I am proud to say Canadians have been making some awesome and fucked up horror movies lately. My recent find was one I stumbled upon on Netflix (because I get the majority of my horror from them) and I was impressed. Antiviral doesn't just have a fucked up premise, but it's beautifully shot, excellently acted, directed by Brandon Cronenberg and was filmed in my home province of Ontario!
The main character is a man named Syd March (played by Caleb Landry Jones) who works at a clinic that harvests and sells celebrities viruses to sell to the public. His journey takes us through this twisted world of celebrity-obsessed madness. One celebrity becomes a focal point for the film, Hannah Geist (played by Sarah Gadon) and through her we realize just how little power even the celebrities have over their lives, and that in the end, they are just products to be consumed and harvested by the big corporations. Their lives are as meaningless as the lives of the people who purchase the viruses.
And the thing I love best about Antiviral is the questions it brings up. Do we let celebrities get away with too much? Why should we worship them in such a way as to damage ourselves just so we can have a "taste" of them? How happens to the celebrity when we demand them to be more than mere human beings? There is a disturbing message in the film, when Dr. Abendroth (played by Malcolm McDowell) tells Syd the main character that he understands why Syd injected himself with Hannah's blood. He shows Syd a row of patches on his arm and explains to him, "I'm not a spiritual man. The belief in God has always struck me as a sign of dangerous infantilism. But you will forgive me if I tell you-that with each of these patches-my world has become more charged."
I won't give too much more away, because the ending is pretty awesome. I will say if you like quiet horror with some interesting things to say, give this film a shot. It will get under your skin.