Antiviral

ISBN: 
0788616919

Halloween is over, but, of course, that doesn't mean you have to stop watching horror movies. Do you like weird, creepy movies that aren't necessarily traditionally 'scary'? If not, you can skip this one. Antiviral is the debut film of Brandon Cronenberg, the son of Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg. If you are familiar with the father's work, this one fits right in. If not, he is most well known for what is termed the "body horror" film. This means that the story includes visceral depictions of people doing things with their (or other people's) bodies that usually ends up rather badly. This particular film could also be classified as a sci-fi satire, in that it is set in a not-too-distant future where ordinary people's obsession with celebrities has progressed into their altering their own bodies to "feel closer to them". There are clinics, like where the main character works, that specialize in capturing illnesses, diseases, and cell matter from a celebrities' body and selling them to ordinary people. One can order anything from an injection of a favorite singer's common cold to a steak to eat that is made with cell matter from the most popular actor of the moment. These are acts that are heavily marketed to the people in this world as completely normal behavior. The film's plot deals with our character trying to stay one step ahead of "the latest illness" (at much harm to himself) and delves into the black market that revolves around these things lying outside the normal channels of the shiny, clean-looking clinic and restaurant spaces. If my description does not entirely make sense, it's because we are only shown what is happening in this reality. It is never fully explained to us. I found the premise intriguing enough to want to see it again and thought it attempted a rather original storyline. A similar recommendation might be David Cronenberg's eXistenZ or possibly a less trippy or academic version of Altered States. Check this out if you are not squeamish at the sight of (staged) blood or sickness. Otherwise, I would suggest staying away at all costs.