Antiviral (2012)

AntiviralProof that the weirdo apple doesn’t fall too far from the weirdo tree, this feature debut from son of David, Brandon Cronenberg. This is a weird one, but actually a pretty interesting and coherent one. Dipping into my personal collection again, this is Antiviral.

After becoming infected with the virus that killed superstar Hannah Geist, Syd March must unravel the mystery surrounding her death to save his own life.

So this is set in the future, when people are able to purchase and infect themselves with non-contagious versions of diseases that celebrities have. It’s definitely an interesting take on our celebrity culture, and does make a reasonably good point about the way that we idolize celebrity and the obsession that seems to follow celebrity at all times. More and more people want to be famous, so this seems to be the next best thing for the people in the movie.


Of course, it’s a Cronenberg movie, so it’s pretty strange, and a bit of a body-horror flick, but over all, it has a slick and stylish look about it. Even when some elements don’t make a ton of sense. The performances are pretty good, but definitely really bizarre. Caleb Landry Jones does a pretty solid job, and his appearance is definitely effectively convincing that he’s sick. Though, I really did get the feeling that the movie might have been better with Michael Pitt in his place. They look pretty similar, and I just really enjoy Pitt as an actor. That said, it really didn’t do much harm to the movie.

It definitely has it’s moments of being a little bit incomprehensible, but it really doesn’t bother me all that much. It is a little bit more abstract at times than I tend to like my movies, with some nods or ‘borrows’ from the Lynch & Cronenberg manual of film making. It still is pretty watchable, even if it does feel like it drags a little bit in places.


I might have liked to see a bit more expansion, or a shorter movie. It felt a little bit like an episode of Black Mirror (which, if you haven’t seen yet I really do recommend).

Anyways, not a BAD movie by any stretch, and definitely one to check out if you’re a fan of David Cronenberg and want to see what his son is getting up to. Not a ton else to say about it frankly.




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