Brandon Cronenberg is definitely his father’s son. If you want proof, check out the first clip from the younger Cronenberg’s debut film Antiviral. It is moody, ominous, and weirdly unsettling. If this is any indication, there’s a spooky new talent on the loose.
Antiviral stars Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men: First Class), who is fantastically creepy in this clip, and the film is getting glowing reviews from Cannes, where it premiered.
Here’s a synopsis:
Syd March is an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to obsessed fans. Biological communion—for a price. Syd also supplies illegal samples of these viruses to piracy groups, smuggling them from the clinic in his own body. When he becomes infected with the disease that kills super sensation Hannah Geist, Syd becomes a target for collectors and rabid fans. He must unravel the mystery surrounding her death before he suffers the same fate.
This is fertile thematic ground for Cronenberg to explore. The subject is strange and off the beaten path, but topical and fresh. You don’t have to stretch your imagination to see our culture of hero worship and idolatry getting to this extreme. Even without much action in this clip, the tension is so heavy it almost tears you apart. Between the slow motion rubber gloved hands drifting over the flowers, and that gradual shot of the injection, absolutely stomach twisting. This has quickly climbed my list of films I have to see.
Antiviral also stars Malcolm McDowell, Sarah Gadon, Douglas Smith, Joe Pingue and Nicholas Campbell.