David Cronenberg's panic attack-inducing body horror has a trailer

"Surgery is the new sex" in the Kristen Stewart-starring ‘Crimes of the Future’.

by Douglas Greenwood
|
10 May 2022, 9:15am

Still from Crimes of the Future (2022)

Last summer, just as she was preparing to premiere Spencer, Kristen Stewart teamed up with filmmaker David Cronenberg and made a horror movie that’s set to cause mass hysteria with audiences when it drops later this year. The director, known best for making violent body-horror classics like The Fly and Videodrome, worked intermittently on the script for this project, titled Crimes of the Future, for a long time before it was shot in Greece. But now, it’s just around the corner: distributors Neon have unveiled the film’s trailer, along with a release date, and a few sneak-peak stills too.

They had previously confirmed that the movie will premiere at Cannes Film Festival next month, after early test screenings suggested it will cause Titane-style reactions. Read: mayhem in the theatre.

Over the weekend the first full trailer also dropped which gave us a better understanding of the synthetic dystopian future. This is a place where pain has all but disappeared, meaning people can alter and “evolve” their bodies easily and surgery — as Kristen Stewart’s character Timlin points out — is the new sex. It also gave us a glimpse of all the gross-out horror to expect. From animatronic arms piercing skin to a pig-eared man having his lips and eye-lids sewn shut and Kristen Stewart about to do something no-doubt gory to her eye. We can already tell the movie will have our skin-crawling.

Kristen has flirted with horror in the past with the likes of Underwater and Personal Shopper (and her nightmare-inducing baby in Twilight). You could even say Spencer is one too, but it seems like Crimes of the Future will be by far the most unsettling horror Kristen has yet shot. What’s more, she’ll be appearing in the movie alongside Viggo Mortensen and Léa Seydoux. A formidable trio.

While the short trailer doesn’t give us much information on the film’s narrative, recently a slightly-befuddling plot line for the movie was released by the film’s production company:

“Taking a deep dive into the not-so-distant future where humankind is learning to adapt to its synthetic surroundings. This evolution moves humans beyond their natural state and into a metamorphosis, altering their biological makeup. While some embrace the limitless potential of trans-humanism, others attempt to police it. Either way, ‘Accelerated Evolution Syndrome’ is spreading fast. Saul Tenser [played by Viggo Mortensen] is a beloved performance artist who has embraced Accelerated Evolution Syndrome, sprouting new and unexpected organs in his body. Along with his partner Caprice [played by Léa Seydoux], Tenser has turned the removal of these organs into a spectacle for his loyal followers to marvel at in real time theatre. But with both the government and a strange subculture taking note, Tenser is forced to consider what would be his most shocking performance of all.”

kristen stewart in crimes of the future
Neon

The body-horror, David Cronenberg’s first movie since the 2014, R-Patz-starring Maps to the Stars, is sure to cause controversy when it drops, according to film publication World of Reel. International programmers saw the film at a recent Los Angeles screening. One, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said it would stir more conversation than his 1996 divisive cult classic, Crash.

“I cannot say much, obviously, but… this is going to create way more chaos and controversy for sure. The last 20 minutes are a very tough sit. I expect walk-outs, faintings and real panic attacks (I almost had one myself!) at [Cannes Film Festival’s] Lumière theatre. No hyperbole, I promise.”

lea seydoux in crimes of the future
Neon

Prepared for that mayhem? Well, not much longer to wait. Following its Cannes premiere in the next few weeks, Crimes of the Future will open in US cinemas on 3 June, with a UK and European release surely to follow.

So there you have it. Kristen Stewart’s Cannes Film Festival comeback will arrive loaded with the promise of reactions so visceral audiences will be hurtling their near-lifeless bodies towards the door, begging to be let out. Sign us up! 

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