I watch David Cronenberg films for one reason and that is to have my eyes opened. Whether it is through the gore of an early film like Scanners or the beauty of a more recent movie like A Dangerous Method, his visuals are always striking and his themes, challenging. Few film makers can claim to have been as influential as Cronenberg while also avoiding the trappings of mainstream Hollywood and whatever he turns his attention to, something weird and unique will invariably be formed. Dead Ringers is his 1988 film which looks at the connection that twins share; biologically, mentally and physically. It straddles the gap between body horror and beautiful cinematography but was made firmly during his body horror era. For the director it is a somewhat restrained film but one which runs deep with ideas although doesn’t boil over into all out gore.
Elliot and Beverly Mantle (Jeremy Irons) are brilliant gynaecologists and identical twins. Working out of their Toronto office, the two men specialise in fertility and their methods are both effective but daring. The twin’s lives are blurred by their frequent interchanging. The two impersonate each other at dinners, awards ceremonies and even with women. Early on in the film, the brothers begin to share the life of an actress called Claire Niveau (Geneviève Bujold) and when the quieter Beverly begins to fall for her, his more aggressive brother Elliot suspects that her presence is harming their relationship.