Eastern Promises

Here is another one from the David Cronenberg horror factory. No, there are no supernatural flies (The Fly) or telepathic Scanners or even an underground car Crash culture and yet among all the scary films Cornenberg has ever made, Eastern Promises is up there. It is clearly more in line with his more recent film A History of Violence than with his older, supernatural, and generally crass films.

Eastern Promises is also easily his best film. Well researched, well, cast, well acted, and well directed. It is the story of a Russian crime family operating in London. Naomi Watts, a nurse, somehow gets involved in a world filled with bizarre, almost macabre violence. Viggo Mortensen, in easily his best role to date, is a chauffeur at the crime family. What ensues next is violence begetting more violence. The film clearly uses violence as an embellishment, something to keep your attention while the story, suspenseful yet ultimately predictable, unfolds.

Amidst the brutality and violence, Eastern Promises really does attempt to have a heart of gold and generally succeeds .