top of page

Possession (1981)


Spoiler Alert!

.

It’s going to take a while to fully understand how I feel about Possession (1981)... and I may never understand the movie itself. On the surface, a woman leaves her husband, harboring a tentacled creature in her new apartment that forces her to murder anyone who comes to visit. Meanwhile, her husband has a mental breakdown dealing with her infidelity. Maybe?

.

The IMDb synopsis, if not the way the narrative is presented, hints at something more cerebral: “A woman starts exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking her husband for a divorce.” I’m no psychologist, although I majored in Psychology, but the creature might be considered the physical manifestation of the wife’s guilt, destroying her (and others) from the inside out.

.

From the moment Mark (Sam Neill) returns from a “business trip,” climbing out of a taxi with more suitcases than he can easily carry, and Anna (Isabelle Adjani) meets him on the street, we know that she’s become confused about their marriage and hasn’t decided what to do about it. Through the course of the film, his response escalates from merely confused, to physically violent.

.

Literally or figuratively, it’s horrific stuff. What will linger with me is one scene in which Anna, alone while exiting a subway station, begins thrashing uncontrollably as if she’s a marionette whose puppeteer is having an epileptic seizure. I don’t know how Adjani did it. She then collapses on the ground with blood and white goo leaking from every hole in her body.

.

Only at this very moment reading more about Possession (because I wanted to first provide my brief, uninfluenced thoughts about it), I can see that I’m diving deep into a rabbit hole. The material immediate evokes David Lynch and the meaning in his films. From what books are on the shelf, to the physical location of Anna’s apartment, I will now begin enjoying not just the movie, but also theories and speculation about it.


10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page