Antiviral (Canada, 2012)

A man with a thermometer in his mouth before a white wall.

Caleb Landry Jones as Syd Match in Antiviral (2012)

This is one of those films that I was a bit anxious to watch. I’m a big fan of some of David Cronenbergs work, so getting to know he has a son that also is a film director I had to check out some of his work too.

I don’t know why I haven’t known about Brandon Cronenberg before. His debut film, Antiviral was released in 2012, and has completely passed me by for some reason.

And a strong debut it is!

Antiviral easily compare to the best of his fathers work, while still standing solidly on it’s own ground. It is delving in some of the same thematic landscapes as Videodrome (1983), but has Brandons strong, unique fingerprint all over it.

This is a sick, twisted ride that just keeps the viewer trying to foresee where this is going. But without resorting to surprise twists or inconsistencies it keeps the way ahead shrouded, each revelation being more surprising than the previous.

It’s intense, and from start to finish, a captivating and well told story.

It’s also fair to say that the film would not have been the same without the extreme performance of Caleb Landry Jones as Syd March. An intensity permeates every scene from the very first almost still shot to the end credits. His presense is so strong you can almost smell it!

I highly recommend this film. It’s one of those few unique gems that seems to come from nowhere. In this case it came from Toronto.