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Crimes of the Future (2022) Movie Review

I Write These Movie Reviews Locked in the Trunk of Your Car. Thanks for the Snacks!!

It's only gross if you look at it.

It's only gross if you look at it.

Table of the Future.

Running Time107 minutes

MPAA Rating

R

Director

David Cronenberg

Writer

David Cronenberg

In his first feature film after 8 years, master of horror David Cronenberg (Shivers, Scanners, The Brood, probably other horror movies that start with ‘S’) is back with the horror sci fi futuristic drama Crimes of the Future.

If you’ve read anything about the Crimes of the Future premiere at last May’s Cannes film festival, people reportedly walked out of it because there were images that were too disturbing and graphic and some of the Cannes Film Festival goers are a bunch of whiny p*ssies.

It costs about $23,000 per average person (as in not a part of the festival) to attend the Cannes Film Festival. You get to see as many movies as you can, get your head rubbed by Paul Rudd and Jake Gyllenhaal, free wine and cheese at all hours of the day, hang out with cool French celebrities like that guy from that movie about Napoleon, Gerard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve. Try not be a Ron Weaselly and stay through the entire movie. It’s from the guy that made those monster kids from The Brood and the word’s most f*cked up Canadian STD in the original Rabid. You had to expect that…

Fair warning then: You will not like Crimes of the Future if you’re a little b*tch.

For those of you that do want to see it, there are some other reasons for you not to like it.

Synopsis of the Future.

Crimes of the Future opens sometime in the not-too-distant future.

The atmosphere is jacked up. Gas is $12 a gallon. Our bodies are adjusting to a synthetic environment.

The movie opens on a little boy. His mother tells him to get in the house as it’s not safe to stay outdoors too long or hang out with Catholic Priests. He’s in his room. He eats the entire rim of his plastic garbage can. Then his mother smothers him with a pillow until he dies.

It’s always nice to begin a movie with a fun opening scene to let the audience know they will have a good time.

The mother calls the father (Scott Speedman, who is actually pretty fast but not furious) and tells him that she killed their son.

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We segue from that kooky business to our main characters. They are the performance artists Caprice (Lea Seydoux- No Time to Die, The French Dispatch) and Saul (Viggo Mortenson- Green Book). They don’t have fun stage names other than Caprice and Saul.

What do they do? Caprice used to be a surgeon. She uses her skill to help her partner. Saul. You see the human body is trying to adapt to its new synthetic surroundings, and as a result has developed new organs not seen by previous generations.

What a weird phone.

What a weird phone.

Like the Larm which is a cross between your leg and your arm. Or the Finger-head, which is a cross between your finger and your head. Or your Zachary Spleen-toe, which is a cross between your spleen and your toe. Or your Pengina, which is a cross between your knee and your esophagus. So many new and interesting combinations that are in no way fubar.

Saul is cool with having so many new and different organs and he doesn’t mind sharing them with the rest of the world. Saul and Caprice show the evolution of Saul’s organs to adoring fans in real time theater. There’s free popcorn, just don’t ask where the butter “flavoring” comes from.

Our government is watching the evolution of this, um, evolution. Some even tattoo and register new organs that have never seen before because after that person dies you can take the organ out of them and pickle it in a jar like in the beginning of Nightmare Alley.

A fringe group of organ fetishists are keenly interested in Saul and Caprice. That means Saul and Caprice may just have to put on the greatest organ talent show the town has ever seen.

Because their lives may depend on it.

"We can't stop thinking about that phone".

"We can't stop thinking about that phone".

What Works With Crimes of the Future.

  • In a few short scenes, a creepily perky Kristen Stewart (Spencer, Underwater) gives the scariest performance of the movie. Every time she shows up and gives one of her overly sunny line deliveries you wonder why the rest of the movie isn’t as alive and when she’s onscreen. Is it a crime that she’s so good and the rest of the movie is just mediocre? Not a crime, just a movie misdemeanor.
  • As stated before, there are some gruesome images as you would expect from a David Cronenberg movie, but if you’re a fan of Cronenberg, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. Saul's “chair” unsettles you almost every time it appears on screen.
"This phone is weird".

"This phone is weird".

What Doesn’t Work With Crimes of the Future.

  • Labeled a horror/sci fi hybrid, Crimes doesn’t do much to actually scare you unless you’re squeamish. There are actually (and I can’t believe I’m writing this) scarier moments in the new season of Stranger Things…and Stranger Things really isn’t that scary.
  • In terms of filmed frights, there’s a lot of setup with very little actual payoff. Cronenberg drops multiple scenes of exposition, then subsequent scenes of actors soliloquizing about what we the audience just got told. You’re rarely bored because of more than capable performers like Mortenson and Seydoux, but there are times when Crimes feels like a filmed play. You expect a lot more from the Canadian man that brought you The Dead Zone and The Fly.

Overall.

Don’t be afraid. Don’t be very afraid. An interesting failure from one of the greatest horror directors of all time. Crimes of the Future might disgust, but it never really engages you more than your gag reflex as you wonder when something compelling will happen. Maybe in the future…with another movie (read in Christopher Walken voice from The Dead Zone).

Really 2.5

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Noel Penaflor

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