David Cronenberg’s The Shrouds Gets First Teaser

Premiering at Cannes Film Festival this month, David Cronenberg’s The Shrouds explores death in a more revealing way and we got the first teaser today.

First shared by Variety, The Shrouds, which stars Vincent Cassel, Diane Kruger, Guy Pearce, and Sandrine Holt, centers on Karsh, a prominent businessman. Inconsolable since the death of his wife, he invents GraveTech, a revolutionary and controversial technology that enables the living to monitor their dear departed in their shrouds. One night, multiple graves, including that of Karsh’s wife, are desecrated. Karsh sets out to track down the perpetrators.

Cronenberg spoke to Variety about his new film explaining the contrary view of death it explores.

“Most burial rituals are about avoiding the reality of death and the reality of what happens to a body,” Cronenberg said. “I would say that in our movie this is a reversal of the normal function of a shroud. Here, it is to reveal rather than to conceal. I was writing this film while experiencing the grief of the loss of my wife, who died seven years ago. It was an exploration for me because it was not just a technical exercise, it was an emotional exercise.”

“In a way, the shrouds that my main character has invented are cinematic devices,” he continues. “They are creating their own cinema, a post-death cinema, a cinema of decay. Before writing the script, I was aware that there was a cinematic aspect to the shrouds, creating their own strange grave cinema, cemetery cinema. In The Shrouds, there is a suggestion that Karsh understands that there is a cinematic technology involved in what he’s creating, something rich and complex. It’s so interesting because I’m often watching movies in order to see dead people. I want to see them again, I want to hear them. And so cinema is in a way a kind of shrouded post-death machine, you know. In a way cinema is a cemetery.”

In terms of religious meaning, Cronenberg adds, “If you’re a religious person, I think that you consider an afterlife. If you’re an atheist like Karsh, and me, that relationship can continue but in a more realistic context, in a more biological way; it’s another form of relationship. As Karsh says, he can’t stand the fact that he doesn’t really know what’s happening to her body. So this relationship continues, but not through an exchange of words, a conversation. It’s certainly perverse, morbid, grotesque, but to someone who’s grieving the way he is, it actually isn’t. It’s rather healthy in fact, a way out of despair, out of grief. Karsh has literally banked on that. He has invested a lot of money and energy in this high-tech cemetery. But basically, it all comes down to the body, as in many of my films; ‘body is reality,’ and if you accept that, the body of a dead person continues to be a kind of reality, and that is where Karsh lives.”

The Cannes debut is set for May 20, 2024, and a theatrical release is scheduled for September 25, 2024, in France. A US release will likely occur before the end of the year.