October 23 saw the early release of V/H/S Viral, the third installment of the V/H/S film series, which has been praised by horror fans everywhere. But how does a horror series such as this strike lightning three times?
Like the previous two, there are multiple stories in an anthology style with an additional framing segment that wraps around throughout the movie filmed in the style of found footage. Those who are sensitive to camcorder movement or not a fan of found-footage films such as “Cloverfield,” “The Blair Witch Project,” “Cannibal Holocaust,” then this movie is not for you. Those who enjoy the thrill of a shock and twisted plots are sure to get a kick out of this movie.
Each of the four stories (originally planned for five, the segment “Gorgeous Vortex” was cut for unknown reasons) share one common theme, in each story the main character is seeking to be famous or famous on the internet by filming their own video.
The first segment is entitled “Vicious Circles” which follows a man trying to film a car chase through Los Angeles of an Ice Cream truck causing disasters. It was hard to get into at first because of all the camera splicing seemed a little obnoxious at first. But once the focus of car chase began, it got interesting. This is the framing segment that comes full circle at the end. A respectable job from director Marcel Sarmiento.
The movie then takes a completely different direction with “Dante The Great.” It moves into a fantasy direction, but still keeping the horror element. This story revolves around a magician named Dante, who does magic tricks from his trailer park home before discovering a cloak that gives him magical powers giving him superstar fame. But with the magic comes a price, and of course dead bodies. Very intriguing performances from Justin Welborn and Emmy Argo. The special effects of this story was a real spectacle to watch.
“Parallel Monsters” is where this movie kicks into insanity. Adding a bit of the Sci-Fi element, the story revolves around a Hispanic named Alfonso played by Gustavo Salmeron, an inventor who successfully builds a machine that creates a portal link to a parallel universe that mirrors our universe, but makes the mistake by taking a visit to what seems to be a mirror universe yet turns out to be a nightmare. This one will make you squirm a little bit. There is a little bit of horror cheese to this one, but it gives it a B-Horror charm. But it’s still very much twisted. This story deserves an award for originality.
The final story “Bonestorm” follows a group of mischievous skateboarders who decided to film their skating videos in the middle of a cult’s holy ground which turns into a very bloody massacre. I found this story a little less inspiring and it had an ending that made you scratch your head. Kind of disappointing compared to the other stories in the movie.
Overall, this movie is great popcorn horror flick. It’s no masterpiece by any means. Anyone who is into The Twilight Zone or just looking for a cheap thrill should enjoy this movie. The editing is choppy which can be annoying. The acting is quite well considering the level of talent that this movie is working with. All four of the directors did a great job keeping the suspense in all the stories and not doing any cheap jump scares either. But the real talent is in the writing of this movie. The ideas and plots that they came up with in each segment is really the magic of this film.
Definitely worth a watch, especially with a date or group of friends, V/H/S Viral is available now on Video On Demand or you can see it in select theaters November 21.