Time for a Booster Shot? Antiviral

DATELINE: MOVIE MASHUP

caleb landry jones

The next James Dean? Ginger version

Among the spate of new wave science fiction are the films that eschew special effects and big budgets. Antiviral is one of the most curious. It is the product of first feature director and writer Brandon Cronenberg (yes, related to that other Cronenberg).

The acorn does not fall far from the tree, and this film is a tad weird. Not the least of which is the star: Caleb Landry Jones plays an infected person in the film. He looks sickly even in scenes where he is supposed to be healthy—but you cannot take your eyes off of him. He has a vampiric ginger coloring. He is the next James Dean, for sure.

Syd March is not your usual hero. As Jones plays him, he is a piece of clay—tossed around and molded to the whims of the other characters. He works for a celebrity collection agency of sorts. They sell biological samples of virus, wens, and other illness, to adoring fans.

In the future fandom has gone viral literally. The culture of celebrity causes people to want to have the same cold, disability, or disease.

Unfortunately for Caleb’s character, he doesn’t just sell the product; he is also a client. The great plot hole is why anyone would want to inject themselves with some kind of toxin. Of course, that is the true horror in the film. It shows all kinds of needles and injections being put into various arms.

Unlike your usual bloodfest, this blood looks unclean. Not even the vampires of True Blood would touch it.

Any movie that heralds two major film forces (star Jones and director Cronenberg) deserves your immediate attention.

Antiviral is slow moving, creepy, and ultimately original in an age of cookie-cutter movies.

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