V/H/S: Viral

Well, I’m going to start this review by saying that I absolutely loved the first two films in this series. For those of you that have not seen them, the premise centers around secret videos of supernatural events. If you watch them in a certain order, something strange happens to the viewer. The past movies have consisted of 5-6 shorts with an overarching storyline about the people watching these videos. While the first two films achieved creating an anthology of really unique and horrifying stories, this third installment failed miserably. I will start by breaking down each segment and then go after the film as a whole.

“Vicious Circles”: This segment made the least sense of them all. I couldn’t even begin to give a synopsis of it, because it is so disjointed. What makes this especially frustrating is that it is supposed to be the story that keeps everything glued together. All it does is confuse the entire film and have a rather lackluster ending.

“Dante The Great”: When this segment started I had high hopes. This one focuses on a famous magician whose tricks turn out to be more than what your run of the mill magician can do, thanks to a mysterious cloak. Unfortunately, it had a pretty lackluster climax and ending, turning it from intriguing to just down right cheesy.

“Parallel Monsters”: This was another segment that had me greatly interested. A man manages to create an opening into an alternate universe, which at first appears to be just like his own. He switches with his alternate self for 15 minutes, and only after the switch does he realize that the alternate universe is completely different from his own. It seems like a very interesting concept, until you found out what the difference between the two worlds was. It was so ridiculous you couldn’t help but laugh and think “WTF?”

“Bonestorm”: The focus of this segment is a couple skateboarders who hire a camera guy to film their tricks. They decide that Tijuana would be a good place to finish their video. Somehow, of all the places to skateboard, they end up in a ditch that has strange writing everywhere, a couple shrines, and dog poop (yes, I said dog poop). Soon the group discovers they are surrounded by some kind of cult trying to awaken a beast. This one is honestly the least absurd of all the segments, and there are at least a few scenes that made me chuckle.

I had such high hopes for this movie, especially since the first two are amazing. I think aside from the shorts being more nonsensical and not even remotely scary, the thing that upset me the most was the overarching storyline of “Vicious Circles.” In the first two films you could clearly tell when they were showing you the main story and then switching over to one of the videos being watched by the people in the main story. When the “Vicious Circles” storyline moved into “Dante the Great,” it took me a while to realize they were not supposed to be part of the same segment. Ultimately, I would not recommend seeing this film. If you are like me and loved the first films (so you feel compelled to finish the series), just keep in mind that this one pales in comparison.


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