Philip (Sean Harris), a withdrawn neurotic, returns to his cheerless boyhood home – a partially burned-out house in East Anglia – lugging a duffel bag containing Possum, an especially grotesque puppet . Possum, written and directed by Matthew Holness, might take place entirely in Philip’s mind, which would explain not only the hideous puppet’s ability to regenerate after being destroyed but the way time seems to have frozen in the 1970s of Philip’s initial trauma – the fire in which he wishes Maurice rather than his parents died. Harris, currently high profile as a recurring villain in the last couple of Mission: Impossible films, is one of British cinema’s most reliable character actors – Ian Curtis in 24 Hour Party People and the title role in Christopher Smith’s Creep, Ian Brady in See No Evil: The Moors Murders and the whispering drug dealer in Harry Brown – and has the presence of a Mervyn Peake sketch. If there’s a problem with the film it’s that it’s locked in its own cyclical story – we’re with someone who can’t escape from a personal trap, and get a series of repetitions that eventually take the edge off the horror. It’s probably scarier and excerpt – or the trailer – than it is when watched in full.
Here’s the FrightFest listing.
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