Antiviral

"Very Good"

Antiviral Review


It may be style over substance, but Brandon Cronenberg cleverly blends his father David's love of medical yuckiness with an elusive Lynchian-style mystery to keep us unnerved all the way through this low-key thriller. And the film also works as a dark satire on today's celebrity-obsessive culture, in which fans will go to any lengths to be closer to their idols. So imagine if they had the chance to share a star's illness.

This is the work done by the gleaming, futuristic Lucas Clinic, where clinician Syd (Jones) works. He injects one patient (Smith) with an STD taken from mega-star Hanna Geist (Gadon). But Syd has secretly given himself a more powerful virus, which he learns is killing Hannah. Now everyone wants to get their hands on him, even as he realises that he needs to find a cure before it's too late. So he gets in touch with Hannah's assistant (McCarthy) and doctor (McDowell), and discovers that there's a conspiracy afoot involving his clinic's main rival.

The idea that fans would go to this kind of extreme isn't actually that unbelievable in a culture in which we watch their every move on reality TV and feel like their friends through Twitter. And Cronenberg's idea goes beyond sharing viruses, including cloned skin grafts and even a butcher (Pingue) who sells meat grown from celebrity cells. While the ideas echo some of David Cronenberg's films (mainly Videodrome and eXistenZ), this is also a strikingly original approach. The imagery looks amazing, with all-white surfaces and a spare use of colour, against which Syd's unravelling physicality looks increasingly garish.

Jones internalises the character nicely, helping us travel down this rabbit hole with him, even if we never understand his motivations. And it's this lack of personal connection that prevents the film from really coming to life. Still, Cronenberg directs his cast to such raw, natural performances that the film can't help but hold our interest. We may not be able to feel the emotions or understand the nuances of the plot, but the premise itself and the superb visual style hold our interest while the nonstop medical nastiness, including more injections than you can count, gleefully gross us out.

Rich Cline



Antiviral

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 108 mins

In Theaters: Friday 30th November 2012

Distributed by: IFC

Production compaines: Alliance Films, TF1 International, Telefilm Canada

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Fresh: 53 Rotten: 29

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Brandon Cronenberg

Producer:

Starring: as Syd March, as Hannah Geist, as Dr. Abendroth, as Arvid, as Dev Harvey, as Edward Porris, as Mira Tesser, as Dorian, James Cade as Levine, Dawn Greenhalgh as Jane, Lara Jean Chorostecki as Michelle, Salvatore Antonio as Topp, Matt Watts as Mercer, Elitsa Bako as Vera, Reid Morgan as Derek Lessing, Nenna Abuwa as Aria Noble, Katie Bergin as Candyce, Lisa Berry as Receptionist, Ian O'Brien as Tex, Mark Caven as Lucc, Adam Bogen as Lucas Clinic Security Guard, Tedd Dillon as Hotel Guard, Jackie English as Waitress, Josh Holliday as Bruce, Kim Ly as West, George Tchortov as Portland, Dan Warry-Smith as Butcher, Vincent Thomas as Security guard, Donna Goodhand as Woman, Raul Tome as Landlord, Lady Vezina as Famous Woman, Milton Barnes as Saleman

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.