FearTASTIC Vault O’FUN #58
V/H/S Viral (2014)
Director(s):Justin Benson, Gregg Bishop, Todd Lincoln, Aaron Moorhead,
Marcel Sarmiento, Nacho Vigalondo
Writer(s):TJ Cimfel, David White, Marcel Sarmiento, Gregg Bishop, Nacho Vigalondo, Justin Benson
Brad Miska, Todd Lincoln, Aaron Moorhead, Ed Dougherty
Starring:Patrick Lawrie, Emilia Ares, Celia K. Milius
Yes, it has taken me a while to write about the third entry in the fantastic V/H/S horror anthology series. So what happened? Well, I wrote about the first two flicks on back to back months (which you can read about HERE and HERE , respectively) and I suppose my Feartastic fans could use a breather from the V/H/S series. Then just like that, life happened. SO many flicks to chat about and somehow the third (and last) V/H/S flick seemed to get lost in the shuffle of other great horror flicks. Skip forward three years later and I found myself perusing the catacombs of the Netflix horror section and behold! I come across the entire V/H/S series and that’s when it hit me, I never reviewed the third flick! I was so shocked that I had to make sure and google my dear FearTASTIC Vault just in case this review already existed and I simply forgot, give me a break folks, I’ve been at this for 58 entries! Well, rest assured that your FearTASTIC host thinks this movie is worthy to be in the vault but let’s chalk this up to a mixture of absent – mindedness, anthology fatigue and yes, perhaps a pinch of idiocy.
V/H/S: Viral,like it’s predecessors focuses on found footage of the macabre and bizarre, usually in the form of grainy VHS tape quality. This time around, the premise of the horror anthology focuses on a man trying to save his girlfriend while at the same time trying survive the midst of violent chaos that has infected the city through viral videos. What’s interesting about the premise of this story which leads to the horror shorts is that the format isn’t necessarily as grainy or hand held as the other two flicks but focuses more on people trying to become famous by recording themselves striving for excellence with disastrous results. This sequel offers three stories (not as many as the first two) but the theme that ties them all together is the deadly price of fame and what people are willing to endure or risk in order to reach the top.
Dante the Great
A mediocre magician finds himself performing real magic through the cloak of Houdini but he soon finds out that human sacrifices are required to keep the cloak working so naturally, yes, this story ends up with the constant struggle to feed his demonic cloak. This short was pretty great because magic is always something that can go viral pretty quick so the fact that a magician was able to perform real magic at a price was a fun twist. The ending to this flick was also a nice little shocker and the action scenes such as the magician taking on the police with his magic cloak was a nice touch. Great way to start the flick and introduce the theme to the entire film.
The dangers of a parallel universe are explored in this short with a scientist recording his interactions with his interdimensional double. They both decided to switch worlds but soon find out that they are in for a culture/mental/moral shock. The flick follows the scientist from our world discovering his double’s world is one of horror, depravity and yes (SPOILER ALERT), demon private parts! A fun film with a Sci-Fi sort of feel but quickly switches over to horror and even switches faster to the bizarre!
This flick was the most relevant to the Viral theme of the movie because skate videos will always be the first of its kind with skateboarders doing risky tricks in order to sell merchandise at skate/clothing shops. This short follows a trio of skateboarders that are at the clutches of a sadistic videographer who has diabolic intentions. The skateboarders are directed to go to Tijuana, Mexico to perform tricks by what seems to be a cult church. Once one of the skateboarders injures himself on a pentagram, the rest of the short finds the skateboarders running away from satanic cultists and a giant monster!
This third entry in the V/H/S series was a more modern version of the other two flicks but the tying theme of the dangers of modern fame was a clever twist. The stories were fun, at times gory but all very entertaining. I especially liked the video-game sort of feel that the third short, Bonestorm provided and the story of Dante the Great had the makings of a fantastic horror short with a dark lesson and even darker ending. That wraps up the V/H/S series, so altogether, I would boldly say that this series of horror anthologies are probably the best of the last decade, so fingers crossed that they have more in store!