Brandon Cronenberg’s mind-jellying Possessor has gotten a first trailer

Christopher Abbott and Andrea Riseborough star in the psycho-horror film.


Charles Bramesco


As we have all been reexamining the frailty of our meaty human bodies in light of the recent global pandemic, day-to-day life has taken on a rather Cronenbergian tinge. That need not refer to David, mind you, at least not for long; his son Brandon has made a name for himself as a filmmaker in his own right, charting out a new frontier of psychologically thorny body horror unlike any other.

The trailer for Possessor surfaced online today, teasing viewers with a vision of grotesquerie and psychedelia probing the deepest recesses of the mind. Or at least, that’s a fair guess — the clip doesn’t give away much in the way of a premise or plot, preferring instead to rapid-fire disturbing images of distended flesh, futuristic machinery, entwined bodies, what-have-you.

By revisiting our own Hannah Woodhead’s coverage from Sundance earlier this year, we may learn that Andrea Riseborough stars as an assassin working for a shadowy agency that uses ghoulish machinery to transplant one person’s consciousness into an unwitting mark’s body for use in carrying out the hit. Having taken over the physical form of Christopher Abbott (recently of Piercing and Vox Lux), she’s to murder his family and be on her way, but he won’t be possessed so easily.

How that fills a feature length will be anyone’s guess, but what’s certain is that the interior conflict between these two characters will have to dive into vivid abstraction. The trailer flashes lurid colors suggesting an outré approach to the genre — the bloody red as Riseborough stretches a mask over her face, the icy blue of a private chamber as two figures lock in coital embrace, the yellow of a antiseptic-looking stairwell.

US distributor NEON has yet to set a date of release, though this does seem like the sort of title that would get a gangbusters reception if rolled out to captive audiences online during quarantine. Cooped up alone in a dark house, gradually losing your grip on sanity, feeling your body slip into its inevitable state of decay and base dysfunction — what better conditions could there be for a movie like this?

Published 16 Jul 2020

Tags: Andrea Riseborough Brandon Cronenberg Christopher Abbott

Suggested For You

The psychosexual pleasures of David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers

By Adam Scovell

The director’s tale of twin gynecologists is a gory study of the relationship between the physical and mental self.

A new series tells the story of the greatest horror movies never made

By John Wadsworth

Doomed projects like David Cronenberg’s Frankenstein are discussed in Untold Horror.

The self-taught filmmaking family shaking up the horror genre

By Justine Smith

Along with their daughters, co-directors John Adams and Toby Poser are winning fans with their alternative, homespun approach.

Little White Lies Logo

About Little White Lies

Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, we’ve been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.