A somewhat hidden gem, and an unsettlingly memorable horror film of the 80s, Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession will soon be available to fans of the bizarre film once again. In 2014, Mondovision restored the film to 2k and released a deluxe DVD box set containing the film’s uncut and uncensored version. Now, Metrograph Pictures will be restoring the film to 4k and releasing the title first at Fantastic Fest in Austin and New York’s Metrograph on October 1, with a nationwide theatrical release following on October 15. The 4k version will also be available to stream on Metrograph’s site on October 1.
This marks a major step up in availability for the film, which has never been posted on any legal streaming sites for accessible viewing. It was banned upon its 1981 release for its shock-inducing imagery and themes, and was not considered a success in the US after a butchered version was released that left out key story elements establishing the troubled relationship between the two main characters.
The story, as it was intended by Żuławski, is set during the Cold War and follows husband and wife Mark (Sam Neill) and Anna (Isabelle Adjani) as they struggle to raise their son amidst a marriage that is spiraling out of control. Anna herself is spiraling in a different sense as well, as she exhibits disturbing and violent behavior and disappears for hours on end. Mark becomes consumed with his search to discover the root of her behavioral changes, and discovers a much more sinister and mind-boggling answer than he could ever have anticipated. As described by Metrograph, the film is made complete with “its pulsating score, visceral imagery, and some of the most haunting performances ever captured on screen,” concluding that “Possession is cinematic delirium at its most intoxicating.”
Adjani won Best Actress at Cannes when the film was released, and her performance in this title continues to transfix and horrify viewers. The actress herself claimed to struggle with PTSD after the film’s production, and if you’ve seen the film’s infamous subway scene, you can surely understand why.
The trailer for this rerelease can be seen below, and keep an eye on Metrograph Pictures to see this new restoration just in time for Halloween this coming October.