Possum – UK, 2018

Possum is a 2018 British horror feature film written and directed by Matthew Holness. The movie stars Sean Harris (Deliver Us from Evil; Prometheus; Isolation) and Alun Armstrong (Penny Dreadful; Van Helsing; The Mummy Returns).

The film’s soundtrack score is by The Radiophonic Workshop (Doctor Who).

Plot:

Together with Possum, a hideous hand-puppet, disgraced puppeteer Philip (Sean Harris) returns to his childhood home.

Staying with his cruel stepfather, Maurice (Alun Armstrong), Philip soon discovers that ridding himself of Possum is no easy task. When his attempts to destroy the demonic puppet fail, Philip suspects Maurice of manipulating Possum to cause him further distress.

As their relationship deteriorates, repressed memories of a traumatic childhood start to resurface. When a local child goes missing and the police suspect him of the crimes, Philip is forced to confront the nightmares of his past and discovers that the real demon lurks much closer to home…

Possum will be released on DVD in the USA by Dark Sky Films on February 12, 2019. It is already available on VOD. A UK release, on Blu-ray and DVD by Spirit Entertainment is due on 4th March 2019.

Reviews:

“Inspired by his Holness’ research into the uncanny, it’s a bleak and desolate horror which contains flashes of Cronenberg and traces of macabre early silent films […] At times it’s not an easy watch but Possum is an experience you won’t forget in a while, full of disturbing symbolism and featuring a striking central performance.” Backseat Mafia

“Short on dialogue and action, with long, semi-static sequences on featureless Norfolk beaches, this challenging feature is the unholy offspring of David Lynch and MR James […] If you enjoy movies that no-one else you know likes, this could be for you.” British Horror Revival

” …one can only see Sean Harris glumly grimacing like the sides of his mouth are about to fall from his face so many times before a “get on with it” desire ignites. Cyclical scenes of vague visions and dour demeanors really wear down engagement as the creepy character study trudges onward.” Culture Crypt

“Much praise should go to Harris’s central performance – a deeply uneasy turn that perfectly captures how childhood traumas can scar someone’s life […]  Possum is a unique cinematic experience. This disturbing piece of film unsettles to the core thanks to its chilling imagery, fractured performances and emotionally wrought tension.” Culture Fix

“The script is incredibly well written (also by Matthew Holness) and both Sean Harris (Phillip) and Alun Armstrong (Maurice) are incredible in their roles […] Possum reminds me a bit of The Babadook in the way it uses fantastical creatures to masquerade as totems of psychological trauma.” Film Threat

” …by the film’s close, I wasn’t sure whether I believed that most of the characters I’d watched were really present, so surreal and abstruse is the film as a whole. Overall, I feel that whatever else the film chooses to do or not to do, it badly needs a punchline. Not a neat tying-together of all loose ends, but something to avoid that final sense that little has taken place.” Warped Perspective

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