Film Review: V/H/S: Viral (2015)

V/H/S: Viral 2015

Directors: Marcel Sarmiento, Gregg Bishop, Nacho Vigalondo, Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead
Duration: 81 minutes

The horror genre has been graced by many memorable and inspiring anthology films, just look at Creepshow, Tales from the Hood and Three… Extremes, but when V/H/S came along in 2012, it was clear that these guys were going to create a storm. It was this film that first introduced me to Adam Wingard, so for that reason alone it’ll always get my recommendation, but even without this V/H/S was something fresh, exciting and distinct. Then came V/H/S/2, which was home to my personal favourite segment, Safe Haven by Timo Tjahjanto and Gareth Huw Evans, which weirded me out beyond belief with its bizarre and bloody imagery.

Which promptly brings us to the third and final instalment of the fractured saga, that features an absolutely stellar culmination of directors – most with previous work that is on my rave list. Due to the success of the previous two films, it was always going to be a predominantly hard to take another step up the podium, but I think V/H/S: Viral may have just done it – with a couple of slight slips.

In every VHS film, there’s been a wrap around (this is for those of you who are yet to indulge) which walks the viewer through the reasons for seeing varying stories – although the first two never fully explained what the bigger picture was. You may not have heard of Deadgirl but it was directed by Marcel Sarmiento and was downright disturbingly dark, just like wrap around Vicious Circles. As you can tell from the name alone, we begin to realise that the whole viral reality has begun to consume society and technologically fuck with their minds to cause violent havoc.

These unexplained phenomena’s are occurring more often around the world, and segment Dante The Great perfectly introduces us to the idea that anything out of this world could happen. It’s not easy finding someone who doesn’t enjoy a bit of dangerous magic – we’re talking chainsawing assistants in half, Houdini’s water torture cell – so of course this part piqued my interest. However, I was quite let down by the ending to Gregg Bishop’s efforts, purely because I thought it lacked surprise and could have been left a little more ambiguous.

V/H/S: Viral 2015

Parallel Monsters is by far the most impressive piece from all the three films, but that doesn’t come as much of a shock when you know it was directed by Nacho Vigalondo who was responsible for Timecrimes and The ABCs of Death. Parallel universes are one of those aspects of life that seem to give everyone an overwhelming sense of being uncomfortable, so imagine if it happened and you were staring directly at yourself but in another dimension. It would be curiosity that kills the cat in that instance and Vigalondo’s vision of it proves that point. We all know what happened to Alice when she crossed the threshold and that was one trippy experience for a children’s story, so you can mentally transcribe how this goes down.

This segment is directed by two men that created an underground gem, which immediately rocketed its way into my top five horror films of ever because it is the most unique, pulse-racing and psychologically terrifying horror I’ve ever seen. That film is Resolution and those two guys are Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead; they also released Spring this year which has been given critical praise, although it completely disinterested me. The final segment Bonestorm combines skating, cults and teenage rad death kill goals whilst taking full advantage of go pros and home videos to create an astonishing feeling of knowing some serious shit is about to go down, but it’s going to be brutally brilliant.

V/H/S: Viral 2015This segment is directed by two men that created an underground gem, which immediately rocketed its way into my top five horror films of ever because it is the most unique, pulse-racing and psychologically terrifying horror I’ve ever seen. That film is Resolution and those two guys are Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead; they also released Spring this year which has been given critical praise, although it completely disinterested me. The final segment Bonestorm combines skating, cults and teenage rad death kill goals whilst taking full advantage of go pros and home videos to create an astonishing feeling of knowing some serious shit is about to go down, but it’s going to be brutally brilliant.

V/H/S: Viral is the perfect edge-of-the-cliff ending to what was a triumphant and rejuvenating beginning. It showcases some of the most adept and capable directors of current, creating a tense atmosphere of savage oddities that always end in unstoppable massacres from forces that shouldn’t exist within the human realm. Contemporary film making that brings new concepts to the table whilst scaring the shit out of you – check it out.

Verdict: 4 out of 5

Reviewed by Zoë Rose Smith

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