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Possum DVD Review


“Possum” is an atmospheric but tiresome horror film.

Based on a short story by Matthew Holness, “Possum” revolves around a quiet loner (Philip) who returns to the rundown home he grew up in after his puppeteering career goes south. While at home (which is occupied by his wretched uncle Morris), Philip tries to get rid of his ghastly spider puppet known as Possum, but can’t seem to let it go. Philip’s life continues to spiral downward as he struggles with past trauma and loses touch with reality. He may or may not also be linked to a missing teen boy case.

As a huge fan of “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace,” I was curious to see writer/director Matthew Holness create a straight up horror film. Alas, Holness struggles in making a feature film. The problem with “Possum” stems from the fact that the story of the film is based on a short story. The movie itself feels like a short film that has been needlessly expanded to a feature length motion picture. As a result, much of the slow-burn horror film tests your patience as Philip wanders around with the brown bag housing the ghost puppet for far too many scenes. It doesn’t help that the minimalistic “Possum” is pretty much a 2 character story with Philip and Morris giving it a stagy feel.

The script itself also doesn’t have enough to sustain the runtime. Had Holness explored the themes in more depth instead of being a bit too subtle in dealing with them, the movie might have stood on its own more. Instead, Holness relies on surrealistic “what’s real and what’s not” imagery to pad the runtime.

Where Holness does shine, however, is as a director. Say what you will about this non-traditional psychological horror film, but it certainly looks visually stunning. Holness and cinematographer Kit Fraser have certainly created an artfully made movie that is positively oozing with atmosphere.

As I mentioned above, this is largely a 2 actor movie. Luckily, both actors do well with the roles they are given. Sean Harris (best known as the villain of the last 2 Mission: Impossible films) brings a real depth to Philip while Alun Armstrong relishes being a vile character in Morris.


Presentation: 1.85:1. How does it look? The transfer does the stand-out cinematography justice.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? The 5.1 track handles everything from the score to the dialogue exceedingly well.

* Dark Sky Films trailers and a trailer for “Possum.”

* Interviews with James Harris, Alun Armstrong, Sean Harris and Matthew Holness together and Matthew Holness on his own.
* A Behind The Scenes etxtra which contains a collection of set footage.

February 10, 2019 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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