Blu-Ray Review: V/H/S: Viral

Published on February 20th, 2015 in: Blu-Ray, DVD/Blu-Ray Reviews, Found Footage, Horror, Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews |

By Brad Henderson


The V/H/S series is something I’ve loved and hated at the same time. I say that with the utmost respect; I’m not trying to be an asshole. When the first installment was released I was fucking stoked. Between the filmmakers involved and the trailer that was released, I couldn’t wait until the day I saw it. I remember very vividly renting it at midnight on VOD and being overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. I’ve actually felt this way with every entry and that’s because all the installments are 50/50 for me.

With the original V/H/S I immensely enjoyed the first and last segments but everything in between didn’t really float my boat. Then with the second installment, V/H/S/2, I was floored by Gareth Evans’s batshit crazy devil segment and Jason Eisner’s alien encounter. Actually Eisner’s alien segment is one of my favorite things. . . ever.

Now, we have V/H/S: Viral which I consider the weakest in the series, even though does contain a segment from the Resolution and Spring guys (Moorhead & Benson) called Bonestorm. Like, that’s literally the best title I’ve ever heard for anything. . . ever. If I was a Hollywood executive and I even heard that a film was called Bonestorm, I would literally make it rain hundies. (Hundies is my way of saying hundreds. You’re welcome.) The simplest way to actually sum up Bonestorm is that a group of punkass skateboarders encounter some batshit craziness at an abandoned “skatepark.” It’s not really a skatepark but more or less some type of abandoned city waterway bullshit. It doesn’t matter. It’s kickass.

Anyways, V/H/S: Viral is by far the weakest in the series but one of the most diverse as well. None of the segments really flow together in this installment. Yes, the other films didn’t have a “topic” per se, but at least it was fluid enough to keep the adrenaline going. Viral just drops you in on segments and you really don’t know what you’re watching until three minutes in. At least with the other films we had that transition of people watching tapes and we knew when segments started and ended, but in this one stuff just happens and it’s a little confusing. Not to mention the “wraparound” story. I won’t even get into that. Holy shit, it’s confounding as hell. The main highlight by far in this one is Bonestorm because it’s insane and just plain ol’ bad-f’ing-ass.

One thing I would like to add is that there was talk about a “deleted” segment in V/H/S: Viral. I’m happy to say that segment is back but it’s not really part of the film because it shows up after the credits. I’m not sure what happened and why it was taken out but I’m guessing because it doesn’t follow the found footage formula for the series. That said, it’s easily one of my favorites in the series. . . ever.

No seriously, it’s called Gorgeous Vortex and it’s absolutely beautiful and haunting as all get out. Todd Lincoln made an amazing short and it blows that people won’t get to see it because as soon as the make-you-have-epilepsy credits roll you want to turn it off. (Let’s talk about that for a sentence. What the hell is up with the migraine inducing dubstep credits for the series? STAHP!) I’m really hoping Gorgeous Vortex catches on and people see Lincoln’s masterpiece because it’s quite breath-taking.

Well, I’m hoping I didn’t talk you out of watching V/H/S: Viral. I know this is a tough one considering the reputation they have had and because they’re found footage and all, but I highly recommend checking out Bonestorm and Gorgeous Vortex, easily two of the best short films. . . ever.

V/H/S: Viral was released on February 17 by Magnet Releasing.

5 Responses to “Blu-Ray Review: V/H/S: Viral

  1. Greg:
    February 23rd, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    I’ve noticed that Brad is brutally honest with his reviews and I like that. Even though he may dislike a film he doesn’t “turn it off” for others.

  2. Popshifter:
    February 23rd, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Thanks Greg!!


  3. justin:
    February 23rd, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    overall I enjoyed the movie. I will agree it definitely had some issues. But great review

  4. kaye telle:
    February 24th, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Looking forward to it and I agree with you about the first two.

  5. Ryan D.:
    March 2nd, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Reading this made me watch the film and I have to agree with everything you said about and the other vhs movies. Thanks for preparing me.

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