We often believe that everything happens for good. Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg’s latest film, “The Shrouds,” recently premiered at Cannes this week. While fans know it as a feature-length movie, little do they know that David Cronenberg’s product was initially made to be a 10-episode series that was pitched to Netflix. According to The Hollywood Reporter, during a press conference for the sci-fi thriller, Cronenberg revealed that Netflix executives liked the script for the first episode but did not want to move forward after the second episode.

He said, “They said—and this is a very Hollywood thing to say—’ It’s not what we fell in love with in the room,‘” Cronenberg said. “Later, I felt that what they fell in love with in the room was me, which was very flattering, but not the script. I felt I can’t let this die, let’s see if we can turn it into a movie… It could be a series, but it doesn’t have to be.”

“The Shrouds” is a 2024 arthouse horror film written and directed by Cronenberg. It features an ensemble cast that includes Diane Kruger, Vincent Cassel, and Guy Pearce.

Previously, Cronenberg has claimed that the film is very “personal” and “autobiographical” as it reflects a tragic event in Cronenberg’s own life: the loss of his wife Carolyn to cancer in 2017, which parallels the protagonist’s experience.

“The Shrouds” follows the story of Karsh, a 50-year-old prominent businessman. He has become inconsolable since the death of his wife, leading him to invent GraveTech, a revolutionary and controversial technology that enables the living to monitor their dear departed in their shrouds. One night, multiple graves, including that of Karsh’s wife, were desecrated. Karsh sets out to track down the perpetrators.

The Shourds Opened with Mixed Reviews from the Critics

Upon its Cannes premiere on May 20, “The Shrouds” received three-and-a-half minutes of applause, which is a feat in itself. However, despite this acclaim, the critical response to the film remained divided. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 63% based on 19 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. IndieWire has praised the movie as “enormously rewarding” (awarding it an A-), while The Daily Telegraph labels it “the steepest disappointment of Cronenberg’s late career.

Some critics fall somewhere in between, acknowledging the film’s stylish and darkly humorous exploration of grief while also noting occasional lapses in its narrative direction.

The movie is surrounded by mixed opinions, and it is something Cronenberg is well aware of. Posing his stance on the divided critics of “The Shrouds,” the filmmaker said that some have overlooked the film’s conspiracy element as “ignorant” and “stupid.” He said,

“If you’re an atheist like I am and you don’t believe in an afterlife then the death of someone is meaningless… It’s very difficult for people to live with no meaning,” he said. One way that you can create meaning when perhaps there isn’t any, is to come up with a theory, a conspiracy, that explains why a person died… Whatever the conspiracy is, it gives you a sense of knowledge and power that you know something that other people don’t know. It empowers you. These very stupid journalists who did not see this, there was a purpose to it. You might think it doesn’t work is one thing, but to not notice it to me is a problem as a filmmaker.”

“The Shrouds” will be released theatrically in France on 25 September 2024 by Pyramide Distribution.

Similar Posts