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REVIEW — “V/H/S: Viral”

The third in the series of horror anthology films “V/H/S:Viral” suffers from the weakest wrapping story, but still offers up some solid shorts.


Each of the “V/H/S” films has an all encompassing storyline that attempts to link together the shorts that make up the movie.  In both 1 & 2 the wraparound was fairly comprehensive and arguably connected the two with the same story line.  Unfortunately in “Viral”, the extraneous cover story, “Vicious Circles”,  is completely unconnected, nonsensical, and feels like an afterthought.  That being said, the three shorts that make up the film are pretty solid on their own.


“Dante the Great”, directed by Gregg Bishop, is one of the highlights of the film.  Telling the story of a wannabe magician who comes into possession of a cape that Houdini once disposed of, it seems a bit out of place in the horror anthology.  However, the concept, acting, and low budget effects, are all so wonderful it’s a thankful addition.  To reveal more of the plot would be a disservice, suffice to say its clever and fun.


“Parallel Monsters” is up next, a subtitled Spanish short, directed by the talented Nacho Vigalondo (Open Windows)  In it, a man creates a portal to an alternate universe and meets his doppelganger.  They agree to explore each other’s worlds for 15 minutes.  It’s rather impressive how quickly this exciting discovery can descend into a nightmare for both of these men.  By the far the most creative and twisted shorts in the film.


Disappointingly, the movie wraps up with its weakest segment.  That’s not to say “Bonestorm” is bad, it just doesn’t stack up well against the two preceding shorts. In it, two skateboarders, along with their Craigslist film crew, head south of the border with the hopes of getting some rad footage in Mexico.  Instead they get mixed up in an altercation with a Mexican Death Cult.  There are some clever shots and ideas here, but it runs a bit long, and a lot of the first person footage is too disorientating.


As a whole, it’s a fun horror anthology.  If the encompassing story were a bit better, or if it had an additional winning short, it may have ranked among the best.  Regardless, it is still worth a watch over the Halloween weekend.

V/H/S: VIRAL is now available on iTunes / On Demand and in theaters November 21, 2014.

 3.5 out of 5 Stars

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