POSSUM

Cert 15 83mins Stars 3

This disturbing psychological British drama from debutant director and writer, Matthew Holness, who’s crafted a powerful portrait of shame, guilt, anger and torment which refuses to offer comfort or shelter to the audience.

Bafta-winning Sean Harris oozes self-hate as Philip, a gaunt and socially inadequate puppeteer who returns to his dilapidated childhood home in Norfolk to confront his dark past.

Still in residence is Alun Armstrong, playing an aged relative who mocks Philip with memories of a calamitous fire which damaged the property sometime ago.

The titular possum is a grotesque puppet consisting of a human head with the legs of a spider which Philip keeps in a battered leather holdall, and repeatedly tries to destroy.

A wonderfully bleak and eerie soundscape of electronic noise is provided by the Radiophonic Workshop, best known for their work on BBC TV soundtracks, such as Dr. Who.

It’s not a film I enjoyed but it succeeds on it’s own deeply unsettling terms.

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