Why Watch? Typically we think of David Cronenberg‘s movies as grotesquely challenging our relationship to our own bodies. Mention his name, and the expectations are chest vaginas and goopy ears falling off their owners — regardless of his clearly displayed versatility and drama mastery.
That’s a major reason why I love his new short film The Nest. Without any makeup fx or visceral transformations, he manages a discomfiting atmosphere that uses suggestion and unknowns to poison our imaginations. With disarming minimalism, the movie focuses on a young woman who wants to get her left breast removed because insects are living in it.
So, yeah, that’s a Cronenbergian synopsis right there.
It’s constructed as an unflinching POV shot of the young woman, resting entirely on and proving wholly the powerful presence of Evelyne Brochu (who some will recognize from Orphan Black). Simply put, this is a dull film without her intensity and calm insanity (similar to another of Cronenberg’s modern shorts). She sells a delusion to the point that we’re left questioning whether her garage-set surgical consult is actually the right course of action for a human wasp’s nest.
Or maybe the doctor (voiced coolly by Cronenberg) is a mad opportunist taking advantage of mental illness. Or maybe a dozen other things. We’re left pondering a lot of possibilities, but it seems clear that no matter the reality, what’s going to happen next will be terrible.
What Will It Cost? About 9 minutes.