Follow TV Tropes


Film / Possessor

Go To
Possessor is a Sci-Fi Horror film directed by Brandon Cronenberg.

The film follows an agent who works for a secretive organization that uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people's bodies - ultimately driving them to commit assassinations for high-paying clients. Things go wrong when her latest 'host' decides to fight back.

Possessor contains examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The movie has some Cyberpunk vibes and technology but is otherwise grounded in reality in an unspecified time period.
  • And I Must Scream: Heavily implied. In the opening scene, Holly is shown in tears before and after the assassination, even struggling to place the gun in her mouth, implying she’s putting up a fight form the inside. Later Colin confronts Vos directly in his own mind.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Girder succeeds in ridding Vos of her human attachments so that she can perform as a perfect assassin. Furthermore, though John Parse survives the assassination attempt, he's clearly unfit to run the company, so Reid (who tried to get his own father and sister killed so he could inherit everything) will likely still succeed.
  • Advertisement:
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Occurs between Vos and Colin as she tries to take over the latter's body.
  • Bed Trick: Vos has sex with Colin's girlfriend in his body.
  • Body Horror: As Eddie tries to get Vos to regain control over Colin, Colin hallucinates killing Vos and stealing her face, to the creepy effect seen on the poster image.
  • Crapsack World: In this alternate 2008, having your privacy being stolen via your webcam is such a commonplace occurrence that nobody seems that alarmed about it.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: John Parse is clearly not thrilled that his daughter is dating a common drug dealer, and it's implied that this isn't the first time she's brought home an unworthy suitor. Despite this, Ava truly seems to love Colin.
  • Death of a Child: Not only does Ira not survive the movie, his death is just as violent as everyone else’s.
  • Advertisement:
  • Downer Beginning: The film starts with Vos controlling a young hostess to assassinate a target and then commit Suicide by Cop.
  • Downer Ending: Vos kills her husband Michael before then shooting and killing their son Ira. In the de-briefing after Colin expires and Vos is pulled out of the machine, she's shown the pinned butterfly from the beginning. This time around, she doesn't mention that she felt guilty about killing the insect, indicating that she's lost any remaining empathy and compassion she still had.
  • Driven to Suicide: After killing someone, Vos has the host commit suicide, or at least attempts to make them do so.
  • Emotionless Girl: Vos is extremely out-of-touch with her personal life, which Girder views as a good thing, as it means she's close to becoming a perfect assassin. She has trouble relating to her family and has to practice what she'll say to them in the same way she practices taking over someone else's body.
  • Eye Scream: In the Facial Horror mentioned below, Vos manages to pluck Parse’s eyeball out while attempting to kill him.
  • Facial Horror: Vos horrifically disfigures John Parse's face with a fire poker when she tries to kill him.
  • Fan Disservice: All the sex in the movie is portrayed as such. Vos can't get over thoughts of violence when having sex with her husband, and the sight of frontal nudity involving Colin and Ava is undermined by the fact that Vos is possessing his body the whole time.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Parse survives the assassination attempt but must now live with a missing eye, a heavily mutilated face, severe brain damage, and a deceased daughter.
  • Gorn: There isn’t a single death in the movie that doesn’t result in horrific blood loss.
  • Grand Theft Me: What Vos does to Colin and her other hosts.
  • Karma Houdini: Girder succeeds in getting Vos to kill every single target, including her own family, without getting caught.
  • Kill 'Em All: By the end of the film, only Vos and Girder survive. Parse manages to survive the murder attempt, but he's left brain-damaged and in a wheelchair.
  • Last-Name Basis: Girder is only known by her surname.
  • The Mole: Eddie actually works for Vos's company and is a mole in Parse's.
  • Murder in the Family: The assassination against John and Ava Parse is set up by Ava's brother Reid, who wants to inherit the company instead of Ava.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Both Tasya and John have lost their children by the end of the film, although neither seems particularly fazed by their losses.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Vos serves as this for her hosts.
  • R-Rated Opening: In just the first ten minutes, Vos forces an innocent woman to brutally stab a man to death before getting shot to death by the police.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Many of Vos's kills reflect this with extremely gory results.
  • Too Dumb to Live: When Colin (under Vos' control) returns to confront Parse while he's drinking some scotch, Parse is completely unphased by Colin pulling out a loaded pistol and refusing to leave the mansion. Parse doesn't take this threat seriously at all (even though Colin had attempted to beat him up at the party earlier), so it's not surprising what follows when he mumbles at Colin to get lost before standing up to go to bed.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The official trailer reveals pretty much the entire plot, from the opening assassination to the failed attempt on Parse to Colin threatening Vos's family, leaving out only the smallest bits of context and the ending itself.
  • Villain Protagonist: Tasya Vos, an emotionless assassin, is the film's lead.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: