V/H/S : Viral (2014)

Hello hello and welcome to day 24 of my #31DaysOfHorror. Play along with me on Instagram with the tag #BarleyDoesHorror or leave comments with your thoughts and favourite movies!

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Well, here’s one that I was really looking forward to. The first in the series really set the stage for something interesting, and the sequel really only improved on the format. So, it made sense to me that this next one would continue the winning tradition. So, here’s the plot first and we can talk about what I got :

Follows fame-obsessed teens who unwittingly become stars of the next internet sensation.

So, lets start with this : This movie is a complete fucking mess. The previous two movies had a pretty clear and concise format. The wrap around featured characters finding these tapes and succumbing to the effects of whatever these tapes were. It made sense, the format was solid and really worked. For whatever reason, the format this time around has completely shifted. The wrap around story doesn’t really have any real reason to go to the individual segments. Sometimes it just cuts away, sometimes it’s part of the story. Now, as I understand, one of the segments has been removed for some reason, but there’s not much information about that and frankly I can’t see how another segment would do more than fill out the length. The issues with the format would persist and it would still be the muddled mess that we are presented with.

VHS-Viral-Trailer

 

The tone this time around has shifted to a pretty silly one. The last two had a fair balance between scary and silly. This one, again, seems to abandon that in favour of mostly  silly. There are a few attempts at possibly being serious, but they all seem to fall flat and so the effect really is funnier than the last two. That said, many of the funnier moments are genuinely pretty funny and entertaining, particularly in the Skater segment. That is one of the strengths of this really, a couple of the segments are pretty solid, though still all of them are weaker than the segments presented earlier. It’s edited in a really bizarre and confusing way, and the whole thing is a bit disorienting and so far from what the successful formula was for the previous two films.

This was really a hard one to take, I had so much enthusiasm for this one and the Magnet releases leading up to this had really solidified my hopes that it would be something great. It just fell so far short of what it could have been. There aren’t a ton of notable performances, so I won’t really get into that too much. A couple of alright stories, but for the most part they really do fall short and it’s such a shame. I do hope that this cut segment gets added, I’m really curious to see what it was all about and what difference it made to the movie. The movie feels really short, and a little bit rushed.

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Without a doubt, VHS: Viral is easily one of the biggest let downs I’ve had this year. Annabelle was a bummer, sure, but this one really was built up in my head to be something great. It fell so flat, and was pretty weak over all. While I acknowledge a few cool moments, and even a good segment or two, over all this one is just really weak and moves a bit too far away from the established format of the VHS movies. This one really just cemented the second film as my favourite. Overall, might be worth watching if you want to complete the series, but if you’re looking for something good, skip this one and check out ABC’s Of Death 2 instead!

FINAL GRADE : C

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