August 11, 2016

VOD Review: Viral (2016)

"This is one movie that really wormed its way into our hearts."
(aka Worm Flu.)
Release Date: August 2nd.
Country: USA.
Rating: R.
Written by: Christopher Landon.
Directed by: Henry Joost & Ariel Shulman.
Starring: Sophia Black-D'Elia, Analeigh Tipton, Travis Tope, Machine Gun Kelly, and Michael Kelly.

We're usually pretty skeptical when a new Blumhouse movie goes the Direct-to-VOD route, because let's be honest, a lot of their smaller flicks tend not to be so great. We were happily surprised to find though,that Viral was an above-average release for them. In fact, if they could only manage to make their output this satisfying on a regular basis, we'd have nothing to bitch about anymore when it comes to Blumhouse.

Emma and Stacey are sisters, and average teenagers in a small town, just trying to navigate their way through High School life. Emma is sweet and innocent, and Stacey is wild and rebellious, which means that they clash, which makes their already troubled home life (their parents may be splitsville) even more chaotic.

To make things even worse, a worm parasite begins infecting people and spreading across the country, turning the infected into mindless, aggressive creatures, which causes the country to break down. Cell phone signals fail, the power goes off, travelers are stranded far from home, and eventually, the Army movies in to declare martial law and quarantine the small town in which Emma and Stacey live.

With their parents kept out of town by the quarantine (for reasons), the sisters are forced to survive on their own. At first, Stacey looks at it like a time to party with no parental supervision, but it soon becomes clear that those days are gone, and that they're all in grave danger. Vomity, wormy danger.

Pandemic panic ensues.

Viral is a different kind of Infected movie that focuses more on the dramatic impact of the ensuing Apocalypse, rather than just the usual "run, hide, die" aspects of such efforts. The movie is still plenty intense at times, and the feeling of doom associated with most pandemic movies like this is ever-present, but much like Into the Forest, the focus here is on how two young sisters deal with the outbreak and their quarantine, which made it both refreshing, and emotionally impactful.

On the technical side of things, Viral does not look like a Direct-to-VOD movie at all. Not only is it solidly written and directed, but the camerawork is clean and makes things look like they cost way more than the Indie budget that they had to work with.

We honestly thought that Analeigh Tipton was Aubrey Plaza when we saw the trailer for Viral, because they could be sisters. She's her own person though, and she did a hell of a job in this one. Her character had the most to do, and went through way more of a dramatic story arc than Sophia Black-D'Elia's did, and she was impressive. They both were.

What was with the infected and their little meeting? Was it some sort of hive-mind recharge session or something? If there's one thing about this movie that didn't wow us, it's that the infected had a fairly small presence, and when we did see them, we weren't sure what they were all about.

When your Dad tells you no boys in the house, there's a reason for it, and you listen!

Also, why would you go to a house party when your town in under viral quarantine? Don't you think that if there's a sickness moving from person to person, that being in a tight space with a ton of other people might not be the best idea?

Plenty of bloody spewing in this one.


A viral pandemic can happen at any time, and if it ever does, it's going to be bloody, wormy, and messy. Plan accordingly.

More of a character study and sisterly relationship drama (at least in its latter half) than it was an all-out Horror flick, Viral was a solid Infection movie that allowed us to feel the ravages of a deadly pandemic on a smaller, more intimate scale. They could have ramped up the Horror a bit, but as it stands, this movie entertained us, and made us like its characters enough to be genuinely afraid for them.

It's definitely worthy of a rental.


Viral is available now on VOD.

Analeigh Tipton is now one of our favorite young actresses, and Sophia Black-D'Elia isn't so bad either.

1 comment :

  1. It wasn't bad but it wasn't really good either. The acting of those girls was decent, I don't care for their lovers. The worse thing was the scene with those infected having a meeting and nothing happened. They could have some worm sex. Probably, budget too low to afford such a happening.

    On the other hand, those kids having a wild party while parents are gone sounds legit to me. Kids think they are immortal and a warning issued by some adults is something that could happen to others but not them. Not unless the shit happened right in front of them and some had to die. In real life, a dozen would have been pushed down and trampled to death. That's what panic would cause. But with a limited budget, no luck to see such either.

    It wasn't a waste of time but I won't recommend it to friends and family. Unless they are bored to death.