Review: Possessor is extremely brutal and one of 2020's best films

A particularly dark sci-fi horror about to be released in New Zealand cinemas is perhaps the most interesting film of the year.

Possessor is the latest from Brandon Cronenberg, son of David Cronenberg, the Canadian body horror master behind classics like The Fly, Videodrome and Scanners

It's a boundary-pushing, singular film that I hope is the start of big things for Brandon. While he definitely has his own unique style, you can clearly see some of his father's filmmaking DNA in the movie.

There are certainly body horror elements in this tale about a company which injects something into a victim's head that allows its assassins to pilot or "possess" that victim, controlling all they do and say, until they're close enough to the real target to carry out the hit.

The target is killed, the possessed person is killed and the high-paying clients are happy.

But what would this do to the mind of the possessor, and what does that say about humanity's relationship with technology?

There are other themes in Possessor around revenge and corporate greed, but that reliable old sci-fi trope about the dangers of advanced technology is mined heavily with brilliant results.

This film is not for the faint-hearted. It has multiple scenes that contain full-on, ghastly violence. But those punctuate an otherwise slow-moving film that is more about creating a mood and atmosphere than telling a complicated story.

It's a style of sci-fi I really dig - much more showing than telling, sucking you in with a hypnotic combination of score, set design, colour grading and so on. But while that might be wondrous in other sci-fi movies, here it's disturbing and intentionally keeps you feeling a bit off-kilter.

Definitely not one to recommend for everyone, but if you get on the wavelength of Possessor you're in for a hell of a time.

It's excellent, extremely brutal and one of the year's best films.