Viral (2016) Movie Review

Viral Cover Poster Art

2016 | R | Horror, Thriller, Drama, Sci-Fi
85 minutes /

User Score: 60/100

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Viral Review


Following the outbreak of a virus that wipes out the majority of the human population, a young woman documents her family's new life in quarantine and tries to protect her infected sister.

Viral (2016) is a 1h 25-min American science-fiction drama-horror film that was a satisfying watch. Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman have both worked on Catfish (2010), Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) and Paranormal Activity 4 (2012) and I must say I was not expecting much from the duo. I was astonished to see Viral containing excellent scenes/moments and that it is a well above average film. The movie is a bit slow for me, and I guess the majority of horror fans, but it manages to entertain us. Horror fans who loves gore and less talking should look elsewhere because the gore is extremely low in this film and talk rate is extremely high. Viral’s storyline is good with fantastic character development and believable dialogue although some may think that a worm causing zombie behavior might be cheesy.

Viral is about a viral outbreak with a worm parasite that may result at the end of the world as it turns its victims into crazy killers with superhuman strength and the parasite will kill its host eventually. The parasite or whatever it is spread from human to human at a rapid pace. Emma (Sofia Black-D’Ella - Project Almanac (2015), The Immigrant (2013), Ben-Hur (2016)) and her sister Stacey are our typical/average teenagers whose home is falling apart. Emma and Stacey ( Analeigh Tipton - Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011), Warm Bodies (2013), Lucy (2014), Two Night Stand (2014)) was at home with their father while their mother was away on a business trip when the epidemic hit worldwide. People started to get sick at first and later shows psychotic behavior while the virus/infection spreads rapidly but no one knows what is exactly causing it.

Emma’s mother is stranded because the chaos is making it difficult for her to get home, so Emma’s dad ventures out to find the women he cheated with resulting in Emma and Stacey to be home alone. The girls decide to obey rules and head out to a party, and we all can guess what happens, yes, someone gets sick with the same illness that is plaguing the world. The ill person starts attacking people and spits blood on Stacey’s face causing her to become infected. The military began to quarantine those infected and sets a law/rule that anyone who hides an infected will be punished. Emma is left with the dilemma of keeping her sister safe from the military until her parents return and that is if they ever do return.

Sofia Black-D’Ella did a fantastic job playing Emma who was very convincing with all of her emotions including the victim, hero, sister, and her innocence was at the perfect level. The other actors gave beautiful performances as well, but Sofia’s performance was the best. I was amazed to see how well the special effects was in one scene with Emma’s boyfriend’s infected stepfather who lives across the street. I like the use of real-life news footage and press conferences with Barack Obama in this film as it just adds a level or realism. As I said before, the movie ran at a very slow pace that discouraged me from seeing it a little, and there was no action to lighten up the dreadful pace. With all said I would recommend horror fans to watch Viral as it is a good movie for a rainy night where the worm scenes will most likely gross you out.

About Viral 2016

Title: Viral
Original Title: Peste
Year: 2016
Runtime: 85 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Drama, Sci-Fi
Score: 3 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 3/5 stars from 10 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 10
MPAA Rating: R
Starring: Michael Kelly, Analeigh Tipton, John Cothran, Travis Tope, Anna Ross, Jay Hieron, William Patrick Brown, Erik A. Williams, Sofia Black-D'Elia, Machine Gun Kelly, Judyann Elder, Philip Labes, Alizabeth Hamer, Paul Lacovara, Shawn Turner, Matt Knudsen, Jennifer Say Gan, Alexa Fischer, Frisco Cosme, Linzie Gray, Brendon Eggertsen, Brit Kyle, Rick Craft, Dean Neistat, James Clayton, Michael Rader, Stoney Westmoreland, Paul Trunz, Brianne Howey, Annie Ellis
Writers: Barbara Marshall, Christopher Landon
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman