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Pass the bleach

click to enlarge antiviral_movie-image-11-542x360.jpeg

Director Brandon “Son of David” Cronenberg is in no hurry to distance himself from the themes prevalent in his father’s work, if his debut feature Antiviral is anything to go by. This sci-fi body-horror shares cold-sweat DNA with Rabid, Videodrome and The Fly for sure. In this entirely credible world of empathy spared only for the famous, the public is so obsessed with celebs they're willing to purchase their bacterial goo in order to feel closer to them. Yuck. Caleb Landry Jones plays Syd March, a cadaverous dude who works at a clinic selling these celebrity-transmitted viral infections and making extra cash by selling the viruses on the black market—his greed inevitably makes him terminally ill. Despite Jones’ reptilian charm—crossing the figures of a Kafkaesque victim and a hardboiled detective—it's tough to find much sympathy for Syd’s self-induced plight. Still, Cronenberg’s vision impresses. You may wish to bleach your skin, eyes and brain afterward.

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Vol 25, No 9
July 27, 2017

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