Evan Kraft’s review published on Letterboxd:
2020 Ranked: boxd.it/4vhTm
First 5 star of the year babey.
Brandon Cronenberg looked at his target audience and thought “I already know you can handle violence and blood and gore with no problem. How about I make it disturbing in every other way” and made it disturbing in every other way he did. The editing with the flashing and the melting and the cuts to the possessor is all amazing, but when paired with the sound design and just the mindfuck the story is just made it that much more impactful. Don’t get me wrong, the blood and violence was still disturbing and effective, especially with how close up it was, but the scenes of panic when our lead can’t do what she needs to do stresses you out a lot more than someone getting stabbed in the neck.
I also just love how much Cronenberg just did not hold back. Between the nudity, blood, and neon lights (the perfect recipe for Moosecore films), this movie definitely earned itself an NC-17 that doesn’t feel underserved or unnecessary. There was a lot of craft put into this and you can tell that all of what was in there was completely necessary for what he wanted to say. The boldness of what it was trying to get at really stuck with me and will stick with me for a while.
This movie made me FEEL things and I feel impacted by this which is harder and harder to do these days it feels like. It just feels good to finally get good films this year, even if they aren’t playing in theaters (Promising Young Woman PLEASE good and in theaters you don’t know how much that’d mean to me).
Just know that Antiviral is going directly to the watchlist I’m so fucking pumped to see more from baby Cronenberg he’s already impressed me so much.