The Horror Honeys: Is There A Vegetarian Option?

Is There A Vegetarian Option?

A Revenge Honey Review

Antiviral (2012)

Sometimes I think that horror fans are so desperate to love a movie, they’re willing to overlook pretty much any shortcoming, no matter how major it may be. This happens a lot with new films from directors that have been out of touch for a while or when fans have been waiting SO long for a movie that they don’t even care if it sucks; they just fucking want to see it. In the case of Brandon Cronenberg’s Antiviral, I’m pretty sure it’s love for Brandon’s dad David that caused a bunch of people to cream their shorts over this movie. Because from where I was sitting, Antiviral was an awesome premise that just never really paid off.

At least in the future, Kevin Bacon has a built-in market...

In the future world of Antiviral, people pay top dollar to be injected with the viruses of their favorite celebrities. These viruses can range anywhere from the common cold injected in the arm to good old fashioned herpes shot right into the lip. There is also a side business where the same “celebrity” cells are cloned or whatever and turned into human steaks, which are then sold at famous people butchers for ravenous fans to serve up next to their shaved beet and goat cheese salads. Obviously, there is a moral here about consumption of celebrities as a commodity, blah blah fucking blah. We get it. Being a celebrity is hard. (Before you ask, yes, there are revenge elements in the movie, but honestly, it’s not even worth going too deep into the story to tell you about them.)

Scariest image in the movie, and it made no sense
The reason I was excited about Antiviral was because I assumed that Brandon had acquired some of his dad’s amazing flair for terrifying body horror. And in the first 30 minutes, it seemed that the movie was going to deliver. There are some fantastic visuals that really leave you feeling uncomfortable and squirmy, even if they don’t make a whole lot of sense in the context of the film. However, half way through, the movie becomes some sort of half-assed mystery where one of the virus-brokers has to figure out what virus is killing him and who engineered it and why. It’s basically like two different movies mushed together without a satisfying conclusion to either.

And the acting is… well… interesting. Caleb Landry Jones plays the virus broker who ends up infected with the celebrity super virus, and lets just say that homeslice is so pasty that I had to turn the vivid setting off my TV because he was blinding me. Also, he has all the emotional range of Kristen Stewart after a long weekend of staring at her toes. I really have no clue who most of the rest of the actors are, except for Malcolm McDowell who I guess just really says yes to anything these days.

A graduate of the "Kristen Stewart School of Acting"
Maybe I’m being a little hard on Brandon Cronenberg given this is his first film, because stylistically, it’s not that bad. It has moments where you can see that he has promise as a director, and I am aware it’s not fair to compare him to his father (who’s first film, Shivers, is still a masterpiece to behold, but let’s not split hairs.) But when it comes down to it, Antiviral is too long, really obvious, and squanders what could have been an interesting concept. My suggestion would be, wait for Brandon Cronenberg’s next movie and hope he figures out how to hone his palpable skills as an artist.

Revenge Honey Stabby Points: 1 ½ out of 5