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V/H/S: Viral Blu-ray Review

VHS- Viral Blu-ray

The third time is not the charm for “V/H/S: Viral.”

After the disappointing “V/H/S,” the sequel (“V/H/S/2”) thankfully improved upon the original in every way. Sadly, the originality of the second installment does not carry over into the third entry dubbed “V/H/S: Viral.”

“V/H/S: Viral” (which is the shortest of the lot) only contains three stories and a lengthy wrap around segment. The wraparound (which is known as “Vicious Circles”) is a complete mess that involves a vlogger searching for his girlfriend and an ice cream being chased by police. It doesn’t make a lick of sense nor does it work as a legitimate wraparound story.

The first actual story (“Dante The Great”) is easily the strongest part of the entire film. It involves a magician with a magic cloak. To say anymore would be spoiling the fun, but, suffice to say, it’s a stylish and creatively told short.

The second segment (“Parallel Monsters”) comes from fan favorite director Nacho Vigalando (whose film “Open Windows” just hit home video this past week). In this horror thriller, an inventor (Alfonso) crosses over into a seemingly normal parallel world. Of course, he soon discovers that this parallel world (and his counterpart) are anything but normal. Much like his previous work, ‘Monsters’ is oozing with creativity and visually interesting designs and cinematography.

The third and final short is a mind numbingly awful piece called “Bonestorm” in which a group of skater punks venture to Tijuana only to encounter a creepy death ritual. Aside from the fact that you don’t care about a single character on screen, the segment is married by a horrifically nauseating home video/first person shooter style cinematography that makes it nearly unwatchable.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? Since each segment has its own style, the quality predictably varies from segment to segment. Overall, it looks decent enough.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? The track is a bit flat, but that’s to be expected with these VHS films.

Extras:
* The customary AX TV featurette.
* Magnet/Magnolia trailers.
* Interviews with Marcel Sarmiento, Noelle Ann Mabry, Patrick Lawrie, Gregg Bishop, Justin Welborn, and Justin Benson/Aaron Moorhead.
* A behind the scenes featurette, FX storyboards, a photo gallery and still gallery for “Bonestorm.”
* A behind the scenes featurette and a behind the scenes, production still, and greenscreen poster shoot photo gallery for “Dante The Great.”
* Commentary by Marcel Sarmiento, Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, Nacho Vigalando, Gregg Bishop and Shane Bradey who recorded together at Fantastic Fest. A very laidback track in which each commentator chats about their own segment, how they accomplished certain shots, etc. Much more enjoyable than the actual film.

Overall Thoughts: Even though “Dante the Great” and “Parallel Monsters” are worth watching, they make up only half of the actual movie. The other half simply does not work as it feels entirely rushed and unfocused. Truth be told, “V/H/S: Viral” really could have used another short or two to balance things out, but maybe they can make up for it in a fourth film (if it ever gets made).

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January 30, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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