'Crimes of the Future' Trailer: David Cronenberg Returns to Squelchy Body Horror

Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen and Lea Seydoux face the icky future of human evolution at Cannes 2022.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

David Cronenberg is getting weird again in the gloopy, unsettling trailer for his new film Crimes of the Future. Premiering at Cannes, the unnerving flick stars Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen and Lea Seydoux in a return to the Existenz director's body horror roots.

"As the human species adapts to a synthetic environment," explains the Crimes of the Future's synopsis, "the body undergoes new transformations and mutations." Mortensen plays a celebrity artist who publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances. He and Seydoux are the targets of obsessive investigator played by Stewart, and they face a mysterious group planning to reveal the next phase of human evolution. Which will presumably be extremely strange and definitely very squelchy, judging by the trailer (watch with caution).

Cronenberg describes Crimes of the Future as an "evolution of things I have done before. Fans will see key references to other scenes and moments from my other films. That's a continuity of my understanding of technology as connected to the human body... At this critical junction in human history, one wonders -- can the human body evolve to solve problems we have created? Can the human body evolve a process to digest plastics and artificial materials not only as part of a solution to the climate crisis, but also, to grow, thrive, and survive?" 

Crimes of the Future reuses the title of Cronenberg's first feature, but it isn't a remake of the 1970 film (although Cronenberg wrote the script in the late 1990s and dusted it off to tackle today's concerns). It sees a return to the icky, sticky body horror that marked Cronenberg as a genre icon with flicks like Shivers, Rabid, Videodrome, The Fly and Existenz. More recently he made less weird films like A History of Violence, Eastern Promises and his most recent, Maps to the Stars in 2014.

Crimes of the Future will be released in June after premiering at the Cannes film festival 2022, which begins May 17. Other films in the festival include Top Gun: Maverick, Baz Luhrmann's Elvis biopic and new films from Claire Denis, Kelly Reichardt and George Miller (as well as possibly David Lynch).

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