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Movie Review: Possum (2018)

Phillip (Sean Harris), a disgraced puppeteer (are there any other kinds really…), returns to his childhood home, or to be more precise; his isolated, dilapidated former home set among the bleak and barren Norfolk landscape. Once there he reflects on his troubled childhood  and deals with his last surviving relative; a real son of a bitch named Maurice (Alun Armstrong). As the days progress, Phillip continuously attempts to rid himself of the spider-like puppet, the eponymous ‘Possum’, he lugs around in a large handbag…only to have the beast reappear. Just what did Phillip due to be ostracized, and just what connection does he have to the recent disappearance of a local schoolboy?

Though by no means exactly this; the best way I can describe Possum is to imagine Robin Hardy directing Basket Case for Amicus (with Pete Walker consulting). This is one grim, dreary, surreal, and absolutely compelling watch, as Harris; as our perpetually frowning, chain smoking, and quite possibly completely psychotic protagonist wanders the cold countryside and nearly empty village forever trying to rid himself of the physical manifestation of his guilt, anger, and depression. And, speaking of said “manifestation”…Possum is the stuff of pure nightmares, as the creature is partially a spider…but it’s more than that (although how I’ll let you discover for yourself), and the mythology of the creature, revealed through a book Phillip penned in his youth, is a perfect slice of pitch black faerie story (Bababdook eat you heart out)! Add to that a completely off-putting (and magnificent) performance from legendary actor Armstrong (who notably played the thief king Torquil in one of my fav flicks Krull), and the element of abused children and you have one hell of a disquieting fright flick on your hands boils n’ ghouls!

I guess if there is a negative to be had with Possum is that it’s slow burn (which I know some of you cats don’t dig on…no matter how much your’s cruelly does), and it alternates between drama, psychological thriller, and full on nightmare fuel…which I feel gives it it’s wonderful uniqueness, but if you don’t dig on cold reality mixed with fever dream surreal insanity, then you may look elsewhere for your jollies.

Bottom line; Possum is just the kind of fucked up, bizarre as balls, and oh-so disturbing experience I crave from my horror biz…and i promise you this: you have never seen it’s like before, nor will you again I’d wager!

 

 

 

 

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