A police chase sends a teen on a crazy ride to save his girlfriend from
some unknown terror, which has captured three horrors on video.
V/H/S: Viral (2014)
Directed by Justin Benson, Gregg Bishop, Todd Lincoln,
Aaron Moorhead, Marcel Sarmiento, Nacho Vigalondo
Written by T.J. Cimfel, David White, Marcel Sarmiento,
Gregg Bishop, Nacho Vigalondo, Justin Benson
Starring Patrick Lawrie, Emilia Ares Zoryan, Justin Welborn,
Emmy Argo, Gustavo Salmerón, Marian Álvarez,
Shane Brady, Nick Blanco, Chase Newton
Sequel to 2013's V/H/S 2
Having been a fan of the first two V/H/S films, I was incredibly disappointed by the third installment. V/H/S: Viral is easily the worst in the franchise and is so incoherent that I have issues with calling it a movie in the first place. It's a misplaced hodgepodge of meth-fueled horror movie ideas that make absolutely no sense. The acting is terrible and the stories are nowhere near the quality of the terrifying shorts of the first two films.
I'm not entirely sure what went wrong, but something definitely did. The framing device in this film delivers no story or interesting characters, and the three stories come at inopportune moments. Frankly, they all suck. 'Dante the Great' is ridiculous and doesn't match the tone of the rest of the movie. 'Parallel Monsters' had potential that was ruined by the people with demonic genitals. That's right, I said demonic genitals. That's the kind of movie this is. By the third short, 'Bonestorm,' I knew this movie was terrible. 'Bonestorm' felt like MTV's Jackass and had something to do with witches, or demons, or something. I don't know, as I was too busy watching the clock.
V/H/S: Viral spits in the face of this mostly entertaining franchise that had such cool potential and was completely halted by this ridiculous excuse for a horror film. Seriously, just rewatch the first two. At least then you'll have something to entertain you. This film deserves to be lost in the discount bin at the local car wash, but I guess the dark dregs of Netflix's one-star horror flicks will do.
After finding the first two installments of the V/H/S franchise to be a refreshing, original, unique take on the found footage craze in horror films; Viral turned out to be a major disappoint that borderline spits on the franchise in the worst possible. It features very little resemblance to the past two films and the stories are incredibly weak. It has very little scares going for it, something the previous two had in spades, and the framing device makes zero sense. So, without further adieu, let me explain why this film is so terrible.
While the framing device never truly made much sense in the past two films, there was at least comfort in knowing the filmmakers were actively revealing more info as the films progressed, hopefully leading to an explanation. Well, Viral decides to totally ditch that story and introduce an entirely new framing device that makes even less (zero) sense than before. The ending attempts to link it two the earlier installments, but comes off as feeling forced. As for the short stories themselves, they don't nearly as well as the others. 'Dante the Great' is a terrible one that comes off more like an action/fantasy, which ends up not making it match the tone of the rest at all. 'Parallel Monsters' actually starts out strong and shows a lot of promise, but quickly goes downhill once demonic genitals are introduced. As a horror fan, I've seen some fairly ridiculous and graphic things, but even this weirded me out. The last story, 'Bonestorm,' also ends up being terrible. I actually have no idea what the plot was supposed to be, just that devil worshippers and skateboarders were involved.
To be blunt, V/H/S: Viral takes a massive dump on what was once a great horror movie franchise. It takes the intensity and genuine scares from the previous films and replaces it with a hodgepodge of a movie that doesn't make any sense. While I would love of this franchise to end on a high note, I'd rather this be the last one because I truly don't believe there can be another good one now. I'll just pretend only the first two exist and not this one.