Monday, April 18, 2022

Virus-32 (2022)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Virus-32 (2022)
Genre: Horror
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Aeroplano Cine, Mother Superior, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Argentina
Director: Gustavo Hernández
Writer: Juma Fodde, Gustavo Hernández
Actors: Rasjid César, Sofía González, Daniel Hendler, Paula Silva
Blurb from IMDb: A rapid spreading virus which transforms people into intelligent, ultra-violent, extra-fast zombie hunters. After each wave of attack by the monsters, they're left incapacitated for 32 seconds while they recover their strength.

Selina’s Point of View:
Virus-32 is a basic zombie story. I’ve mentioned before, however, that I don’t have much of an issue with recipe films, and this is exactly the kind of flick that helps make my point.
There are some things that Virus-32 did so right that it elevated the recipe.
For one thing, the acting was well done. Paula Silva (In the Quarry, Metro de Montevideo, Feheler 78),  was exceptionally easy to relate to, and she kept me right along side her for the entire ride. She made me care. Her character also made a few extremely smart decisions, which caused me to pay even closer attention.
The direction was extraordinary. There are a couple of tension-building long shots that were impossible to look away from. It was such a simple addition to the movie, but it made a huge difference. Those scenes were, like the majority of Virus-32, following a recipe. Had they been shot as expected; my attention would have waned just about instantly. But because of these unbroken, constantly-moving (but not shaky cam), long shots… I was glued to the screen, and the scares hit where they otherwise wouldn’t have.

There was also the ending.
One scene leading up to the ending, I couldn’t even watch. It was terrifying, and my imagination made it even worse. I straight-up hid in my shirt. Further along, there was another scene that caused me to exclaim – out loud – “get the fuck out of here.” I don’t have many moments like that when watching horror these days.
I’ll admit that I can’t comment too deeply on the script, because my captions weren’t as on point as they should have been. There were words randomly missing/added. Other times it was just a bad translation. I was able to follow along well enough because of my very minor understanding of Spanish. I’m not going to hold the captions against it though, because we received an early copy. I’m guessing they’ll tighten the translation up for when it premieres on Shudder.
All-in-all, Virus-32 was a solid zombie flick, even though it didn’t really subvert expectations the way one would hope.

Cat’s Point of View:
Virus-32 was certainly interesting. It worked its way through the middle ground between a tale of a viral outbreak and zombie horror. While I haven’t generally sought out films about pathogens since the whole global pandemic thing began, these two sub-genres are right in my horror wheelhouse.
The fact that Virus-32 was in Spanish, as it was set in the Argentinian city of Montevideo, helped immerse me in this story further. I was having to pay closer attention because I was following the subtitles. I didn’t get caught up in the usual rabbit-hole trips my brain takes with mainstream cinema. I didn’t recognize anyone here, so I was just able to settle into the story. Well – as much as someone could settle into this particular one. There was a lot of breath-holding and edge-of-seat riding here. I think the only few moments I slipped down a slight tangent were when I recognized that what was said in Spanish didn’t get translated correctly – mostly expletives. My inner child giggled when “motherfucker” became “damn.” I couldn’t help it.
That was the only thing to snicker about – the rest was mercilessly brutal. There were several story choices that had me wincing – not because I’m squeamish (I’m generally not), but because what happened was just so unpleasantly hard to watch.

Virus-32 put a new spin on well-worn tropes and I think it worked well. I appreciated that the audience was put in the lead character’s shoes so that very little was known about whatever was afflicting the populace. I didn’t mind that the production skipped over the backstory that went with the “infection.” (Unless clues were in some of the broadcasts in the background that didn’t have a translation.)
If I was hard-pressed to find a negative about Virus-32 it would only be the brief segments of footage generated by a rig attached to the actor’s body. Fast movement and spinning with that point of view were disorienting for me and on par with shaky-cam. Anyone who has medical issues due to strobing lights should also be cautious here, as there’s a segment in Virus-32 that has some serious light flashing going on.
Virus-32 is a great addition to the Shudder lineup. Fans of the viral outbreak or zombie genres should find something enjoyable here. Just keep in mind, this one gets really dark.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.5/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating 3.5/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R
Movie Trailer:

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