Possession (1981)

Well, it’s day 28 of my little #31DaysOfHorror excursion, and I hope you guys have been enjoying yourselves so far. Please do feel free to comment with your favourite Halloween movies, and play along on Instagram with the tag #BarleyDoesHorror


So, this time around, we’re going back in time to the long ago year, before I was born, 1981. This is definitely a weird, and a slow, one so lets start with the plot shall we?

During a secretive business trip away, Mark learns that his wife Anna is growing restless in what he believed was their happy marriage. Upon his return home, he learns from her that she wants a divorce. As Mark and Anna’s encounters together reach more emotional and violent levels, Mark, with help of a private investigative firm, learns that Anna’s love life is not all that it appears.

So, I actually had to cut a bunch out of the IMDB plot, because it went on for goddamn ever and even what’s left is a whole lot of information. I wasn’t really expecting what I got from this movie, if I’m being honest. I had heard whispers about the plot, and it sounded pretty interesting, so when I finally hunted it down and saw the movie I saw… I was a little bit disappointed. First of all, it’s kind of hard to call this one a HORROR movie, and it’s an incredibly slow movie that takes the form of a bizarre love story more than anything else.


A big draw for me was the fact that this movie stars a young Sam Neill. Who doesn’t love this man? It also stars the beautiful Isabelle Adjani, and has a pretty strong supporting cast. The performances in this movie are certainly melodramatic but I don’t necessariy think that they’re bad. The tone is really bizarre and over the top, with characters who all seem to be equally as insane as each other, but only one of them is having sex with a tenatacle demon… so it’s sort of hard to know where to come down on this movie as far as the performances and the tone.

I’m sure some of you might have noticed that my last paragraph included the phrase “having sex with a tentacle demon”, and really didn’t spend much time on that, which is kind of how this movie goes. The focus is around Sam Neill’s character more than it is around Isabelle’s character, which seems like a hugely wasted and missed opportunity. I’m not sure if there’s subtext to that choice, but that’s not why we’re here.


Should you see this movie? I don’t really know, this one might be right up people’s alley in a huge way, but for me the movie really sat weird in my brain. The tone doesn’t make much sense, the plot is bizarre and goes in directions that don’t make a ton of logical sense. It also has some weird edits and missteps in the filmmaking, but those are pretty minor in the grand scheme. I can’t say for sure how I felt about it, it was definitely a strange experience, one that I probably won’t be repeating.

If you’re looking for a weird one, this is definitely on that wavelength. As I said, it’s not really a HORROR movie, but it’s definitely strange and a bit of at trip. While I can’t say I liked it, or that I would whole heartedly recommend it, it’s one that I can see the appeal of for others. Plus, if you want a young, handsome Sam Neill in your life, this is your movie.



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