Put That Thing Down

V/H/S: Viral Review

V/H/S: Viral

With the seemingly increasing success of franchise releases, The ABCs of Death and V/H/S, it is safe to say that anthology films are here to stay. This isn’t a bad thing as some of the best horror releases of the past were anthology flicks. Look at stuff like Creepshow, Body Bags, Tales from the Hood, and many more, and you can see that there is certainly success to be had with entertaining and well thought out anthology films. The newest one to come my way is in the form of another sequel. This time around, it is Magnet Releasing and The Collective’s V/H/S: Viral.

I really enjoyed the first installment of this V/H/S film series, but thought a couple of segments could have been left out to make it better. Because of that, it took me some time to dive into V/H/S 2, fearing that there would be too many shorts that I disliked. Once I finally took the chance, the payoff was huge, as I loved everything about the 2013 sequel. This greatly increased by interest and impatience, as I heard of the third installment plans soon after. I was counting down the months until I could finally watch another one of these great anthology films! All of this anticipation, however, may have been a problem. After finally viewing Viral, which I’ve been waiting so anxiously for, I am rather disappointed.

Like its predecessors, V/H/S Viral is broken down into various short films created by multiple filmmakers, all tied together with a wraparound segment, directed by yet another filmmaker. Marcel Sarmiento’s wraparound story, “Vicious Circles,” seemed all over the place and quite random to me. It didn’t seem to fit the mold created by the past series releases and too many tonal shifts made it feel like it was haphazardly created. I know Sarmiento did this purposely, but I don’t feel that it paid off, as he planned.

All over the internet are peoples’ opinions of the film; I’ve seen numerous sites and bloggers say that Nacho Vigalondo’s segment entitled “Parallel Monsters” was the best by far and that the others were not very good. Ironically, I feel as though Vigalondo’s was the weakest link and the others were quite a bit more enjoyable. While I appreciate the idea of time travel and alternate dimensions, I wasn’t quite sure what I was watching — penis and vagina monsters? Really…? Am I missing something here?

Gregg Bishop’s mockumentary short, “Dante the Great,” took an original approach not seen in the V/H/S franchise before now. Instead of just first person camera views and other found footage techniques, he mixed traditional filming with documentary-like interviews to make up his story and develop his characters. There was gore and quite a bit of action and I felt that this was the best segment of the entire production.

A close second to Bishop’s work was “Bonestorm,” directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, the geniuses behind 2012’s Resolution. This third and final segment for the official release of V/H/S: Viral was also pretty action packed, not taking too much time to get into the good stuff. We are taken on a ride to Tijuana where two skateboarders are trying to complete a skate video with a camera operator they hired off of Craigslist. They are soon met by a strange and supernatural cult who plan on unleashing their creature upon the boys. After a gory mess of a battle, the two skaters manage to escape, but their cameraman and gas money provider are left in a bloody pile along with some of the undead cult members. “Bonestorm” was frantic and wild, but not in the bad way that can describe “Vicious Circles.” It was innovative and fun and a welcome addition to the overall film.

Like another anthology release that I recently reviewed, ABCs of Death 2, there is something for everyone here. While there isn’t as big of a selection in variety, there is just enough to keep audiences happy. It is certainly my least favorite of the V/H/S franchise so far, but I can appreciate it for what it is and forgive it for not living up to its predecessors. Be sure to pick up a copy of V/H/S Viral on Blu-ray of DVD today from Magnolia Home Entertainment’s Magnet label and find out for yourself. The release includes the really strange art-house style segment “Gorgeous Vortex” by Todd Lincoln, which was left out of the official film release, and rightfully so. I absolutely hated this short and felt as though it had no place in the film, whatsoever.

Despite some minor bumps here and there, I still enjoyed myself, overall. I give this flick 3.5 decapitations out of 5.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.