David Cronenberg’s Scariest Movies, Ranked


David Cronenberg arrived in 1969 with his first film, The Sci-Fi Release Stereo. In 1975 he was one of the biggest names in the horror genre. Although he hasn’t made a true horror film since the 1990s, his filmography consists of some of the most respected and critically acclaimed horror films in history.

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What makes Cronenberg’s horror films different is that they are as cerebral as they are horrific. Cronenberg has no problem with gore and body horror is a big part of his cinematic style, but he also seeks to delve deeper into what makes something scary, and as a result, he’s an influential figure in it. industry for aspiring horror filmmakers.

ten Naked Lunch (1991)

Peter Weller sits with an alien in Naked Lunch.

Naked Lunch is a 1991 sci-fi horror film based on the surrealist novel by William S. Burroughs. Cronenberg created a cult classic from his adaptation of a book that most fans considered infilmable.

In the film, an exterminator learns that his wife is using her insecticide as a recreational drug and soon suspects that the drug turns people into bugs. The film is a grim take on a tortured man who can’t seem to get his vices under control, with his hallucinations and delusions that are both frightening and horrifying.

9 eXistenZ (1999)

Jude Law pointing his gun in eXistenZ.

Jude Law and Jennifer Jason Leigh star in eXistenZ, a 1999 sci-fi horror film by David Cronenberg. The film has Leigh as a video game designer playing a virtual reality game when she is the target of assassins. Law is an intern who is brought into the game to help him.

eXistenZ hit at the same time as The matrix, and while the two lived in a VR world, Cronenberg’s film was less technical sci-fi but more gory and disturbing, taking sci-fi ideas and infusing them with the body horror the director specializes in, making it more disturbing and visceral than Naked lunch.

8 Enraged (1977)

Woman holding binoculars with open mouth in Rabid from 1977

When David Cronenberg directed Enraged, he was in the midst of his experimental horror filmmaking phase early in his career. The film was an independent release and allowed Cronenberg to let his imagination run wild. It resulted in one of the most successful Canadian films of all time, at that time.

Marilyn Chambers stars as Rose, a woman involved in a motorcycle accident who has received experimental treatment. This causes her to develop an orifice under her arm that includes a sting that infects those she attacks. The film is dark and disturbing but was held back by its budget limitations.

7 Shivers (1975)

Parasites attacking a girl in a bathtub at Shivers.

Thrill was the first horror film directed by David Cronenberg. The film was pure bodily horror about the parasites that take over the function of a human body. Reviews at first were mostly negative but, like most of Cronenberg’s films, he became a cult classic in the years that followed.

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What holds the movie back is that it’s not as smart as its later horror films, but it was way better than the exploitation films of its day. Thrill is full of violence, gore, and gore, and does enough to satisfy the most dedicated horror movie fans.

6 The Brood (1979)

The creatures attacking a child in The Brood.

the brood This is where David Cronenberg’s horror films really started to shine. Released in 1979, the film took ideas from its previous versions and pushed them to the limit, while adding subtext to make them more than just horrific and bloody scenes.

The film is about a mad scientist who founds an institute that creates clones which he exploits using mind control. It was criticized by critics when it was released, but has been reassessed and now has an 82% Fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes. the brood goes beyond its earlier efforts to focus on the fear of parenthood, making it one of the best horror films of the 1970s.

5 Scanners (1981)

The Scanners Head Explosion Scene.

that of David Cronenberg Scanners was a sci-fi horror film about people who had telepathic and telekinetic powers and fitted in well with other similar films of its time such as Carrie and Fire starter. However, Cronenberg went a lot further than these adaptations of King with some truly gruesome moments.

Michael Ironside played the role of a scanner who waged war against a weapons developer known as ConSec. Scanners took the idea of ​​counter-culturalism in America and showed what happened when it became the mainstream culture. It also added a sizable bundle of special effects to make it look horribly visceral like one of the best body horror movies in cinema.

4 The Dead Zone (1983)

Johnny Smith in a hospital bed in the dead zone.

Stephen King saw several of his first books turned into films shortly after their publication. While some were top quality releases, those by David Cronenberg The dead zone was one of the best. The story was about a young man named Johnny Smith who could glimpse the future by touching someone.

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This allowed Cronenberg to work on a very different kind of horror movie. In The dead zone, the director didn’t use his usual brand of body horror and instead created a film full of tension and suspense, with an excellent lead performance by Christopher Walken as the anchor.

3 Videodrome (1983)

James Woods watches television in Videodrome.

Videodrome was arguably David Cronenberg’s smartest horror film and one that remains a cult classic to this day, with a pristine version of the Criterion collection for fans to relive the experience. James Woods stars as a UHF television producer who discovers a broadcast signal showing violence and torture.

However, broadcasts on this signal control the minds of viewers and cause strange hallucinations. Videodrome was a box office bomb and critics upon its release called it weird. However, that same description was used by those who praised the film’s innovative and incredibly gruesome body horror imagery, making it one of the scariest films of the 1980s.

2 Dead Ringtones (1988)

The twins sit with Claire in Dead Ringers.

In 1988, David Cronenberg released Dead ringtones, a film starring Jeremy Irons in two roles as twin brothers, both gynecologists who run a successful practice. However, brothers have an evil plan where they seduce women, but when a brother becomes emotionally attached to a woman it destroys their relationship.

This film by David Cronenberg is one of his best and has won numerous awards, including 10 at the 1989 Genie Awards for best Canadian cinema. Irons also won awards for his acting, giving each brother a district personality. The film is disturbing and bills itself as one of the best Canadian horror films ever made.

1 The Fly (1986)

Jeff Goldblum becomes The Fly.

David Cronenberg’s best horror film was his 1986 remake of Fly. The original movie starring Vincent Price was a classic horror movie, but Cronenberg took the idea and turned it into a disgusting and brilliant body horror movie with Jeff Goldblum as the man slowly transforming into a hybrid. man-fly.

The film was David Cronenberg’s only film to win an Oscar for Best Makeup. It was also one of his biggest box office hits, earning $ 60.6 million and scoring 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. Fly is one of the best horror remakes in movie history.

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