10th Oct2015

‘V/H/S Viral’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Emmy Argo, Amanda Baker, Rim Basma, Nick Blanco, Dan Caudill, Stephen Caudill, Greyson Chadwick, Lindsay Clift, Jawed El Berni, Laura Eschmann, Natalia Ferreiro, Michael Flores, Angela Garcia | Written and Directed by Justin Benson, Gregg Bishop, Aaron Moorhead, Marcel Sarmiento, Nacho Vigalondo


As the third film in the series, V/H/S: Viral runs the risk of taking a good thing too far. Featuring stories that feel like they’ve forced camera footage in them to stick to the over-arcing theme, is it time to end the franchise now? The returning horror anthology this time has a connecting story that features a car chase, with a camera obsessed boyfriend chasing an ice cream van which appears to have stolen the love of his life. As we get a few minutes of this story at a time, we then skip off to some other stories that tend to make a little more sense.

In terms of sticking to the theme of video footage only one of them manages to use this with some style. Featuring skateboarders trying to record footage of their stunts, they soon find themselves in the middle of what appears to be a Mexican Day of the Dead ritual. Featuring fights against skeleton like creatures it turns out to be one of the more interesting of the stories.

The first one we actually get to see features a magician who finds a magic cape which allows him to do tricks as long as he sacrifices people to the demon that appears to reside within it. The tenuous connection to the “V/H/S” theme is the fact that he records all of the deaths so that we get to see them at the same time as the police do. Even though the use of cameras in this tale do feel slightly forced it is an interesting take on magic, and even has an effective jump scare.

The middle story featuring jumping between dimensions is an interesting one, but perhaps the weakest of the selection of tales on offer. With the small time it is given, it is left to the audience to guess a lot of the connections within the story, and the least said about it the better. An imaginative story that takes a lot of risks its real problem is it doesn’t really have the time to breathe.

If V/H/S: Viral has a problem, it is that it tries to do too much too quickly. There are some good ideas on show, but the stories aren’t given time to breathe and to clue the audience into what is actually going on in front of them. As a fan of the first two films I find this to be a shame as there is some imagination on show here, it just feels a little wasted between the quick editing and the frantic pace that feels forced onto it.

That being said V/H/S: Viral may work for some people, especially fans of gore. There is plenty on show here and the focus is very much on horror. It’s just a shame that maybe just as “Viral” videos are, everything has to be presented so fast that we don’t have time to really consume what they are showing. Is V/H/S: Viral worth a watch? I would say yes, but don’t expect to like this as much as the first two.

***½  3.5/5

V/H/S Viral is available in the UK on VOD October 12th and DVD on October 19th.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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