Brandon Cronenberg’s intense and disturbing sci-fi thriller Possessor gets a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release from Turbine Media Group. Living up to the family namesake, the film isn’t easy to watch and is more than a little distressing but an amazing show nonetheless. Now Turbine Media Group is releasing a terrific new 4K ultra HD Blu-ray Mediabook complete with new HDR grading including Dolby Vision with Atmos and Auro3D audio. If you didn’t pick up the disc from 2020, don’t let this one pass you by. Highly Recommended
[Excerpt From Our 2020 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review]
"When the spawn or a relative of a particularly famous filmmaker takes a leap into the profession, it's nearly impossible to discuss one without mentioning the other. This is the precarious position we now face with discussing Brandon Cronenberg as a filmmaker without mentioning his iconic father and body-horror auteur David. With his second film - I particularly enjoyed Antiviral - Brandon once again takes up the mantle of body-horror science fiction only without the comedic sharp satyrical edge. Possessor is not a funny movie. It's actually a damn scary film and not just from the content but the world it projects.
At first, it's difficult to even lump this movie into the science fiction category. There's very little in this world presented in Possessor that is outwardly science fiction. Aside from the technology that Tasya uses as an assassin to take control of people - the only other indication of futurism is Colin's job - and it's not even that far off of current times. Throughout the film, there is an unnerving voyeuristic quality. Tasya watches and observes her future hosts mimicking their mannerisms before going under. But then when she's inside Colin, she discovers his job is to slip on a pair of VR glasses, log into a VR workstation and then tap into smart devices in peoples' homes and watch logging market research about the types of blinds and window coverings they have in their homes. Someone is always watching - and it's damn creepy."
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Possessor arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in a two-disc 4K UHD + Blu-ray set with deluxe Mediabook packaging. A SteelBook release was also available - and that’s what we used to work up this review - but since release, it has already gone out of print. The 4K presentation is pressed on a BD-100 disc with the 1080p version opting for a Region Free BD-50 disc. Both discs load to similar-looking animated main menus with traditional navigation options. The same set of bonus features is found on each disc.
I previously reviewed this film on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from WellGo USA. I felt the image was immaculate and gave it a very high review - and I still believe that disc is worth the accolades available. However, if you haven’t picked that disc up yet I strongly suggest you take a look into grabbing Turbine’s release. Working from a new HDR10 base grade, the new Dolby Vision transfer adds more nuance and intricacies to the image for an even more impressive transfer.
One of the first things that quite literally popped out at me was the sense of depth to the image. The WellGo USA disc was strong in this area, but the added bitrate of his disc gives the closeups of faces a much more true-to-life appearance. Which in many scenes is quite distressing albeit in a good way! The film was shot digitally and finished on a 4K Digital Intermediate. So apples to oranges, I didn’t notice much of a difference in overall details - but the WellGo USA disc and this new release from Turbine offer up impeccable details in facial features, clothing, and production design. However, where I give this transfer the edge is what you get to see.
With the new HDR grading and Dolby Vision, I felt like black levels were much more refined. The image already looked great on the old disc, but this transfer finds ways to bring more life out of the deep dark shadows that hide small details of the film. When Tasya is going under, you can see more background activity of various technicians milling about. Light sources offer more gradience and separation revealing more detail in faces and uniforms without losing the deep dark inky shading. I also felt primaries are better handled this round. Comparatively Primaries in the previous HDR10 only disc felt rather thick. This film lives in deep solid reds and yellows. Now like the shadows and black levels there's more nuance in the shades of yellows and reds that dominate the image.
Not to leave anything behind, Turbine also gives this film one hell of a Dolby Atmos audio track with near-constant wall-to-wall sound. There’s also an Auro3D track but I’m not rigged for that so I can’t tell you how that rolls. Also the same excellent DTS-HD MA 5.1 track is included here too so you’ve got some options depending on your setup.
With that, if you’re ready to roll Atmos, do it! The height channels are well utilized - especially in busy scenes. The opening assassination is quite effective with the sounds of screams and gunshots echoing around the channels from the sides and rears and moving through the fronts and into the height channels. Likewise a later violent sequence inside a spacious mansion elicits the same sort of pin-point sonic activity through the soundscape. Squishy fleshy sound effects are particularly gnarly and get the extra attention they deserve. LFE is also a beast this time around. The low dissonant score from Jim Willaims gets a lot more attention and puts quite the rumble in the subs.
Levels are spot on and never a problem. You don’t need to raise your volume for any compensation issues, but I do recommend playing this as loud as you can, it’s such a chilling creepy sounding mix it really adds to the tension of the film. Again, imaging is excellent as there is always something happening - even in the quietest scenes - to keep the channels active and engaged. Dialog is clean and clear throughout without issue.
The German language tracks are default, so before playing be sure to visit the main menu to select which track you want to roll.
As distressing and disturbing as it was to watch in 2020, Possessor gets another worthy chance to shine on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray in 2022. I love this sort of deeply disturbing nihilistic science fiction film that isn’t all shock treatment but actually offers up a number of not-so-subtle jabs at modern society’s relationship with technology. Like his father, Bandon Cronenberg masterfully delivers a chilling piece of science fiction that etches itself into your brain and won’t go away easily. Just be prepared for some intensely disturbing imagery!
Possessor takes over a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release thanks to Turbine Media Group. Featuring a new Dolby Vision (and new HDR10 grade), the film looks even better highlighting the meticulous and often shocking imagery. On top of that, the new Atmos track is incredible and Auro3D is available if you’re hooked up and ready for that format. For those who already bought the WellGo USA disc, it might be a tough sell to go after this new release, but if you have yet to add this to your collection, this is one hell of a great disc offering you the best overall A/V presentation of the film I've seen so far. Highly Recommended.