Directors: Justin Benson, Gregg Bishop, Aaron Moorhead, Marcel Sarmiento, Nacho Vigalondo
Starring: Emilia Ares Zoryan, Justin Welborn, Gustavo Salmeron, Nick Blanco, Jayden Robinson
Mayhem goes viral
V/H/S: Viral is the third (and perhaps final?) entry to the found footage anthology saga. A franchise about found tapes (well, most are actually shot digitally and not on good old tapes) that have disturbing effects on those who watch them.
The wrap-around story this time around is about Kevin who is obsessed with filming his girlfriend Iris all the time on his digital camera. When they see a news report about a police chase that are coming close to their neighborhood, Kevin quickly decides to run out to film the events. The police are chasing an Ice Cream truck and when it goes past Kevin’s house Iris suddenly disappears. Kevin tries to hunt down the truck to find out what is going on and what’s happened to his girlfriend.
As with the first two V/H/S films, the wrap-around story doesn’t make that much sense and is a waste of time. I still can’t get how digital video can get so much static on it. I also can’t help but wonder why they even call these films V/H/S as most of the segments have nothing to do with the video format. I don’t have much else to say about the wrap-around story of this one, it just doesn’t give you anything at all. No scares, no laughs, no fun.
The first story is called “Dante the Great”. It is about the magician named Dante who sees his life change when he gets a hold of a magical cloak. With this cloak he is able to do whatever he wants and he finds incredible success with it, but the demonic powers behind it also demands something in return…
This is a very silly concept that are made to bring more laughter than horror. It is done more as a mockumentary than found footage. It becomes a bit ridiculous for my taste and it doesn’t help that the acting and special effects are bad either. You would hope that when indie horror guys do a project like this that they would try to avoid terrible CGI effects, but I guess not.
The story could perhaps have worked if they made Dante into a more tragic character and rather cut away some of the more unnecessary scenes. The ending goes into full action mode and I didn’t like it at all. It was also hard to understand how Dante could be that easily overpowered when he basically could do whatever he wanted. Made little sense, but to be fair it wasn’t something meant to be taken that seriously in the first place.
The next one is called Parallel Monsters and it is done by the Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo. A scientist has been working on a portal in his basement and one night he is able to open it. His open gateway leaves him able to meet another version of himself and they make a deal to switch worlds for fifteen minutes. He will soon find out that the other dimension isn’t the same as the world he is used to though.
This episode is a bit Twilight Zone-ish, but the execution of it makes it feel like something that could have been a part of The ABCs of Death. It starts off interesting and doesn’t let you know what exactly is going on, but the reveal and ending makes it goofy. I mean, big penis monsters? Really? You would think that an experienced filmmaker would be able to come up with something more interesting than this.
The third, and surprisingly final segment is called Bonestorm. A couple of young and stupid skateboarders decide that it would be a good idea to film a skating video down in Mexico. The skatepark they visit is filled with religious items and shortly after the kids start to skate around they get attacked by skeleton zombies.
This episode is basically just a bunch of bratty kids fighting off skeleton zombies and that’s it. It even sounds more entertaining than what it really is as this is just as dull as the other segments. The skaters are assholes that you would rather see dead than alive and the special effects are poor. The skeleton zombies did remind me a bit of the ones from “The Blind Dead” films, which was a nice little touch, but ultimately this one was not good enough to entertain me either.
I did not expect that every segment on this anthology would be good, but the fact that I did not enjoy a single one of them was surprising. There was originally supposed to be a fourth entry to it and it was actually shot, who knows what happened with that one. The production values seem a bit poorer this time around and the same can be said about the talent.
I do hope that they continue to make these films though as it is a good way to showcase some new talent within the genre. V/H/S: Viral didn’t deliver that to me though and I have to say that this was a huge disappointment. If you were to put together a top 5 list of all the segments of the three films so far then none of the ones in this would be on there and that pretty much sums up this entry to the franchise.