Monday, October 29, 2018

Chills & Thrills: Viral (2016)

Movie Name/Year: Viral (2016)
Tagline: Fear what’s inside.
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Length: 85 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Blumhouse Productions, Busted Shark Productions, Chapter One Films, Dimension Films, IM Global Octane, IM Global, Miramax
Producer: Jason Blum, Sherryl Clark, Phillip Dawe, Stuart Ford, Matt Jackson, Matthew Kaplan, Bill Karesh, Todd King, Robyn Marshall, James Moran, Steven Squillante, Jeanette Volturno, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Writer: Barbara Marshall, Christopher Landon
Actors: Sofia Black-D’Elia, Analeigh Tipton, Travis Tope, Michael Kelly, Machine Gun Kelly, John Cothran, Stoney Westmoreland, Linzie Gray, Judyann Elder, Philip Labes, Brianne Howey, Alexa Fischer

Blurb from Netflix: Two quick-witted teen sisters find themselves trapped at home when parasitic worms plague their sleepy town and threaten to take over their bodies.

Selina’s Point of View:
I was impressed by Viral.

I’ve read some of the bad reviews for it and I don’t agree with most of it.

Granted, this movie follows a very familiar zombie plot. However, I think people who immediately jump to the belief that there’s no originality in the film right off that one fact, are not being fair. I think there was a great deal about Viral that was rather unique.

I particularly enjoyed the spin on the zombies. A lot of things were different than the majority of zombie-tropes out there. From the way the infection spread to how the zombies interacted with each other to how they hunted, it all felt pretty fresh to me.

Personally, I enjoy the zombie-genre. Even if I didn’t, though, this film would have made me reconsider it.

I was not fond of the final scene. There was a little too much solved at the end. I would have preferred a more The Graduate (1976) ending.

I think people approach this film incorrectly. It’s a zombie-type film with horror and science fiction aspects… but it’s first and foremost a teen drama. Even on IMDb, drama is the first genre listed. It’s important to consider that.

Think about it this way. If you’re about to take a sip of a drink that you think is Cherry Coke, but it’s actually cherry juice… it’s going to taste really weird on that first sip.

As for the R rating? I think it’s a very soft R. There’s no significant nudity and the majority of the blood/gore was kept to a minimum.

Cat’s Point of View:
I realized, after a few moments of the movie had elapsed, that I’d watched this one before. My hiccup in recollection wasn’t due to a forgettable film, however. Headache-brain is just occasionally slow on the uptake.

I’ve found I really enjoy when a show or movie in the pandemic or zombie genres explores the outbreak itself, and not just everyone’s reaction once the apocalyptic event-du jour is already well under way. 

For example, I get a kick out of Fear the Walking Dead (2015-) almost as much as the series it spun off from. This movie, however, isn’t so much about zombies though. I would liken this to something closer to The Strain (2014-2017).

There’s a sense of tense dread that permeates the story as events unfold. This isn’t one of those that’s all scares, gore, and action. There’s some good character development mixed in with the outbreak scenario.

I can’t say that the film wasn’t without its flaws – there are a few plot holes. I was entertained enough, however, that I found them forgivable. All the same, I almost wish there was a little bit more time in the movie to fill in some of those.

Even after a second viewing, I’d still have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked this movie. It’s also a little tame on the gore factor and adult situations, so it might even be something good for ‘horror movie training wheels’ for those who can’t partake of the more hard-core end of the R rating. 

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: Spanish, English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 54%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 29%
Metascore – 63/100
Metacritic User Score – 4.9/10
IMDB Score – 5.5/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating 3.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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