More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we’re looking at “Antiviral,” a disturbing horror film director Brandon Cronenberg — not a documentary about how annoying YouTube clips are.
Director: Brandon Cronenberg
Cast: Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon, Malcolm McDowell
Criticwire Average: B- (32 critics)
Official Synopsis: “Syd March is an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to obsessed fans. Biological communion — for a price. Syd also supplies illegal samples of these viruses to piracy groups, smuggling them from the clinic in his own body. When he becomes infected with the disease that kills super sensation Hannah Geist, Syd becomes a target for collectors and rabid fans. He must unravel the mystery surrounding her death before he suffers the same fate.”
“You’ll wince, you’ll gasp, you’ll even laugh at the director’s audacity at including some of the more outrageously grotesque shots, but most of all you will be affected down to your core on more than one occasion.”
“‘Antiviral’ is, in all its icily unpleasant ickiness, indeed perfect somehow.”
“All signs point to the family business expanding well into the newer generation.”
“There’s enough about ‘Antiviral’ to like that I would tell anyone who likes disturbing cinema to add this to their list of films to watch for in the coming year.”
“Cold, unsettling, and strangely hypnotic.”
“Sick, sad, smart, and serviceable.”
“There is a great deal of promise here.”
“For a debut filmmaker, [Cronenberg] shows a remarkable amount of confidence.”
“It mainly succeeds at singling the filmmaker out as a potential new voice on the genre front, if not a potential new vision.”
“Suffers from a narrow focus and soulless aesthetic, yet thanks to its visionary approach show promise of great things to come for Brandon Cronenberg.”
“Antiviral” is now playing in theaters, on VOD, and digital.