Possession (Import, All Regions)
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Mark (Sam Neill) comes home from months on the road to find his flighty wife, Anna (Isabelle Adjani), 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, 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.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is not an easy movie to see or to understand -- and I suppose it neither was easy to write or film. The characters are severely neurotic and seem to thrive on their bizarre behaviour (in more ways than one) yet they are somehow all too human. Like the movie ultimately suggests (once you get to see the secret trick the movie plays on the two leads), this story may be like looking into a mirror, though dark and distorted.
Meet Mark (Sam Neill), an overworked man with a mysterious job that takes him "to far away places". Meet his lovely wife, Anna (an overwhelmingly beautiful Isabelle Adjani), a sexually frustrated housewife and former ballet instructor who has much more than meets the eye going on for her.
Between quarrels and reconciliations, these two share a nice apartment in a quiet and well-to-do district of Berlin and have a five year old son, Bob, but they also share a horror that no one could have suspected, and that will make all their fantasies and nightmares come true.
After being brutally butchered by Vestron Video for its original release, "Possession" has been restored to its original lenght and sequence, therefore becoming coherent for the viewers who used to find it mind-numbingly strange.
I think of it as a very unique piece of craftmanship, part Ingmar Bergman drama, part Polanski suspense thriller, part Dario Argento gore, part Kubrick satire, part Buñuel surrealism and still somehow, very much its own.
The camera angles, the direction, the strange whims and seizures that seem to take over the characters (including one memorable and disturbing scene on a subway station with Adjani pulling all the stops not ontly to her acting abilities but to her physical strength too) are part of a very strange style Zulawski has to tell his story.
If you are accustomed to standard horror fare, then probably you will dismiss this movie as pretentious eurotrash (something it has been labeled off as countless times) but if you're game and follow the sequences and let your imagination be ensnared this will be a convulsive ride to the depths of emotion where you won't emerge as the same person.
And quite possibly, that's what all horror movies are really about at heart.
As a footnote: Isabelle Adjani won a very deserved Gold Palm at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival for her dual role in this film that, no matter how much you loved it or hated it, is still unforgettable.
The quality of the DVD in picture and sound is also of note.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've had this on the uncut DVD version since that came out years ago. Upon first viewing I was stunned, so odd... yet captivating.Read more