Crimes of the Future
David Cronenberg returns to the body horror genre he pioneered, with this dystopian tale starring Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart.
In the future, pain and infectious disease have been eradicated. Some humans have taken to mutating their bodies to an extraordinary degree. Saul Tenser (Mortensen) and Caprice (Sedoux) are performance artists who alter their bodies for audience consumption and to highlight the malleable nature of the physical form. Tenser has developed an ‘accelerated evolution syndrome’ that allows his to produce new organs and have them removed during a performance. Their activities are being monitored by the National Organ Registry, who keep a check on mutations. One bureaucrat in particular, Timlin (Stewart), becomes entranced by the couple. But there are forces at work to destabilise the status quo, with Tenser and Caprice finding themselves at the heart of the disturbance.
Cronenberg’s film has no relation to his early short of the same name, save for his return to the kind of narrative that established him as one of the wayward talents of 1970s and 1980s cinema. Crimes of the Future doesn’t possess the level of outrage or shock of the new that surrounded Shivers, Rabid, The Brood, Scanners and Videodrome. But it is the work of a fervid imagination and Mortensen, in his fourth collaboration with Cronenberg, is once again a compelling presence.