An enormous number of symbols--sexual, religious, and political--collide randomly in this pretentious, incoherent horror story.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
The result may prove to be too much for even cult horror nuts. This complete 121-minute "director's cut" is tough to follow, so you can see why home viewers were mystified by the early '80s Vestron tape that cut nearly 40 minutes out of the movie and scrambled the order of scenes. [2 June 2000, p.10E]
There are plenty of movies which seem to have been made by madmen. Possession may be the only film in existence which is itself mad: unpredictable, horrific, its moments of terrifying lucidity only serving to highlight the staggering derangement at its core. Extreme but essential viewing.
It's a movie that contains a certain amount of unseemly gore and makes no sense whatsoever.
The genius of Zulawski is that he's dispensed with all the buildup and explanation and logic. How many horror-movie explanations make any sense? He just made an entire movie out of the scary parts, the way a different genius concocted only the muffin top and some pop music producers give you 10 minutes of beats and chorus. Possession climaxes for two whole hours. It's as if, with "The Shining," Stanley Kubrick found 25 variations on "here's Johnny" and "red rum." [17 Nov 2012, p.G5]