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  • Writer's pictureriawoodburn


Updated: May 31, 2020

Few films are brave enough to construct a complete overtake of a theme like Possum (2018). Right from the beginning, never-ending you feel uncomfortable. The darkness is brooding, and the intensity stays with you for the whole journey, right to the bitter end. The lead Philip (Sean Harris) is at odds with himself and seems to be falling down a never ending well of despair. His trauma flickers between a battered bleak house to vast grim landscape scenes. The possum itself is strikingly creepy, an allegory for the abuse Philip has suffered. The film plays like a loop inside his head, his surroundings and thoughts disturbed while he struggles to make sense of it all. The story is reminiscent of a Steven King nightmare, strongly emotive and relentless. Possum (2018) although an abstract vision is true to life, sometimes bad things happen, very bad things that are completely out of our control. Although Philip eventually inflicts his own justice, Possum (2018) reminds us how trauma can shatter before it heals, if it ever heals at all.

Matthew Holness vision as the writer and director is crystal clear and I wonder whether a film of this caliber could have been only envisaged by a creative who is committed to every piece of the production. Although on the completely opposite end of the spectrum, the cinematography had comparisons of Wes Anderson’s portrayal of The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). But where Anderson uses colour Holness uses dark to give birth to Possum, a wonderful mutated massacre.

(Photography: BFI Film Fund/ Evandine Productions/ thefyzz)

Possum, 2018 (film), directed by Matthew HOLNESS. UK: BFI Film Fund


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