Dead Ringers

Two bodies. Two minds. One soul.
Two bodies. Two minds. One soul.


D: David Cronenberg

20th Century Fox/Morgan Creek/Telefilm Canada (Marc Boyman & David Cronenberg)

Canada/USA 🇨🇦 🇺🇸 1988

115 mins


W: David Cronenberg & Norman Snider [based on the book "Twins" by Bari Wood & Jack Geasland]

DP: Peter Suschitzky

Ed: Ronald Sanders

Mus: Howard Shore

Jeremy Irons (Beverly Mantle / Elliott Mantle), Genevieve Bujold (Claire Niveau), Heidi Von Palleske (Cary), Barbara Gordon (Danuta), Stephen Lack (Anders Wolleck)

There was another film about twins released in 1988, though the one which stars Danny DeVito & Arnold Schwarzenegger is far more family-friendly than this psychological thriller from David Cronenberg. The book that provided the source material was called "Twins", but Dead Ringers is, by far, a much better title.

Jeremy Irons delivers an excellent dual performance as twin brothers Beverly and Elliott Mantle. Gynaecologists who are so alike, even the women they sleep with can't tell them apart. 

At the height of their career after inventing a tool for their trade, their fraternity starts to deteriorate over a relationship one of them has with actress Claire Niveau (Genevieve Bujold), turning to narcotics addition and ultimately committing career-suicide when a patient dies at his hands.

It's a movie which intertwines body horror with complex drama, multilayered with themes of brotherhood, duality and even perhaps rebirth.

The film won a massive 10 Genie Awards (Canada's equivalent of the Oscars) and Jeremy Irons was honoured with the Best Actor prize at several awards shows. It's perhaps one of the Academy Awards' biggest faux pas that they failed to nominate him for this (although they did make good on him two years later when he won for Reversal Of Fortune).

Bizarre, dark, twisted and completely bereft of jump scares. Just as every good horror movie should be.


Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringers
Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringers