It might not be accurate to say that director David Cronenberg has matured since his days of being the veritable king of body horror with movies like The Fly and Videodrome, but his tastes certainly have changed. His most recent film, Cosmopolis, was a bizarre experimental thriller which was largely based around watching lead actor Robert Pattinson monologue in the back of a limousine, and prior to that Cronenberg had become far more interested in directing dark, character-oriented dramas like A Dangerous Method and A History of Violence.
Pattinson's involvement wasn't quite enough to get Twilight fans flocking out in droves to see Cosmopolis, which was ultimately a box office flop, but Cronenberg's prestige as a director means that he has never had trouble attracting big names to his movies. Maps to the Stars, his upcoming drama about the life of a dysfunctional Hollywood family, stars Julianne Moore in the lead role as Havana Segrand, an actress who dreams of remaking the movie that her mother starred in before she tragically died in a fire.
Maps to the Stars, which was scripted by Bruce Wagner, also features Pattinson - this time in the driver's seat of a limo rather than in the back - as an aspiring actor who chauffeurs the rich and famous around L.A. while he tries to make it big. The film also stars John Cusack, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams and Evan Bird as the Weisses: a nuclear family who are tangled up with (or members of) the Hollywood semi-elite.
It's lucky that the reviews for Maps to the Stars have been overwhelmingly positive, because the previous trailer and the newly-released international trailer are pretty awful. It mainly seems to be an editing issue - in the case of this latest one, an attempt to try and box Cronenberg's film into a particular genre. Despite the melodramatic music and the blood-red release date of October 31st, Maps to the Stars seems to be more of a twisted drama than an all-out thriller or horror movie.
Or perhaps not. The Telegraph's review of Maps to the Stars describes it as a "seething cauldron of a film, [with] so many film-industry neuroses exposed and horrors nested within horrors, that one viewing is too much, and not nearly enough." That could just be hyperbole, but it definitely makes Maps to the Stars sound exceedingly worth watching.
Maps to the Stars opens in Canadian theaters on October 31, 2014, but does not yet have a US release date.