David Cronenberg’s film returns to theaters

Criticism of Crash, David Cronenberg’s iconic film back in theaters since January 29. Twenty-five years after its premiere, the distributor A Contracorriente Films brings us back to the big screen this radical and very personal adaptation of the novel by James G. Ballard. Loved and hated in equal measure, we find a provocative and sickly cult film, not suitable for sensitive palates.


James (James Spader) and Catherine (Deborah Kara Unger) are a wealthy couple who live sex outside of marriage with total normality. Following a car accident James will begin a strange relationship with Helen (Holly Hunter), which will take you into a dark and wicked world where sex and danger go hand in hand.

Scene from the film Crash by David Cronenberg

Criticism of the film Crash by David Cronenberg

In 1996 the crash movie took the Jury Prize in Cannes, surrounded by some high-sounding voices that discussed the importance and quality of the film. Among them, according to what the own David Cronenberg, the president of the jury of that year, Francis Ford Coppola, who tried unsuccessfully to get the tape of the enfant terrible Canadian was out of emptiness of the Gallic contest.

The step that took Crash around theaters around the world it was quite discreet, given its strong sexual charge, its minimalist and cryptic story and the provocatively superficial movie label that certain critics and audiences gave it. But the passage of the years, as almost always, imposes its everlasting justice, and allows us to recover as it deserves, remastered for the occasion, the acclaimed by many as one of the best films (if not the best) of the master of “horror venereal” David Cronenberg.

Cronenberg atmosphere

The crash movie belongs to that type of sensory cinema where the atmosphere created around the power of image and sound is fundamental. At the same time, it is pure auteur cinema, demanding and risky, in which the evocation of sensations and reflection on the narrative prevail. Like more or less the proposal that Cronenberg offers, it is undeniable that behind the cameras there is a director who moves like a fish in water in the creation of the turbulent, cold and dehumanized universe that the film portrays.

 Deborah Kara Unger
Deborah Kara Unger

Tormented characters

One of the great successes of Crash, and that is common to other of the best films of David Cronenberg, What ‘Videodrome‘ O ‘Inseparable‘is the lucid and surgical portrait of the characters. Anchored in a world in which technology has imposed its mechanical and rational coldness, it is common for its characters to end up in a spiral of self-destruction as a result of the search for emotions and feelings that make them feel human.

In the crash movie, this paradigm is fulfilled in both the main and secondary characters, achieving that we empathize and feel some compassion for them despite their actions of dubious morality and their bizarre fetishisms. To embody them we find a perfectly assembled casting: from the hieratic of James Spader to the sensuality of Deborah Kara Unger going through the viscerality of Elias Koteas, all provide the necessary and identifying traits that their characters require.

Differential elements

The Cronenberg script it is succinct in its dialogues and rightly appeals, given the nature of the story, to the reflective capacity and intuition of the spectator. Together with him we find two essential elements that help to describe the universe that the film portrays. On the one hand, the cold photograph of Peter Suschitzky, enhanced thanks to the current remastering of the film, and on the other, the enveloping and overwhelming soundtrack of the usual collaborator of Cronenberg, Howard Shore.

Final opinion of the film Crash by David Cronenberg

The crash movie it is pure cinema. Stimulating on all levels, profound despite its apparent simplicity, and artistically very careful, it is the perfect example of what a cult film means: it is brave, strange and puts the viewer in constant reflection on its images and their meaning. It is not a film that can be recommended lightly, since the burden of sex and its vision of violence will not be to the liking of many viewers, but what is certain is that it does not leave anyone indifferent.

Technical Sheet and Release Date

Original title: Crash
Gender: Thriller, Drama
Official Site: Crash Movie
Country: Canada
Idiom: English
Release date in Spain: January 29, 2021 in theaters
Producer: Canada-UK co-production; Alliance Communications Corporation, Recorded Picture Company (RPC), The Movie Network (TMN), Telefilm Canada
Distributor: Counterflow
Duration: 100 min.
Year: 1996
Age rating: Not recommended for children under 18 years of age

Artistic file

Address: David Cronenberg
Screenplay: David Cronenberg (Novel: J.G. Ballard)
Song: Howard Shore
Photography: Peter Suschitzky
Distribution: James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Kara Unger, Rosanna Arquette, Peter MacNeill, Yolande Julian, Cheryl Swarts, Judah Katz, Nicky Guadagni, Ronn Sarosiak, Boyd Banks, Markus Parilo, Alice Poon, John Stoneham Jr.


David Cronenberg's Crash Movie Poster
David Cronenberg’s Crash Movie Poster



The film Crash is a disturbing and magnificent allegory about the longing to find the pleasure of living in dehumanized times.


The strong sensations it causes.

The address of David Cronenberg.

A remastering to match.


It is not condescending to the viewer.

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David Cronenberg’s film returns to theaters