It's safe to say that there is a big population of people in the world obsessed with celebrities. I have read about celebrities being stalked, I have read about celebrities dodging murder. Young people hang up posters of their favorite actors and singers, this hasn't changed much for many years. Its weird how much stock we put into celebrities lives in our culture. I also think it will only get worse in the future.
"Antiviral" tells the story of that future. In the future, if you want a connection to your favorite celebrity, you can buy pathogens of diseases they are suffering from and inject them into yourself. The story revolves around Syd (Caleb Landry Jones) who has been diagnosed with a serious, mysterious disease. It also happens to be the disease that killed the famous Hannah Giest (Sarah Gadon). Syd tries to unlock the mysteries of the disease before he dies.
I know what your thinking, that this sounds like a warped, Chuck Palahniuk book. You are possibly thinking that this movie is a dark comedy that is stranger than usual. No, not even close. "Antiviral" dissects the darker corners of celebrity obsession. Its also a very sinister look at medicine competition. The film is brought to amazing life by Caleb Landry Jones. If you haven't heard of him, check out "The Last Exorcism" and "X-Men:First Class" immediately. Whats fascinating about those films is that each character that Jones plays in those films are completely different from each other. I wouldn't compare Syd to any other character Jones has in his filmography. Caleb Landry Jones is an actor who cannot be typecast and that's great. We could be witnessing the birth of the next generation A-Lister. Someone who may not destroy himself (ala Amanda Bynes or Justin Bieber) in the public eye.
He's not the only great performance. Everyone involved in the ensemble is great. I love that Malcolm McDowell appears for a couple brief but solid appearances. The music by E.C. Woodley is completely haunting. The cinematography by Karim Hussain is wonderful; dark and muddled, its truly effective. Besides some weird character motivations and some repetative story issues, this film is a dark delight. One to look for on Netflix and a perfect way to welcome October.
FINAL GRADE: B+