In a blackly satirical near future, a thriving industry sells celebrity illnesses to their obsessed fans. Employee Syd March's attempts to exploit the system backfire when they involve him in a potentially deadly mystery.
Syd March is an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to obsessed fans. Biological communion - for a price. Syd also supplies illegal samples of these viruses to piracy groups, smuggling them from the clinic in his own body. When he becomes infected with the disease that kills super sensation Hannah Geist, Syd becomes a target for collectors and rabid fans. He must unravel the mystery surrounding her death before he suffers the same fate.Written by
All of the close-up shots of needles entering skin in the film are real. See more »
Before Syd puts the virus into Edward Porris's lip, we see the plunger of the syringe has been pulled back a bit, as it would be had Syd filled it with the virus. However, in the close up of the needle piercing the skin, you can see the plunger is all the way down, so when it was stuck into Edward's lip there was nothing in it. See more »
Antiviral is a sci-fi/horror film from the mind of Brandon Cronenberg, David Cronenberg's son. This is a beautifully shot film, with a great premise but it just didn't click with me totally. The film follows Syd March, a man who works for a company that harvests diseases from celebrities and then injects them into paying clients. Sounds pretty messed up right? To put it in real world context, you'd go to this company and willfully get injected with Britney Spears cold sore. It gets even weirder when they get into celebrity cell regeneration that is made into steaks. Yeah, you read that right. There's a "butcher shop" that specializes in growing celebrities cells and selling them to you so you can eat them. This is an incredibly original story that plays on societies star obsessed culture and turns it on its ear. I love the idea of this movie but it moves at too slow of a pace. There's a few minor twists and basically no action, which makes a slow film feel even slower. Antiviral is not a fun film (no humor,no action, no scares) and is definitely not for everyone. It is a beautifully shot film, even though it is meandering, it is always great to look at. Every shot is framed well and done with purpose. The use of white gives it a very clean and sanitary look that is extremely effective. Cronenberg gets an A+ for the look of this film, it really is that nice to look at. The limited amount of gore is also expertly done, I just wish there had been more of it.
Caleb Landry Jones (Banshee in X-Men First Class) is the star, this is basically a restrictive narrative, and he is in pretty much every scene. He does a good job and has a bright future. Malcolm McDowell also has an extended cameo and he's as good as always. He seems to have settled into this role as a name actor, lending that name to help a small picture.
Antiviral is an incredibly original story, and beautiful to watch but it is just a tad dull. Instead of an A its a solid B, just because of the story and visuals. I repeat it is not for everyone, it reminds of Excision a bit (just without the snappy humor), so if you liked that movie then check out Antiviral. Brandon Cronenberg is the future of horror, and as a horror fan, I couldn't be happier.
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