Monday, November 12, 2018

Coma Chameleon

As Buffy Summers, Sarah Michelle Gellar saved the world a lot. 

As Possession’s Jess, she gets to deal with her husband’s soul maybe being transferred to his no-good brother’s body. 

Or something.

Welcome to Possession.

Quick Plot: Jess is basically living what happens at the end of a Hallmark Christmas movie and the season changes to spring. She's an ambitious hard-working lawyer who comes home every day to the most obnoxiously romantic artist-husband of all time. Ryan (Final Destination 2’s Michael Landes) spends most of his time writing daily love letter to Jess and doing other normal husband activities, like carving stone busts of his beloved and snipping roses to leave in her pocketbook. Seriously, it’s EXHAUSTING.

Naturally, career-minded Jess doesn’t even realize it’s her one-year wedding anniversary (no worries: Ryan has baked a cake, lit their spacious wooded backyard with Christmas lights, and encased a miniature love letter in blown glass and put it on Jess’s dead mother’s silver chain). Perhaps she’s distracted by work and, more plot pointedly, Ryan’s little (but much taller) brother Roman, an ex-con with a violent streak taking unwanted residence in their home.

Ryan agrees to evict Roman, which sends the firebird out on a raging truck ride across the Golden Gate bridge. Ryan hops in his own car to track him down, only for—and this is the logic of this movie—the two of them to somehow crash into each other, putting themselves into matching comas in a double hospital room. 

I’m almost surprised the set designers didn’t work in bunk beds.

Because their blood mixed together on the pavement (or something; go with it) strange things happen. Roman awakens believing himself to be Ryan, right on down to detailed memories and a new hankering for writing perfectly calligraphic letters. Jess can only resist for so long, finally giving in to the idea of her sweet husband now living in the sweeter body of his formerly less sweet brother. Since said brother is played by Lee Pace, it’s not that far a leap of logic to make.

The terribly titled Possession is a remake of a South Korean film named Addiction. Made in 2007 and shelved due to its studio bankruptcy, it has a certain kind of bigger budget Lifetime thriller charm that makes it weirdly watchable, especially since it’s completely bonkers.

Much like the completely unrelated but pure Lifetime The Bad Seed, Possession suffers from not quite understanding just how ridiculous it is. Directors Joel Bergvall and Simon Sandquist handle the material with a modest level of heaviness, which means Possession never really lets loose with its premise. 

High Points
Maybe it’s just the turn of the seasons, but Possession is awfully pretty to look at. You’ve got a secluded forest-covered old house, Gellar modeling chic wool coats and Buffy-esque boots, and, well, Lee Pace’s face.

Low Points
The fact that there’s a 30 minute alternate ending (which actually shares the reveal, but lets its characters react completely differently) tells you that this is the kind of movie that never had a great read on what it wanted to do

Lessons Learned
When trying to understand why your husband’s brother has become your husband, there’s really no better source than a yahoo search engine

I think I say this any time he shows up on film, but my gosh: Lee Pace is a tall, tall man 

On the same note, you never realize just how short your wife is until you’re body swapped with Lee pace

I rented Possession from Netflix and have no regrets, but it’s certainly not a film you should invest any real energy in tracking down. 

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