We’ve all had that crazy uncle, you know the one that tells bad jokes when he is drunk, gives you noogies, gives you a nickel by pretending to pull one from behind your ear, the one that verbally and psychologically abuses you and spanks your bare…what?! Yes that one.
The atmosphere of this visual white noise is cold, wet, dark and dreary, it seeps into your bones and settles there for a very long time. I am really weary of watching modern horror movies, I am fucking sick of re makes, cheap jump scares, too clean of a picture, overuse of CGI etc., you know, fucking shit like “Annabelle” and “Insidious”. I want more in my horror movies, “Possum” delivers a knock out punch. Its pretty much a two man show between actors Sean Harris and character actor Alun Armstrong (who you’ve seen in almost everything). Sean plays Philip who is puppeteer that got fired from a kid’s show and he lives with his uncle (Alun) and has lived with him for years after his parents died. The acting from both is superb, from Sean the hurt and constant confusion in his eyes and from Alun a bully who mainly uses psychology and verbal attacks that inflict more abuse than anything physical.
They are both puppeteers and puppet makers, Philip has a spider puppet with a human head he calls “Possum” that goes missing for periods of time and comes back, Philip tries getting rid of it, dumping it in the forest, burning it etc. It keeps coming back, meanwhile, a local boy who got off the same train as Philip goes missing and the community suspects Philip. His uncle needles him about it and rubs it in accusing him of the disappearance of the boy.
Written and directed by Matthew Holness the guy who wrote, directed and acted in the great “Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place” TV show, the movie is based on one of his short stories. This movie is more of a psychological horror movie. The puppets are reflections of puppeteers and their psyches, there is other characters in the movie but their really minor to the two main characters. Holness has said his inspirations for the film were old British Public Information films, George Romero’s “Martin” and German expressionist films, all those influences can be seen in this thing. The dark and dreary atmosphere is also its own character in the movie, the house they live in is dirty but it isn’t cluttered, books and papers sit neatly in stacks which, for some reason unnerved me even more, it was as if the uncle was trying to mask his insanity behind the clutter being orderly but you could still see it was clutter, the uncle presented himself as sane but he was anything but. I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it.
So where does one play “Possum”? Well, for one if you have amazon prime you can watch it there, there is also other “Pirates in the ocean” that can help you if you get my drift. I’d say reward the creator by buying his movie. This movie shows there is still a lot of good horror movies out there, you just have to know where to look. Wanna play “Possum”?