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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Gory sci-fi thriller ‘Possessor’ one of the best films of the year

Brandon+Cronenbergs+Possessor+was+released+on+Jan.+25.
Photo by Creative Commons

Brandon Cronenberg’s “Possessor” was released on Jan. 25.

Brandon Cronenberg’s new sci-fi gore thriller “Possessor” is magnificent. Released back in January at Sundance, the film is jam-packed with innovative visuals and eloquently conveyed themes, making the violent and occasionally horrifying film one of the best movies of 2020.
The film follows the story of Tasya Vos, an elite assassin played by Andrea Riseborogh who uses special technology to temporarily transport her consciousness into a host body that she then uses to assassinate her targets. When the ruthless killer starts to lose her edge due to the reappearance of her ex-husband and son in her life, she’s forced into a brutal battle for control within a host’s mind.
The concept of transporting one’s consciousness into someone else’s body isn’t unique, but the way it’s used in this film to bring out and develop certain aspects of the characters makes it feel that way. Like all good sci-fi, this film uses its concept not only to help build a world, but to examine its characters as well.
The second feature film from Brandon Cronenberg, son of legendary director David Cronenberg, “Possessor” continues David’s tradition of not shying away from gore. Appropriately gruesome and atmospheric, the film contains some brilliant and immersive cinematography. The film does get violent and doesn’t flinch away from brutality, but it’s not pointlessly vulgar. Everything that appears on screen serves to develop the characters, the world or the themes. The new director has mastered the visual language of film and found his voice within the bloody chaos intrinsic to this story.
Beyond the cinematography, the acting is similarly excellent, with great performances from stars Riseborogh and Christopher Abbott, as well as supporting cast members Jennifer Jason Leigh and Sean Bean.
The most impressive parts of “Possessor,” however, are its thematic messages and symbols. The film is full to the brim with fascinating statements and interesting commentary. Set in a world seemingly overrun by massive corporations and a casual disregard for human life, the story serves as a compelling illustration of the conflicting nature of family and corporate life. The technology in Cronenberg’s world seems to mutilate and disfigure humanity more than help it. Furthermore, Vos’ intricate character development throughout the film makes it clear that, while the act of being someone else allows her to perform atrocities without external consequences, it’s only when she feels out of control that she allows herself to do the thing she’s always wanted to do most. It’s a profound and horrifying message that the film conveys with such a punch. All the plot and character development builds up to that final message and moment so perfectly as to make this film a masterwork.
All things considered, “Possessor” is a phenomenal masterpiece. The film isn’t always easy to watch, but never gets too out of hand and never gets gruesome without reason. The editing is excellent, the visuals spectacular, the acting stellar and the concept feels somehow unique even despite its familiarity. But most impressive are the story, character development and themes. One of the best things to come out of 2020, “Possessor” is a film that should be seen by all.

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