BARE BONES: POSSESSOR (2020)

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POSSESSOR (2020)

Intriguing plot has Tasya Vos (Mandy’s Andrea Riseborough) working as an assassin for an organization that uses implants placed in people’s heads to possess them, and thus have them unwittingly carry out assassinations. Tasya is tasked with taking out corporation head John Parse (Sean Bean) and his daughter Ava (Tuppence Middleton) by possessing the body of Ava’s boyfriend Colin (Christopher Abbott). Things go awry, when Colin’s will becomes stronger than Tasya anticipated and now the two minds fight for control of Colin’s body and Tasya finds herself trapped inside his head.

Flick is written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg and is not only an interesting idea, but shows that the son of the legendary David Cronenberg has certainly paid good attention to his father’s works. The visual style evokes some of the more artsy sci-fi flicks of the 70s and 80s and as with his famous dad’s horror themed films, the flick can get quite gruesome. In the negative, the movie is very slow paced and somber, making it’s 104 minutes seem even longer and for this type of story, the film can get a bit too gruesome for it’s own good. Some of the gore seems like giddy overkill. The cast is good, as are the performances, and the battle of wills between Tasya and Colin is intriguingly portrayed. While the film doesn’t quite fire on all cylinders, it does show Brandon Cronenberg as a filmmaker with his own vision and ideas, and that he has the potential to make his own mark outside from under his legendary father’s shadow. Possessor also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh as Tasya’s boss Girder and Hellions star Rossif Sutherland as Michael, Tasya’s estranged husband.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating

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BARE BONES: DISAPPEARANCE AT CLIFTON HILL (2019)

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 DISAPPEARANCE AT CLIFTON HILL (2019)

Canadian mystery opens with a family outing at a lake where little Abby (Mikayla Radan) thinks she’s witnessed a kidnapping. Twenty-five years later, an adult Abby (Tuppence Middleton) returns to Niagara Falls to receive her inheritance, after the death of her mother. Still haunted by what she saw, she begins to investigate. Abby finds a young boy (Colin McLeod) did disappear around that time, though the case was strangely determined a suicide, even without a body. Now Abby teams with a local conspiracy theorist (David Cronenberg) and starts digging into the town’s past to find out the truth…and there are some that may not like the past being disturbed.

Offbeat, indie mystery is well directed by Albert Shin from his script with James Schultz. It’s not your run-of-the-mill mystery, as Abby has her own issues and there are reasons her sister (Hannah Gross from Joker), or the police, aren’t in a hurry to believe her. There is a web of intrigue, she is slowly unraveling, that involves a local businessman (Eric Johnson), a shady couple (Elizabeth Saunders and Maxwell McCabe-Lokos) and the boy’s own parents, The Moulins (Marie-Josée Croze and Paulino Nunes), who are famous area magicians. Just when we…and Abby…think we have all the answers, Shin pulls the rug out from under us and changes our entire perception of the whos, whats, and whys. Like the Moulin’s act, nothing is as it appears. It’s methodically paced and moody, but the performances are very good, especially from lead Tuppence Middleton and David Cronenberg, who is usually behind the camera. The characters are refreshingly eclectic. Not perfect, but engaging and keeps you involved in Abby’s investigation. Available on streaming outlets such as Amazon Prime and Vudu.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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