to watch something tonight that's kinda fulfilling. ie. bit of a story with decent conclusion.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,029 ✭✭✭Homelander

    I've seen a library of movies I've considered art-house and many are borderline unwatchable (not always mutually exclusive having said that) but Possessor is genuinely a conventional movie with a coherent narrative and a solid ending.

    Honestly after the first 15 minutes I would have thought that was obvious. I don't mean that in a condescending way at all, but I found the first 15 minutes standard sci-fi thriller fare with a splash of hyper-violence.

    Don't know if you've seen Mandy, that's a film I utterly hated to the core. Possessor in contrast is probably my top film of 2020.

  • Registered Users Posts: 538 ✭✭✭dubstepper

    Homelander wrote: »
    I've seen a library of movies I've considered art-house and many are borderline unwatchable (not always mutually exclusive having said that) but Possessor is genuinely a conventional movie with a coherent narrative and a solid ending.

    I really enjoy it. As above, I think the first hour is a more traditional scifi movie, the second hour enters more into the horror psychological domain. In some senses I think it could have benefited from being a bit tighter for the latter part. I watched the uncut version and it is not too shocking.
    Homelander wrote: »
    Don't know if you've seen Mandy, that's a film I utterly hated to the core. Possessor in contrast is probably my top film of 2020.

    I liked Mandy, but they are quite far apart. Possesser is definitely more coherent. The story in Mandy is the old revenge trope, told through a bad acid trip. It is quite slow and self indulgent at times, but good fun.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,871 ✭✭✭El Gato De Negocios

    Loved it. Downloaded the uncut version a number of weeks back and it blew me away, immediately preordered the 4k uncut from wowhd. The release of it is weird. The standard blu is the cut version however the 4k is uncut and that comes with a blu of the uncut version. :confused: Anyway, can't wait to check it out again, film of the year for me though tbf, I've not seen many new movies this year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,827 ✭✭✭cdgalwegian

    Not a fan of horror, so was hoping this was a psychological horror with a sci-fi slant; turns it was, but it didn't do much for me. Despite some pretty gorish scenes, it was quite a stylish film, and the acting and directing was very good. It felt like it was supposed to be contemplative about the effects of the lead's head-messing, but it was kinda hard to plump for her, given her choice of job. This, added to the flat tone, made it feel, well, flat.