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Possessor (18)

Writer-director Brandon Cronenberg’s hallucinogenic sci-fi thriller gives new meaning to the concept of a hostile takeover, starring Andrea Riseborough as a corporate assassin who takes control of other people’s bodies using brain-implant technology.

The Canadian film-maker shares some of the gore-slathered fascinations of his father, body horror trailblazer David Cronenberg, with wince-inducing close-ups of needles and various sharp objects puncturing human flesh.

Blood cascades freely over expertly lit frames, which possess a woozy, nightmarish quality thanks to cinematographer Karim Hussain’s visual stylings.

While the script is infuriatingly ambiguous in its intentions, the performances of Riseborough and Christopher Abbott as her unsuspecting target are consistently discomfiting since we are never entirely sure who is in control of his actions as the plot spirals sickeningly out of control.

You’ll need a very strong stomach when Cronenberg serves just desserts.

Rating: Three stars

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