V/H/S Viral (2014)
The V/H/S horror anthology series now has four films but going into viral I’d only seen the first one- which was a nasty slice of sinister short story cinema. I enjoyed it. Sadly the others are currently hard to get hold of in the UK, but V/H/S Viral was available to rent on Amazon Prime, so I ponied up for it.
I was almost immediately put off by some horrible acting and amateurish camerawork, which didn’t feel deliberately amateur (which is the point of the format). There are a few short tales, interspliced with one which weaves through V/H/S Viral, working as an anchor and bookend. I could forgive a bit of the film not being to my tastes, part and parcel of the format, but apart from one, about a magician and his murderous cloak, Viral failed miserably to engage me. It all feels cheap, again not in the way intended, and frankly, stupid.
Viral is not scary or nasty enough to offset its failings as a collection of terror. There’s no effective terror or menace and I was left cold and disinterested in my seat. Upsettingly, there’s almost nothing to credit it with, including marks for effort or silly fun.
Considering the energy the original V/H/S fizzed with, Viral felt not just comparatively limp, but impotent in its own right. Very disappointing, although I will still watch the other efforts I haven’t seen yet, because God loves a trier. 3/10
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT