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‘V/H/S: Viral’ Takes the Franchise to a Brand New Low (Review)

Written by: Matt Molgaard

Directed by: Justin Benson, Gregg Bishop, Aaron Moorhead, Marcel Sarmiento, Nacho Vigalondo

Cast: Emmy Argo, Emilia Ares Zoryan, Justin Welborn

There are a handful of genuinely engrossing shorts between V/H/S and V/H/S/2. Not every featured tale is a homerun, there’s no denying that, but there was some fun material to mull over between the pair. V/H/S: Viral offers nothing fun (I don’t even feel driven to write this review), nothing even entertaining, for that matter. Hell, the collection doesn’t even feel cohesive. The unbelievably murky wraparound not only misses in its intent to express a point (which I believe is to hammer home the potential dangers one can face when on the hunt for the next big viral video), it’s also really, really dull. But I suppose that means it works hand in hand with the rest of the included films. They’re all stinkers. Not a certified winner in the lot.

The closest thing to success comes in the form of Parallel Monsters, a story about life essentially intervening on its altered self. That may not seem to make much sense, but to speak too much on the details is to spoil your lone hope for entertainment. We owe Nacho Vigalondo a hat tip for saving this one from being epically dreadful.

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead deliver Bonestorm, an ambitious little piece that’s missing a pulse despite showcasing loud and wily characters and an alluring premise. A couple skaters are piecing together the ultimate skate vid, which leads them to a hot spot in Mexico. The only problem is, there’s a strange and murderous clan already waiting for them. Gregg Bishop (who directed the awesome Dance of the Dead) brings Dante the Great to the table, unfortunately it’s a picture that feels as though it spoiled long ago, the rotting remains as unpleasant as the most pessimistic may predict.

You won’t find a single character in this film to be likeable. Not one segment illuminates even one endearing personality. It’s terrible to say that, but it’s true. We’re happy to watch everyone die and that’s no way to navigate the course of a motion picture. We want to be attached to someone in a movie. We want to invest in something. it makes for a different connection, adds a certain intimacy to the experience. V/H/S: Viral isn’t intimate, it isn’t entertaining, it isn’t thrilling in any way, and it definitely isn’t a picture that should have ever been assembled. It’s a shame, because Gregg Bishop and Marcel Sarmiento are two awesome filmmakers who pick up big respect from me. This just didn’t happen to be the proper outlet for either to shine.

Rating: 1/5


About The Overseer (2283 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

3 Comments on ‘V/H/S: Viral’ Takes the Franchise to a Brand New Low (Review)

  1. The certified winner of the lot is DANTE, it was nothing but fun and entertaining. lol. That short shined. So did Parallel Monsters. I found the magician assistant girl to be likeable, she WAS trying to stop a murderer. Dante wasn’t likeable, but we understood him and had empathy for him. I also like the scientist in Parallel Monsters.

    By the way, VHS 1 AND 2 didn’t feel cohesive either. Dante: 5/5. Parallel Monsters: 4/5. Bonestorm: 2/5. Wraparound: 1/5. Overall: 3/5


    • Profoundly generous! lol I thought Dante was miserable (I believe it’s this one that has two or three shots that flat out do not make sense, as not only is there no one to hold the camera, but there isn’t even a camera’s presence explained lmao), goofy and just aimless. There was hope in Parallel Monsters… everything else was epic failure level imho. And both the first two films felt infinitely more cohesive than this one. Possibly because the wraparounds actually worked, so it felt like something was holding it all together. This one… wow… talk about bad on a grand level. A 3/5 for me is like… Trilogy of Terror, or maybe Cat’s Eye. Viral was a REALLY long way from that, for me, at least.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We all thought Dante and Parallel Monsters were glorious over here. lol. Both smart and well made. Love the guy who played Dante. Yes, Dante jumped out of found footage kind of like District 9, which I loved and thought the whole thing was a creative use of the format. I’m not a fan of shaky cameras and thank god this one didn’t have “tapes” like the other movies so it was ok to get out of the found footage crap for a bit. I have to disagree with you that the wraparounds actually worked in the first two films, I found them dreadful. But I agree that they don’t work here either and you are right, they are bad on a grand level. 2 great segments, one mediocre segment and one wraparound that is bad on a grand level. lol. 🙂


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