Independent movies are considered some of the most beautiful of creative works, referred to as art from time to time, even. But we all know that most times, it’s a huge bag of “WTH, man!” Right? Am I right?
Sunday, I watched Possum, a film both written and directed by Matthew Holmes. I was left wondering what my true thoughts were; I couldn't figure out if I'd liked it or not! I had to sit and think for a long while, because the visuals provided could be slightly confusing, concerning time and emotion. I will do my best to share this amazing, yet shocking film.
Possum is a movie that has nothing to with actual possums. It's an action, a descriptor for what takes place. Philip is a puppeteer; he's a failed puppeteer. He's returned home, but I do not believe it's to try and make his troubling world any better. He returns home, to his stepfather and remaining family member, and a profusely disturbing relationship.
The stepfather is constantly abusing Philip, and Philip takes it all with a face that's both childish and disconcerting. He morphs from hurt to sickened in continuous flashes that leave you confused, with a mind working over-time to comprehend. It's not until you receive particular memories, that the truth slowly seeps through. You wonder what it is Philip is looking for, and what's behind his mother's bedroom door. So can Philip regain any form of normalcy, living with his stepfather, in that house? And will he get back on his feet, in such a small town, where he's been targeted for a heinous act? And what is in that leather satchel he never leaves behind?!
The story is hard to follow. At first. I muddled through my confusion, doing my best to both understand what Philip was enduring, as well as what the movie was trying to tell me. I walked away, liking it, but not ever wanting to see it again. Crazy, right? The movie has a deep message, but how it's brought about is what keeps you slightly off kilter. It may also be why so many loved it.
Possum's soundtrack helps you hold to the psychological thrills. From what I understand of the creator, writer and directer of Possum, he loves horror, but not your regular, average, everyday horror stuff. He wants to delve deep into the disturbed with music that has your skin crawling, and imagery (there's that word again) that leaves your brow furrowed and your nails chewed to the quick.
And the creature! I don't think it was used as a form of anthropomorphism or anything like that- it's more expressionism, but it makes the movie more horrific because you come to know what it stands for. And when you do, you realize how ugly and horrific it is for Philip. I can't say too much, because it really is something you have to see in order to understand. If you do watch it, you'll probably be cursing me out, trying to see why I bragged about it- but give it a chance. You'll come full circle and be confusingly pleased? LOL
Cheers! I'm off to the next read.
Written & Directed by Matthew Holmes
Produced by BFI Film Fund
Starred Sean Harris, Alun Armstrong, Simon Bubb and Andy Blythe
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