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ANTIVIRAL (2012)

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ANTIVIRAL (2012)

Friday, 20 September 2013 18:12

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Written by 

The Buzz:

        In some incredibly unhappy part of our supposed future, celebrity-worship has reached what I would normally call epidemic proportions, but considering the theme of this film that would be unfortunate. Fans who wish to become closer to their favorite celebrities will now pay exorbitant amounts of money to be injected with diseases from those celebrities' bodies. Our main character (calling him the protagonist just doesn't feel right with me) works for an esteemed clinic providing these services, and also makes money by stealing the various diseases and smuggling them out by infecting himself, so that they may be sold by piracy groups. Unfortunate events ensue.

 

Life of the Party/Potential Hangovers:

        I'm combining these two sections for this review because, by and large, most of the things that will draw viewers to Antiviral will turn away about an equal number of people.

        First off, this movie is probably the weirdest damn film I've ever seen. At times (meaning the entire movie minus perhaps 5 minutes) the film takes on the aspect of a bastard love-child of the movie Pi and a music video for Tool. Caleb Landry Jones plays our main character Syd March, and he takes creepy & strange as character traits to otherworldly levels. It fits in perfectly with his character, and I can't imagine a better way to do it. But he's SO damn creepy that you find it incredibly hard to sympathize with his character and his struggles. And everyone else in the movie are pretty downright loathsome you don't really want ANYONE to succeed.


This is your "protagonist" ladies and gentleman...

        And a lot of the movie is just uncomfortable. I imagine it's almost how people feel when Boman shows them Taxidermia. You're watching crazed fans purposefully injecting themselves with Herpes or flu's or whatever disease some celebrity has recently come own with, and your main character purposefully injecting himself with those self-same diseases to turn a buck. And to avoid spoilers, there's a scene when Syd goes into a fever dream that had me seriously checking to see if someone had put date-rape drugs in my beer when I wasn't looking (I was alone at the time). Some viewers like this kind of thing (hell, I certainly do, how else do you explain me watching Solaris multiple times?), but others will be turned away.

        Fans of dark, strange, and outright weird films will certainly find something in Antiviral. The cinematography, soundtrack, and acting all fit the decidedly creepy theme, and fans of David Cronenberg body-horror will delight to know that his son Brandon directed this film, and has has continued his father's works to completely and utterly unnerve his audiences.

 

Would you like her Herpes?  Or perhaps her case of the Bubonic Plague?

The Vibe: Casual Gathering, Deep Thoughts

        If you're going to watch Antiviral solo you better be in the mood for some deep thinking and concentration. But honestly I think it's best served with a small group of friends who are all willing to sit quietly, pay attention, and throw back some drinks to cope with what the film is doing to their brains. As a drinking game, I'd suggest taking a drink anytime you see a hypodermic needle, or anytime someone says the word “virus.” Follow those rules and you'll get pretty toasty in no time at all.

 

Plus/Minus:

+/- Incredibly weird film

+/- Characters are all perfectly acted, in a loathsome and strange way

+/- Particularly dark theme

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About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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