V/H/S: Viral

Production Year: 2014
Release Date: 02/17/2015
Studio: Magnet
Directors: Vicious Circles; Marcel Sarmiento, 
Dante the Great; Gregg Bishop, 
Parallel Monsters; Nacho Vigalondo, 
Bonestorm; Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead

I'm back from my short absence with a positive review of the latest film in the V/H/S Franchise!  Chances are if you've stumbled upon this review you're already familiar with the series, if you're not they're essentially "found footage" anthology flicks; each has also managed to out do it's predecessor.  With V/H/S: Viral things are a bit different, rather than the "shot on video" vibe the first two films had, Viral focuses more on the internet age.  A theme inherently present in the third film's wraparound segment (titled Vicious Cycles).  With the 'Cycles we're following a man who's determined to become the next internet sensation, to become "viral" (ahem).

From there the first segment kicks off, Dante the Great is about a magician (Dante; Justin Welborn) who finds a mysterious cloak that empowers him with actual magic.  While the cloak gives him the fame he yearns for it also comes with a price; it must feed on human flesh.  This was the perfect way to start off the film.  It's quirky, it's macabre, and Justin Welborn is perfect in his role as a magician gone mad.

Parallel Monsters is the weaker of the stories in my opinion, this short is about Alfonso (Gustavo Salmeron), a man who manages to create a doorway into a parallel universe.  He meets "himself" and he and his alternative form agree to switch places for fifteen minutes.  While on the other side he discovers that things aren't exactly as they seem.  His wife is strange, seemingly inviting young men into their home for possible fornication.  There's also a lot of demonic literature scattered around the house.  Oh, did I mention the men in this parallel universal have big slimy eel-monsters instead of penises?  I don't think I did.

The last segment Bonestorm was my favorite of the anthology.  A group of skaters making a documentary head to the land of donkey shows and knock off Levis (Tijuana) to film the climax of their video.  The group find an abandoned piece of property perfect for their needs, they also manage to ignore the telltale signs of Santeria scattered around the area...But let's be honest, baphomets with piles of manure are probably commonplace in TJ.

Sure enough eventually the group are accosted by a very creepy woman and a handful of skeletal followers who plan on bringing forth the great beast.  Yeah, this was definitely the best of the anthology in my humble opinion.  For fans of the franchise you'll know what to expect and should be very pleased with the results.  Those who previously complained about gimmicks and weak stories ought to give Viral a viewing, you might find yourself surprised with the results.

The gimmick of the two previous V/H/S films were that each of the segments were "shot on video," something that didn't really carry over to the third film.  While this particular sequel is clearly set in the modern "viral" age, a number of shots contain post production effects to degrade the quality.  With that said, it is a decent looking blu-ray, a number of the segments display rich color and great detail.  The sound is robust and manages to be level; even in some of the film's more hectic scenes.

Commentary with Marcel Sarmiento, Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, Nacho Vigalondo, Gregg Bishop, and Shane Bradey

Bonestorm Featurette (05:36 HD)

Bonestorm FX Storyboards, FX Photo Gallery, and Behind the Scenes Stills

Dante the Great Featurette (08:32 HD)

Dante the Great Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery, Production Stills, and Greenscreen Poster Shoot Gallery

Marcel Sarmiento Interview (02:28 HD)

Noelle Ann Mabry Interview (01:08 HD)

Patrick Lawrie Interview (03:29 HD)

Gregg Bishop Interview (01:31 HD)

Justin Welborn Interview (02:02 HD)

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead Interview (05:15)

AXS TV: A look at V/H/S: Viral (02:08 HD)

This film series has it's lovers and haters, personally I've managed to find positives in each of the films.  The anthology is a staple of the horror genre and it's always nice to see a talented group of filmmakers band together for a project like this.  As for the quality, I feel that with the third film the creators of V/H/S have really found their niche in terms of story placement and editing.  Viral is very well put together and each segment blends into the wraparound story, everything feels seamless which is a testament to the editing.  Overall I would recommend V/H/S: Viral, it's a solid flick and Magnet has pieced together a very nice blu-ray with a great presentation and a load of extra features.