Now, here's a controversial opinion of Antiviral: it's the best movie I've ever seen. Yes, I can understand why a lot of people don't like it, but it's my favorite film and I can't imagine how I could've ever missed out on it.
First of all, I'd like to give my opinion on the idea - the whole premise of celebrity obsession getting to such an unhealthy level that we pay to disease ourselves with viruses from their bodies. Many people find this unbelievable, but I think it depends on how cynical you are; I'm quite a skeptic person when it comes to media and society, so I don't see it as too far-fetched. Also, I think the medical cleanness of everything really helps bring a very effective, skin-crawling vibe to the whole movie, which wouldn't be so prominent if the theme wasn't as 'ridiculous.'
One of the main pros of the movie for me is the lead performance. This is the movie that first got me infatuated with Caleb Landry Jones (which is ironic, considering the theme of this film), and the way he portrays Syd March is so perfect, it still shocks me to this day. He is simultaneously utterly detached and painfully involved with everything going on around him, making the viewer feel like they don't know how they should react to him as a character. I personally like the divide this brings, especially because I'm the type of person who likes to debate and discuss movies and such 'til the cows come home. Caleb is very much a modern method actor, and you can really tell that nothing is truly faked here. From what I've seen of him, he's quite an...interesting person, and I think his darker side came out beautifully in Antiviral.
The plot was somehow gripping and intense, despite it moving at such a 'slow pace,' a common complaint of reviewers who didn't like the movie so much. I think it's a good thing, to be honest, to have a film that doesn't have to move at a very fast pace and involve loads of action and violence and excitement to be interesting. I was very much captivated throughout the whole thing - and it's quite a long one, at nearly two hours - and I still am whenever I re-watch it. While I can sympathize with those who don't find it as thrilling as the hardcore fandom, which is much smaller than it should be, I think people need to consider that it isn't technically a 'horror movie' but more of a creepy commentary on modern society and our views on fame.
As a last note, I'd like to point out how sexual the entire movie it. Not everyone will be so oddly attracted to the aesthetics, but as someone with a bit of tendencies towards blood and needle fetishism, I found it rather erotic at times. A particular scene to note for this is the very last one, wherein Syd March drinks the blood of Hannah Geist's afterlife system. I think Caleb's alien attractiveness makes the whole thing seem a bit sexy, which possibly makes it more disturbing to watch, because you're so aware that you are enjoying it while all these horrifying things are happening. In fact, the whole clinical, white, clean, sharp, and empty atmosphere of the movie make you very aware of what's happening on screen and in your mind while you're watching, which is something you don't experience very often.
Overall, I think this is a stunning film that while it might not appeal to a very wide audience, those who do enjoy it will definitely be hypnotized by it's lingering, intimidating beauty. I look forward to seeing more of Brandon's work; I'd like to compare how he develops as a director to the changed style that the elder Cronenberg made.
Review by eclectis99 from the Internet Movie Database.