Amazon.com Mark (Sam Neill) comes home from months on the road to find his flighty wife, Anna (Isabelle Adjani in an almost bug-eyed performance), ready to divorce him. Distraught and angry, he tracks down her lover, but discovers a secret unknown to either of the men. Anna has given birth, literally, to a demon lover (created by monster maker Carlos Rimbaldi), and she'll murder anyone who dares to come between them. Full of anger, jealousy, emotional suffering, and vindictiveness, this bizarre, bleak horror film is a mix of Hollywood melodrama, European psychodrama, and the raw, blunt emotions of personal art cinema. Mark and Anna grow increasingly shrill and erratic as they sink deeper into madness and obsession, and finally doppelgängers, also played by Neill and Adjani, arise to take their place. Hints of Rosemary's Baby, The Omen, and the biological horrors of David Cronenberg float through the story. The
I'm an advocate lover of strange or weird films a general rule of thumb and I'm always looking for something a bit obscure so this one really is something special. Easily, I could rate Possession 5 stars as the performances here are outstanding if not a bit over the top considering the material they had to work with.
Isabelle Adjani is, quite simply, a fantastic actress & manages to pull off one of the most impressive or raw performances I've seen in some time which is very impressive. There are fleeting moments during Possession which rightfully deserve high praise & those are usually when Ms. Adjani graces the screen with her psychotic overtones or her unusually sensual charms. If you can get past the first twenty minutes or so of this film, probability suggests you'll be staying for the entire viewing whether you like the film or not. I suggest watching the film in it's entirety if for no other reason than Adjani's fierce performance.
Possession starts off rather sluggish as the viewer is constantly starving for a bit of gore or slime but instead we are offered a build-up of melodrama & suspense in the vein of early Polanski films. Even better yet, viewers are kept in the dark as to the how or why of everything going on around the dysfunctional marriage. To make things interesting, Adjani plays both the unfaithful wife & the lovingly gentle but sensual teacher of Neill's young son. If this doesn't throw you off, there is bound to be something later on in the film which will definitely mess with your head.
Before the forty minutes have elapsed, we find Adjani's character with her own apartment harboring some kind of slimy creature which she manages to protect at all costs. But why? Are we to believe that she created this creature out of her complete anger and contempt in this crazy marriage? Why is her character having intercourse with this tentacled beast in a scene which recalls something nasty right out of a classic Cronenberg film? Probability suggests you're guess may be as good as mine but Zulawski has fabricated quite a horror fable which is undeniably powerful even though he does not wish to provide us with any easy resolution. Nor does he care to give us characters with clear motivations which makes Possession a confusing watch indeed though it's definitely worth it for us weird film enthusiasts.
I can definitely respect the need to restore cult classics, horror films, and other lost treasures for DVD so I'll tip my hat off to Anchor Bay as this Director's Cut is triumphantly beautiful. You aren't going to understand everything this film puts on your plate but you'll have a squeamish great time nevertheless. Oh, lest I forget the amazing work of Carlo Rambaldi is ever present in the creature montagesso have at it! Cheers!