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Stars: Christopher Abbott, Andrea Riseborough, Tuppence Middleton, Rossif Sutherland, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sean Bean, Rachael Crawford

Director: Brandon Cronenberg

Mind-bending fantasy-chiller-bloodbath with (beware) lots of flashing images, somewhat pretentious but up-market special effects and gushing gore galore. No murder is committed without a wild plethora of blood-spattering blows, stabs, shots, whatever. Lizzie Borden would have been proud. The director is the son of cult helmer David Cronenberg and, like his dad, he seems determined to prove that nothing succeeds like excess, throwing in a copious supply of soft-porn nudity for good measure, mostly courtesy UK co-star Middleton.

Sometime in the near future, Tasya Vos (Riseborough) is a corporate agent who uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people's bodies, driving them to commit assassinations for the benefit of the company. Her experiences on these assignments have caused a dramatic change in her; as her mental strain intensifies, she begins to lose control, finding herself trapped in the mind of Middleton's boyfriend (Abbott) whose identity threatens to obliterate her own.

I quote mainly from the company synopsis for the above paragraph, simply because for much of the time I had only the most distant relationship with what was going on in the plot and who was doing what to whom. As Tasya half-wakes from a strenuous session and spouts out gouts of blood, her mentor (Leigh) gasps 'She was unable to maintain control over the host well!' Yep, it's that kinda movie.

David Quinlan

Canada/UK 2019. UK Distributor: Signature. Technicolor.
104 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 1, Swearing 1.

Review date: 25 Nov 2020