David Cronenberg, the director of classic horror movies like Scanners, The Dead Zone, and the remake of The Fly, has opened up about why he isn't interested in making horror movies anymore. A staple filmmaker in horror, Cronenberg revealed that the genre isn't as "liberating" as it used to be in the '70s and '80s.
Starting off his career in filmmaking primarily as a TV director, Cronenberg showcased his creativity with body horror in the low-budget horror film Shivers, which he also wrote. This opened the door for a subsequent string of movies that elevated his status in the horror genre, including Rabid and The Brood, before introducing science fiction into his storytelling with Scanners, Videodrome, and The Fly. This era of textbook horror later evolved into a wider range of genres, with movies like A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, and Maps to the Stars. Unfortunately, fans of Cronenberg's horror roots may be disappointed to hear that he doesn't plan on exploring horror anytime soon - if ever.
In an interview with EW to shed light on Beyond Fest's With Cronenberg: A Retrospective of the New Flesh, Cronenberg was asked if he would ever consider revisiting the genre, and he explained that it's a far cry from what it used to represent. Though he's been offered a number of projects within the genre over the years, he explained that he's witnessed very little originality, adding that it's "becoming restrictive rather than liberating." That said, he added there is always a possibility he could make a return if the right project came along, saying, "I don’t really see myself going back to that. But you never know, you never know."
Cronenberg also touched on the impact his movies have had on other directors, including recent Academy Award winner Guillermo del Toro. He even likened the relationship between Sally Hawkins' Eliza and Doug Jones' Amphibian Man in The Shape of Water to the relationship between Jeff Goldblum's Seth and Geena Davis' Veronica in The Fly.
Aside from body horror, Cronenberg has always crafted a career around psychological horror, which has, incidentally, been an underlying element in all of his movies. The Fly is less a monster movie than it is an exploration of morality and Scanners is more about the limits of unchecked power than it is exploding heads. So, if Cronenberg did make a return to "straight" horror, he'd more or less be making the same kinds of movies he's been making all along - just with more excuses to feature blood and guts.
Source: Entertainment Weekly