SHROUDS, THE

SHROUDS, THE

(director/writer: David Cronenberg; cinematographer: Douglas Koch; editor: Christopher Donaldson; music: Howard Shore; cast: Diane Kruger (Becca/Terry/Hunny), Vincent Cassel (Karsh), Guy Pearce (Maury), Sandrine Holt (Soo-min), Elizabeth Saunders (Gray Foner); Runtime: 119; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Said Ben Said, Martin Katz, Anthony Vaccarello (Saint Laurent designer); Prospero Pictures; 2024-Canada, France)

“A dreary watch with no discernible point.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The 81-year-old Toronto-based auteur David Cronenberg (“Maps to the Stars”/”Eastern Promises”) writes and directs this bleak and convoluted sci-fi drama about grieving and coping, that blends technology into the death process. It’s a weird story that might not appeal to everyone.

The successful Toronto businessman of futuristic industrial videos is the middle-aged tech mogul widower Karsh (Vincent Cassel, French actor). He grieves so much for his recently deceased wife Becca (Diane Kruger), who died from breast cancer, that he invents a cloth camera/sensor/imaging device that enables him to use an electric mesh as a shroud, which becomes a device whereby an app can look into the coffin for him or for cemetery visitors to watch Becca’s body decay. Don’t ask why anyone would want to see that!

Karsh sets this device up in the cemetery his company owns, where his wife is buried.

At the cemetery Karsh meets the fashionable Gray Foner (Elizabeth Saunders), and they go on a first-date.

When grave-sites at night are knocked-over, industrial sabotage is suspected.

Karsh calls for his former brother-in-law Maury (Guy Pearce), a cyber expert, along with an online digital assistant named Hunny (Diane Kruger), to investigate the incident.


Karsh also starts sleeping with Maury’s ex-wife Terry (Diane Kruger), a dog groomer who is the twin sister of Becca.

Karsh later on hooks up with Soo-Min (Sandrine Holt), the wife of the Hungarian magnate who is also dying. Karsh is trying to get Soo-Min’s hubby to invest in one of his tomb viewing cemeteries in Budapest.

It’s a drab looking film, without much spunk, which I found to be a dreary watch with no discernible point and had a dark humor that was unappealing.

It played at the Cannes Film Festival.



REVIEWED ON 5/31/2024  GRADE: C+