“Owner” takes place in a world where it is possible to transfer your consciousness into someone else’s body and take over that person – if you will, you “own” them. This is achieved through medical implants in the head, and the possessed person usually did not consent. That this is from writer and director Brandon Cronenberg, son of body horror master David Cronenberg, gives us an idea of where things are going.
Our heroine Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough) works for a shady organization that carries out assassinations this way: let the killer own someone, kill the target and commit suicide (after which the owner will return to her own body safe and sound in the laboratory ). Tasya is the best in the business, but it’s getting harder and harder for her to live than other people, even briefly, without her thoughts entering hers.
At the present work she lives in the body of Christopher Abbott and thus fulfills a long-cherished dream of mine. His name is Colin and the target is the father of his fiancee (Sean Bean). Vos plans to spend a few days in Colin to find unpredictable behavior so that his murder-suicide of his future father-in-law makes sense. In the meantime, Colin gains control of the intruder inside his head.
Abbott is really impressive, especially in the later parts of the movie when he’s struggling between two identities. Riseborough has less screen time, but her initial presence is so strong that we can imagine she still is if it’s Abbott (which also pays homage to Abbott’s skill). The premise of the film isn’t exactly unique, but Cronenberg’s sterile, calculated style and some ingenious variations make it compelling, if completely nihilistic.
And graphics? Hoo boy yeah Free of charge. When Tasya Vos enters a body and kills it, she really goes to town. She usually has a gun, but she’d rather stab you a thousand times. She loves her job and Cronenberg loves to show her how she loves her job. It’s like they say, if you love your job, you never work a day in your life.