INFLUENCE: David Cronenberg
This guy is probably my favorite director of all time. And if he isn’t at the top, he’s certainly in the top five. Videodrome is my second favorite movie, and the Fly is one of my favorite horror movies ever.
I don’t feel like his influence is felt all too much in Other Sleep, at least in the first two chapters, aside from Ninel’s hallucination maybe, but I’ve had a few people comment on how Cronenberg-like it is, so there’s something in there and I won’t deny it. Much of what I think horror is and should be kind of stems from his movies, and while he’s known for some pretty gruesome, visceral stuff, there’s more than just cool monsters and gore to make a good horror movie. There’s always something lurking underneath the trashy exterior of his films, usually something about human psychology, a big fascination of his. Mention the Fly to anyone and the first thing that’ll come to mind if they see it is either Jeff Goldblum’s ear falling off or the maggot baby, but those scenes wouldn’t pack quite the punch that they do if you didn’t feel for the characters in some way. To me, the most horrifying thing about that movie is just how lucid Brundle is as his body slowly mutates before his eyes, retaining his intelligence and speech capabilities for nearly the entire film.
His movies are weird too, the good kind of weird, taking place in worlds that are off in some fashion that you can’t quite put your finger on. They feel almost dreamlike or hallucinatory, which makes the actual hallucinations or horrific images that take place in say Videodrome or eXistenZ all the more unnerving to witness. I love weirdness.
And unlike a lot of directors, even his failures, like Crash, are still at least somewhat interesting to watch. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather watch an interesting failure than a mediocre Hollywood production any day, because at least you still get SOMETHING to think about.
Here’s the trailer for his next film, Cosmopolis, based on a novel by Don DeLlilo and starring Robert Pattinson. It looks like after the relatively somber A Dangerous Method, he’s back in full-on crazy/weird/sleazy mode:
I am so excited for that, yes…