10 Best David Cronenberg Movies

10 best David Cronenberg movies

Top 10 David Cronenberg movies

Throughout the history of film, no one filmmaker has been able to get a firm grasp on the existential terror of the human body as well as David Cronenberg. His films are quintessentially campy and gruesome, and they feature some of the greatest practical effects of the 20th century. His sick and twisted mind is often compared to the mind of David Lynch— both seem to focus on the horror and brutality that lies just below the surface of our everyday world.

Cronenberg’s films often jump from genre to genre — from mob movie to midnight B-movie to sci-fi to body horror, Cronenberg shows off his fixation on the horrific and vile. Unlike other B-movie directors, Cronenberg has actually managed to gain almost universal acclaim among critics and audiences alike at this point in his career — however, it hasn’t always been this way. Looking back, though, it’s easy to see that he’s always been a master.

Dead Ringers

10 best David Cronenberg movies

Starring Jeremy Irons in both leading roles, Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers follows twin gynecologists as they take advantage of their identical appearances. Slowly, over the course of the film, the differences between the two start to show… and drive them both to insanity.

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10 best David Cronenberg movies

Based on the Patrick McGrath novel of the same name, Cronenberg’s Spider tells the sad and dramatic story of a mentally disturbed man. As he moves into a halfway house, his mind starts to slip and return to the traumatic events of his childhood. Its central focus is a part of the body that Cronenberg often analyzes in his films: the mind.

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Eastern Promises

10 best David Cronenberg movies

While it might feel a little different than his other films at first, Eastern Promises is a Cronenberg movie through and through. For him, violence and the human body go hand-in-hand (or fist-to-fist). The film follows a Russian mob family as they come under investigation when a teenager dies during childbirth — it’s hard to watch, which only means Cronenberg is doing his job right.

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A History of Violence

10 best David Cronenberg movies

Like Eastern Promises, A History of Violence examines the relationship between an act of violence and the human psyche. Viggo Mortensen leads the film, playing a relatively normal man who becomes the center of the nation’s attention after he defends himself and his diner one evening.

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The Fly

10 best David Cronenberg movies

A cult movie itself, Cronenberg’s remake of the 1958 cult movie of the same name proved to be one of the rare instances where a remake can be a good thing. Starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis and produced by Mel Brooks (who also happened to produce Lynch’s The Elephant Man, another body horror classic, six years earlier), Cronenberg’s take on The Fly is nasty and thrilling all at once. He takes what works from the original film and amplifies it up to 11.

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The Brood

10 best David Cronenberg movies

The next three films on this list feel very similar in tone and can be summed up in a few words: an average man gets caught up in something surreal and supernatural. What Cronenberg does with that idea makes all the difference. In The Brood, a man’s wife has gone away to receive treatment. As he investigates, he discovers that she might be connected to a recent string of killer kids.

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10 best David Cronenberg movies

In Videodrome, a man finds himself in possession of a sick and twisted VHS tape. At first, he’s interested — maybe even obsessed — with its vile subject matter, but he soon finds himself becoming much too close with the thing. Cronenberg’s practical effects are especially impressive in this film.

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10 best David Cronenberg movies

In Scanners, a man becomes aware of a group of supernatural beings wreaking telekinetic havoc in hopes of world domination. There are some infamous shots in this movie — some you might recognize in GIF form. They’re infamous for a good reason: the gore and violence in this movie are unparalleled.

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A Dangerous Method

10 best David Cronenberg movies

Cronenberg’s films often deal with the intricate ways of the mind, the thing that all bodies depend on. As a master of body horror, he seems to realize it all goes back to the mind. A Dangerous Method deals with the relationship between one of the leading experts on the mind, Sigmund Freud, and his colleagues Carl Jung and Sabina Spielrein.

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The Dead Zone

10 best David Cronenberg movies

Based on the Stephen King book of the same name, Cronenberg’s adaptation of The Dead Zone stars Christopher Walken as a man who wakes up from a five-year coma with psychic abilities and Brooke Adams as his girlfriend before the accident and object of affection after. He sees things — including a foreboding prophecy regarding a local politician’s future — and takes it upon himself to change the future… even if no one else believes him.

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