Possession (1981)

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Avg Rating: 4.4 / 5. Voted: 106

No one cared thus far. Do you?

AKA: The Night the Screaming Stopped
Directed by: Andrzej Zulawski
Starring: Isabelle Adjani (Anna/Helen), Sam Neill (Mark), Heinz Bennent (Heinrich), Margit Carstensen (Margit), Johanna Hofer (Heinrich’s mother)
Country: Germany
Language: English, (English Subtitles)
Runtime: 02:03:36
Genres: Bizarre, Body Modification, Self-Harm, Gruesome, Infidelity, Revenge, Family, Violence against Women

Plot – Spoilers:
Mark has just returned from either a mission, or meeting a mysterious being. Anyway, his wife Anna wants to leave him – there’s another weird man in her life apart from a strange creature she’s got hidden away. All the characters are well nutty, as is the plotline. Towards the end, one of the men who hired Mark shows off his pink socks, which the being Mark initially met with, supposedly wore. Not sure this little nugget of a clue helps understand the film any better. Anna also wears the same dress throughout, except during a ballet class. Is she or Mark totally mental, and the whole thing an extended fantasy for one of them. Not sure I cared enough to know.

Possession will probably appeal to you if you enjoy watching a movie that periodically makes you shake your head and mumble, FUCK IS GOING ON. Or if you just enjoy watching the beautiful Isabelle Adjani. There are some fascinating closeups of her, especially while being assaulted by Sam Neill. There’s also an impressive looking beast fucking her, if that’s of passing interest to you.

28 thoughts on “Possession (1981)

  • July 2, 2020 at 9:11 pm
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    FUCK YESSSS! Greatest horror film of all time!

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    • April 24, 2021 at 2:33 am
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      you can’t be serious, right?

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  • July 5, 2020 at 11:33 pm
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    The subway scene in this film is required viewing for all horror fans, on the same level as the shower scene in Pyscho.

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    • July 6, 2020 at 12:53 am
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      Lmfao. No. Hitchcock is rolling in his grave from a comment like that

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      • July 11, 2020 at 11:25 pm
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        Well there’s that. Hmmmm best description I can give is War of the Roses mixed with the mind fuckery of Clockwork Orange. About all I can say on this one

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  • July 6, 2020 at 1:26 am
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    Thanks admins! Top marks for all the new films as of late:)

    Zero marks for this film itself tho:/
    A dream like film that had the feel of a film made by a director who was tripping balls and trying (poorly) to imitate other arthouse dramas (for example those of the great Bergman, Tarkovsky, etc) that was hampered by and failed MISERABLY due to it’s completely ludicrous, absurd, bipolar acting. The subway scene had me laughing it was that bad. Asinine. Literally anybody could’ve done acting like hers in the subway. Cringeworthy is putting it mildly.

    Nobody in this film acted like normal people in the least, except for the little kid. And while I realize/understand this was the directors attempt at relating his feelings of ‘exile’ due to censorship, as well as apparently him drawing inspiration from Tolstoy’s epic Anna Karenina (whatever tf that means, I couldn’t see it) etc, EVERYTHING about the characters, and therefore the movie, r completely unrelatable to me, as well as due to the over the top acting. I feel like anyone else who’s had any kind of formal acting training/experience would prbly agree as well

    A pity, because it could’ve been a great film otherwise. Literally some of the worst acting I’ve EVER seen amongst the thousands of films I’ve viewed. What could’ve easily been a 7 or 8 in my book, poof, gone. I’ll give it a 3/10, for it’s unique plot at least. Creature was badass btw. Will prbly never watch again.

    I fully realize I’m in the minority w giving this a 3, just my honest opinion.

    I will view this directors other work, Diabel, tonight, and see if maybe Possession was just a fluke for him/me, so to speak. Thanks

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  • July 6, 2020 at 2:53 am
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    it isn’t a horror film at all. it’s a mediocre satire with effed up themes.

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  • July 16, 2020 at 4:36 pm
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    One of my Top 10. Not everyone gets it and it was intended that way. For those who dig the film it’s a masterpiece examination of the evolving and devolving relationships between Men & Women. For anyone who’s never tripped on that it’s hysterical satire. To each their own. Great upload either way.

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    • July 26, 2020 at 9:37 pm
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      C’mon, please don’t use the stereotypical failed artist excuse of ‘not everyone gets it’ because that’s a pretty big generalization on ur part. Its also asinine to think that we didn’t ‘dig’ it because we never had a failing relationship, lmfao. The movie would’ve been damn good if the acting wasn’t so ludicrous was the big thing, imo. I will agree with u tho on to each their own;)

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      • July 28, 2020 at 12:38 am
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        It’s not a failed artist excuse. It’s a descriptive statement you prove in your comments themselves. Some people didn’t react to the acting the way you did. Sure, you laughed at the subway scene, but there’s no need to get defensive about the fact that other people didn’t. Or about the fact that other people found something disturbing or gut-wrenching in Possession. They got something out of it. But, you didn’t. The acting didn’t connect with you so you call it ludicrous. Other people have equally informed and tasteful opinions that say this movie is, in fact, damn good. Maybe open up to the possibility that this film has a huge reputation and it’s NOT because everyone who likes it is a complete dumbass. 😉

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        • July 28, 2020 at 4:14 am
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          It honestly seems like ur the one getting defensive. The commenter generalized and basically said the reasons *he* thought we didn’t like it, and his reasons weren’t at all why I didn’t like it, and since it was only me and one other commenter thus far who didn’t like it, it was obv directed at us.

          I’m completely open and receptive to others thoughts and ideas as well, I just don’t like people speaking for me, telling me why I didn’t like it/get it, when I had originally stated plainly in my initial thoughts why I didn’t like it, and I understand the film, and relationships, as well. Call it clarifying a point to him I wanted to make;) Never implied ppl that liked it were a dumbass either. It’s not a big deal to me bc like I *originally* said, I do realize I’m in the minority with this. I did view the directors other film, Diabel, shortly after viewing this film, and found that one to be epic, imo, so this was just a miss for me was all, imo. It’s obvious the director has great skill, with this film as well as with his other. Still trying to find his film On the Silver Globe to watch, as I’m very interested in seeing this directors other works, so for better or worse, at least this film left an impression w me, as I basically viewed his other film bc of this one, even tho I didn’t like Possession. That’s more than I can say for other directors works. Wasn’t trying to come off as a dick, maybe just snide, lol, oops. Thanks

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          • August 31, 2020 at 3:40 pm
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            Hey there! If you still haven’t found On The Silver Globe, check it out on this link:

            http://exmilitai.re/film.html

            I have yet to watch Possession yet, and have it downloaded. I’m happy that I can view it on here as the quality is better here. On The Silver Globe has a lot crammed into it, and I enjoyed watching it. It is lengthy, but truly one of a kind in how it mixes genres. I owe it another viewing, as one of the main characters in the second part started to become a little annoying at how he was almost constantly shouting his lines. So many great films out there to enjoy!

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  • October 13, 2020 at 10:19 am
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    the acting isn’t mediocre, it is iconic. if you think otherwise, then why are you here. Anna’s actor was pure brilliance.

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  • October 16, 2020 at 6:13 pm
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    @Tim Hartmann

    Thanks a TON for the link to On the Silver Globe? I kept hitting paywalls requiring membership on various rare film and European/Russian sites when I was initially trying to find it, n I’m not going to pay some site thats violating copyright to begin with, lol.

    Sry it took me a while to see ur link, I didn’t check the comments here for this film in a while due to not caring since I was ostracized for hating Possession;) Watched On the Silver Globe this morning and found it very unique and overall enjoyable. I thought it was brave how the director released it incomplete yet filled in the gaps w narration as well. And I definitely agree in regards to the ott acting from the second ‘savior’ astronaut, and the initial ‘mother’ astronaut as well. Reminds me of another film…? Thanks again tho, definitely was worth the watch due to it being very unique, to say the least. The few other films they have posted there I have all seen, check em out if u haven’t bc they’re all powerhouses in regards to film. Peace;)

    ADMINS: THANKS for not editing out his link too, I know how u generally dislike them and do that w posted links, but am thankful u let that one slide. Much appreciated!!

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  • October 25, 2020 at 11:47 am
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    Definitely my favourite film, glad to see its aa popular as ever. DIABEL is pretty great too if POSSESSION was to your taste. Really love the selection on here, so many of my favourites: INLAND EMPIRE, ARREBATO, IN A GLASS CAGE, GUMMO, TETSUO…etc.

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  • February 27, 2021 at 2:35 am
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    On You Tube they have this at 2hrs 20. Are we missing something?

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    • February 27, 2021 at 3:26 am
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      The one there seems to be a version with commentary rather than the actual movie track. Also seems slowed up.

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  • April 24, 2021 at 2:38 am
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    can’t tell whether the acting was over the top (especially the subway scene) or just right for this film.. Fascinating film nonetheless!

    Edit: Adjani won the Best Actress Award for her performance at the 34th Cannes Film Festival, so apparently they liked her acting performance…

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  • May 11, 2021 at 12:54 am
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    I came to watch this for the monster sex scene (my only complaint is that scene wasn’t long enough) only to get to the end and realize it’s like the British version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. At least that’s my take on it.

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    • July 5, 2021 at 7:52 pm
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      yeah but the monster sex scene was hot tho

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  • May 11, 2021 at 8:45 pm
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    u all fucking gay mmh ??? mmh???

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  • July 5, 2021 at 9:16 pm
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    Adjani is demented and gorgeous – whats not to like?

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  • September 18, 2021 at 7:26 pm
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    Don’t waste two hours of your time watching this.

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  • September 18, 2021 at 8:15 pm
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    This is ome of the weirdest movies and horror kovies i’ve seen and of the very few horror movies to actually have scared me
    It is the kind of movie i didnt get anything about and in the meantime i was shocked by it and loved it as well
    Same happened for eraserhead and maybe even tersuo tho they werent horrifying
    Isabelle adjani’s performance is marvelous

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  • September 26, 2021 at 8:32 am
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    Well that was kinda goofy. I watched it because of the much commented on monster sex scene, and the date movie was made. Monster sex did not disappoint.

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