Possession is now available to stream, decades after it was originally banned in the UK (Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)

A disturbing horror film starring Sam Neill, which caused waves of panic in the 80s, is now available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Released in 1981, Possession, directed by Andrzej Żuławski, quickly gained notoriety for terrifying viewers to the point of extreme reactions, ranging from audiences running out of the theater to crying.

It's so disturbing that it ended up banned in the UK and heavily edited in the US, meaning very few people have seen the original version.

Now, modern viewers have the opportunity to stream the film – if they dare.

Starring Neill and Jurassic Park's Isabelle Adjani as a troubled couple, Possession follows the unraveling of their relationship after Neill's character returns from a top-secret mission to find his wife seeking a divorce without explanation.

A harrowing journey into each partner's psyche ensues, culminating in a shocking revelation of Adjani's character's true obsession.

Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in 1981, Possession faced backlash due to its graphic content.

But the film is considered by many to be a horror masterpiece – Adjani was awarded best actress at Cannes and the film was nominated for the prestigious Palme d'Or award, despite the controversy.

An infamous sequence from the film shows Adjani walking through a tunnel (we won't reveal much more than that) and a BBC film critic at the time called it 'the most bizarrely mesmerizing sequence in modern cinema'.

Despite positive reviews, the film was considered a 'video nasty' in the UK and faced strong opposition from the press and religious groups, resulting in an outright ban. Only heavily censored versions were allowed in the US, with significant portions of the film removed.

The film is a moving and disturbing look at a crumbling marriage (Photo: Ella Millward)

The ban only intensified interest in certain circles, with many die-hard horror fans going to great lengths to find uncut copies of the film.

After years of banning, the 118-minute director's cut was finally approved by the British Board of Film Classification in 1999 and is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

However, viewers are being warned about the film's intense and disturbing content by those who have seen it, even as the film's fans celebrate its availability.

Isabelle Adjani won the best actress award at Cannes for her performance in Possession (Photo: Everett/REX/Shutterstock)

Neill delved into the film's production process in his memoir Did I Ever Tell You This?

The actor wrote that director Andrzej Żuławski was a “handsome, charismatic and wild filmmaker” who would be condemned by modern standards.

Isabelle Adjani inaugurated

Many of the images in the film were considered too graphic for audiences in the 1980s (Photo: Metrograph Pictures)

'I didn't like him very much; what he saw as guidance was often just outright intimidation. But he had vision, he was a true filmmaker. And they are rare,” Neill wrote.

'Żuławski asked more of you than you could give. There were times when he screamed, screamed [co-star Isabelle Adjani] right in her face. It was distressing to see this.

Despite the problematic filming process, Neill is proud of the famous film.

It was difficult to work with director Andrzej Zulawski, according to Sam Neill (Photo: Getty Images)

He explained: 'This is by no means a universal view. Few people have seen it and, of those who have seen it, it is true that many hate it. I myself consider it a masterpiece, albeit a masterpiece with many flaws. I am not alone in this view.

In light of its controversial story and the intense reactions it provokes from viewers, Possession remains a polarizing and frightening piece of cinema that will soon reach a whole new generation.

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