David Cronenberg has during his long career given us such heartwarming movies as The Fly, The Brood, Scanners, The Dead Zone, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, Crash, A History of Violence, Eastern Promise, eXistenZ and The Nest. Well, no more Mr. Nice Guy.
The 80-year-old director’s latest effort demonstrates that his ability to meld horror with sci-fi/noir remains undimmed. It’s set in a not-too-distant future, where humans are adapting to the synthetic environment they’ve created with new anatomical transformations and mutations. Like a child whose (inheritable) digestive system can process this world’s most abundant resource: plastic garbage.
The compelling, hypnotic story revolves around a celebrity performance artist (Viggo Mortensen) whose forte is growing new organs in his body and then having their removal filmed by his partner (Lea Seydoux) for a somehow sensual video blog. Kristin Stewart in a supporting role energizes every scene she’s in. Not recommended for dinner viewing, even for fans of Cronenberg’s quirks, fetishes and obsessions. Warning: it may haunt you. Stalk you. Give you nightmares. (107 min)