Saturday, April 20, 2013

Cronenberg 2.0

Antiviral (2012) - Cronenberg
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Brandon Cronenberg, the son of David, makes an intriguing debut in a fitting genre - body horror. Antiviral imagines the society where celebrity worship reached its creepiest form, where people willingly pay money to get infected with diseases of celebs (flu, herpes, etc) to be closer to them or eat the lab cultivated meat from the cells of their idols. A ginger lab technician Syd March (Caleb Landry Jones) at Lucas Clinic smuggles out such celeb diseases in his body to sell them at the black market, despite tight security measures at the lab. When one of the biggest star Hanna Geist (Sarah Gordon from Cosmopolis) gets seriously ill after a visit to China, it's Syd who gets to collect the blood sample for the clinic. After injecting her blood into his system, he gets gravely ill and also becomes a target of interested parties who see his body as a commodity. Cronenberg makes the most of Jones's physical frailty and creepy stares and has a great visual sense that are quite different from his dad (more antiseptic). Still, Antiviral also features some similar motifs in machine/body argumentation that Cronenberg Sr. is known for. All in all, it's an impressive debut.

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