Antiviral (2012)

Lucas Companies offer the latest in celebrity diseases. That’s right…in a world so consumed by celebrities, you can now choose to buy your favorite celebs disease and become infected with it. People have never been closer to the people they adore. You can also go down the street to the butcher and get your own steak to eat made from the muscle cells of celebrities.

Brandon Cronenberg makes us delve into our own obsessions with body image and our love of celebrities and what happens to them. We follow, Syd (Caleb Landry Jones), who has decided to steal from his employer (Lucas Company) by injecting the diseases directly into himself to later sell on the black market. Syd is almost a machine because he deals with his own mortality so often after injecting himself with disease after disease. Of course, he eventually injects the wrong disease and must find a cure to keep himself alive. He is monotone, quiet, and unforgettable. My hats go off to Caleb in this role.

Antiviral is thought-provoking and deals with real issues; greed, power, obsession. How far will we go for our love of body image and celebrities? Unfortunately, this movie falls a little flat. It is dull and lacks any real excitement. It is possible that this was intentional. Maybe Cronenberg wanted us to feel how long it took the disease to completely take over Syd’s body. I’m not sure. The film itself is visually stunning but takes longer than it should in reaching a conclusion. However, Antiviral delivers a sobering message. Admittedly, I found myself wondering at the end if I actually liked this movie or not. Oddly, I still haven’t made up my mind.

Scream Queen

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