Recently, in his interview with Filmmaker Luca Guadagnino, among others, named his personal best film of 2022. And it is David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future.
Indeed, Luca has only the highest praise for Cronenberg’s work: “The best movie of this year. Fantastic.”
He then added, “Another tender film! It’s wonderful to see Cronenberg, who is consistently seen as a very composed filmmaker with a very clinical coldness in his art, which is true, so warm and so tender. It’s a beautiful love story and it’s also a very devastating vision of the future. It’s amazing.”
He is not alone in this opinion. At least among filmmakers and critics. Crimes of the Future, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, received a six-minute standing ovation and entered the competition for the Palme d’Or.
But Crimes of the Future is also another example of a movie that was well received by the critics and largely ignored by the audience. It didn’t even make 1/5 of its $27 million budget at the box office.
Sure, Crimes of the Future is full of gruesome imagery and body horror, but David Cronenberg has never been known for making happy, light-hearted films.
And this isn’t his first foray into the realm of outright body horror. After all, he directed The Fly. That has not prevented him from being successful with the general public before. But Crimes of the Future is certainly not one of them.
Perhaps the combination of body horror and the oppressive atmosphere of a dystopian future in which humanity has largely lost the ability to feel pain, surgery has replaced sex, and our race is on its way to becoming something akin to the Cenobites of Hellraiser, was too much for the public.
Maybe they didn’t see the warmth and tenderness Guadagnino talked about behind all the extreme body modifications. Perhaps Cronenberg has become too accustomed to making films for himself and the critics rather than the public – after all, it’s been over a decade since one of his films has even recouped their budget.
Or maybe Cronenberg’s reputation caused a really good movie to be underrated.