Antiviral

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Antiviral, the squirm-inducing debut feature from Brandon Cronenberg, is a murder mystery tailor made for a generation that has lived through the dual dangers of SARS and TMZ. This shocking and eerily prescient dystopian sci-fi thriller takes viewers through an alternate reality where society’s obsession with celebrity has grown to monstrous proportions. Syd March (Caleb Landry Jones, X-Men: First Class) is a young man employed in a very strange industry. He works in a clinic specializing in disease sales, harvesting infections from celebrities and selling them to their legions of fans, who gladly pay for the privilege of harboring the same diseases as their favorite stars. Syd also moonlights with his own sideline business, trafficking the latest viruses to piracy groups, smuggling them out of the clinic in his own body. But when he finds himself infected with a bizarre sickness that killed an adored young starlet, he must unravel the mystery of her death in order to save his own life. Effectively combining elements of sci-fi and body horror in the vein of David Cronenberg’s Videodrome and The Fly, Brandon Cronenberg’s first film examines the cultural zeitgeist and pushes it to frightening extremes, suggesting he’s inherited some of his father’s obsessions along with a generous helping of his talent — and a twisted sense of humor that’s entirely his own. (Dir. by Brandon Cronenberg, 2013, 110 mins., Not Rated, IFC Midnight) Digital