Mark (Sam Neill) comes home from being away for a while to find his wife Anna (Isabelle Adjani) is sick of their lives, most importantly their so called love life.He then learns that she has been sleeping with someone behind his back, a man named Heinrich. But that's not the only man she's having relations with, oh no no.
But something else completely, something not of this world. A creature with tentacles....
And that's all I'm going to say about the plot as 'Possession', despite its flaws, sucks you in through the rabbit hole, into the spiders web and outside of the other side of the world.
I really want to ruin it for you, it was such a powerful ending, I need to talk about it, but I won't.
I think it was probably the weirdest film I have ever seen, yeah, stranger than Cronenberg and Lynch together.
But in reality it was quite a straight forward watch, more than likely on a second watch I'll see it as a normal movie.
It's that first watch that gets you though.
Firstly, I really don't know what to make of Neill and Adjani. This is the first time I've seen Adjani in a film, but with Neill I've always found him ridiculously underrated. And at his best when playing a mental case. (See the Carpenter classic 'In The Mouth of Madness').
But in this, the main actors pulled a Nic Cage. In other words, it was either the greatest acting I have ever seen or the very worst. I just can't decide which. And for a while that's how I felt about the movie.
The first 40 minutes, nothing really happens, somehow it manages to slide easily across the time however and then hits the mark of strange.
The next hour and 20 minutes is the most interesting part and when the actors really put in their all.
Due to the whole nature, convoluted story and dialogue we get a movie you feel extremely uncomfortable to watch, while at the same time mesmerized by the beauty on screen.
Adjani or her character seems to love breaking the 4th wall and directly talking to us, but not as if we are part of the audience, but part of her. It's the moments she stares down the camera that creates a true sense of unease and creepiness.
She stares, not only down the camera, but deep into your soul.
And that moment when she stares deep and we cut to a flash back, that's the moment that fascinated me.
The dialogue is a constant throwback to great literature, it works in written from but when spoken just sounds as if being used for the sake of it or to add something 'deep'.
But each scene behind each piece of dialogue adds to atmosphere, and that flashback scene has to be the strangest, creepiest, worst, best, beautiful, and mad scene to exist, ever.
But I think a high percentage may be due to the feeling you get from watching.
I'll find out soon enough hopefully as there's a special feature all about said matter.
So for the movie itself, I have to give an
Let us now move on to the extras. (There's a good few).....
I've now reviewed a few of Second Sight's Blu-Rays and DVD's and I have to say, they've really set a new bar in this one.
It's a film from 1981 but is so clear and crisp it looks like it could have been released in the last couple of years.
Both visual and audio are spot on.
So, the SPECIAL FEATURES:
- ''The Other Side Of The Wall. - The Making of 'Possession' (51 mins).
A pretty straight forward but really interesting documentary about the making of 'Possession', how it originally began as a horror film and how it became much more. How it connects to the real life of the Director Andrzej Zulawski and how it connects with other movies involving such beings as the Devil and all things evil. The whole design of the ''monster'' And of course much more.
- ''Andrzej Zulawski Interview" (35 mins).
Title says it all, it's an interview with director Andrzej Zulawski, all in subtitles as he speaks in his own language.
Some of the things he brings up is in the Making of feature, however he also brings in other stories from his point of view.
- ''REPOSSESSED'' (12 mins).
All about the reception of the film in both the UK and US, things like how it was cut by 40 minutes, re-edited and re-scored is mentioned at the start. It then essentially shows us alternate scenes.
Including alternate openings, one of which is quite creepy, the score adds something strange. It then shows us scenes on how the dialogue had been edited to sound as if meaning something other than what was intended. The US really changed the movie, technically making it more a horror. A standard horror with demonic voices etc, but more horror nonetheless, it would have really detracted from the true feel of the film though. They really wanted it to change from what it originally was, I kind of wish there was both versions of the film as I think the other version even though very different would have actually put things more into the land of sense. (which doesn't actually make sense, you'll understand when you watch the film)
- ''A Divided City'' (7 mins)
A showcase of the places used in 'Possession'.
Interesting, but all it is, is photographs spliced with film scenes.
They could have done more by talking about each setting.
- "The Sounds Of 'Possession''' (19 mins)
An Interview with Andrzej Korynski, it tells how he created the sounds for the film and that he and Zulawski have worked on 7 feature films. He speaks of their friendship and how he got on to scoring 'Possession'.
- ''Our Friend In The West'' (6 mins).
An interview with French producer Christian Ferry in which he speaks of other films he has produced and how he came to help Zulawski create his film. Unfortunately Ferry passed in 2011 and this Interview with him is dedicated to his memory.
- ''BASHA'' (Just under 6 mins)
A featurette on the woman who created the famed poster of 'Possession' and goes through some of her other work and her personal life. (artwork featured below)
I will have to watch these at a later date though as I think watching the film so soon after the first watch, even with commentary will take away the experience I had of the film.
And right now, I'm not happy to make the film into just another drama/horror movie.
With the lengthy features, they really don't miss a beat and are all extremely interesting. The fact they have added audio commentaries makes me happy too as I think it's always better to do so.
The only thing I wish they kept was a full version of the US re-cut film. I don't know why as it's obvious they were intent on destroying the story, but it would have been a nice extra.
So in all, for this Blu-Ray release:
A hefty 9.5/10
Second Sight seem to just be getting better and better with each new release.