Like father like son? Brandon Cronenberg debuts with 'Antiviral'

Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:38pm EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Breaking out of a famous parent's shadow can be daunting, but Brandon Cronenberg, son of Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg, is rising to the challenge with his first feature film, the science-fiction "Antiviral."

Opening in U.S. movie theaters on Friday, "Antiviral" was written and directed by the 33-year-old Cronenberg and satirizes society's obsession with celebrity with a horrific twist.

The film stars Caleb Landry Jones as Syd March, an employee at a clinic that harvests viruses from sick celebrities and sells the injections to obsessed fans. When Syd becomes infected with a virus that killed a popular starlet, he has to solve the mystery of her death to save his own life.

Critics are comparing "Antiviral" to David Cronenberg's early work, which included such classic sci-fi horror films as "Videodrome," "The Fly" and "Dead Ringers."

While Brandon Cronenberg acknowledges the connection, he says some of it "is very legitimate and some of it is kind of overstated.

"This film has horror science fiction elements, technology elements, bodily elements so I get why people make those comparisons," he said.

However, he noted that his father's filmography also includes the crime thrillers "The History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises" and the biographical "A Dangerous Method," which are not in the sci-fi genre at all.

"My dad has had a very broad varied career and it would be very hard for me to make a film that didn't touch on anything that he hasn't touched on," Cronenberg said.   Continued...

Director and writer Brandon Cronenberg arrives on the red carpet for the gala presentation of the film "Antiviral" at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival September 10, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Blinch