V/H/S: Viral is a 2014 American anthology horror film from Bloody Disgusting. The final film in the V/H/S trilogy, created by Brad Miska, features a series of found-footage shorts written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo, Marcel Sarmiento, Gregg Bishop, Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead.
Theatrical release poster
|Produced by||Gary Binkow|
|Distributed by||Magnet Releasing|
|Box office||$2,756 (US)|
V/H/S: Viral's segments include the story of a deranged illusionist who obtains a magical object of great power; a homemade machine that opens a door to a parallel world; and teenage skaters who unwittingly become targets of a Mexican death cult ritual. An additional segment was filmed, but Todd Lincoln's short, Gorgeous Vortex, was cut at the last minute since it did not fit in with the overall theme of the film. The short is included as an extra on the film's DVD and Blu-ray release, which starts after the credits for the main film end.
- Directed by Marcel Sarmiento
- Written by T.J. Cimfel, David White, and Marcel Sarmiento
In the wrap-around, Kevin, an amateur videographer, constantly shoots footage of his girlfriend Iris, which she claims to enjoy. As we watch these initial images it becomes apparent that Kevin's grandmother is abusive, at one point bloodying his nose off-screen. Later in the evening, a high-speed pursuit, near his neighborhood, is broadcast on television, and he sees the opportunity to create a viral video. He is too late to shoot footage, the truck speeds past his house, though he sees Iris wander outside in a daze, after receiving a mysterious video call, and get abducted. Kevin chases after the truck, egged on by images of Iris broadcast to his cell phone. The truck circles the neighborhood repeatedly, and people receive strange images on their cell phones that cause them to become violently insane. When Kevin finally catches up to the truck he sees body parts strewn on the ground around it. He examines the driver's seat only to find it empty but with a pair of disembodied hands duct taped to the wheel. Upon examining the back of the truck, he finds a number of televisions stacked atop each other as in the first two movies. Iris appears on one of the tv screens and demands that Kevin upload the footage to broadcasters and presumably the internet as well. At first, he refuses but does as she says when Iris begins to brutally mutilate herself. The deed done, he exits the truck as the image of Iris on the screen continues to taunt him. Outside he discovers Iris' dead body slumped against the truck with her cellphone stuck in her mouth. Kevin realizes that he has been manipulated into uploading the videos and that Iris had been dead for some time. He pulls the phone out of her mouth and sees that it's in selfie-mode. He stares in shock at himself on the screen with his nose bleeding, implying he is affected by the videos as well. The closing shot shows a view of the Los Angeles skyline, smoke billowing up, lights flickering on and off and a helicopter circling overhead, revealing the uploaded videos have gone viral and have begun to affect thousands, thus fulfilling the grander threat introduced in the first two films.
Dante the GreatEdit
- Directed and written by Gregg Bishop
Dante the Great, an untalented illusionist, discovers the infamous cloak of Houdini that grants him the power to perform real magic. He quickly becomes famous, though he learns that the cloak requires regular sacrifices to work. Dante hires a series of female assistants and videotapes their violent deaths at the hands of the cloak. When Scarlet, his latest assistant, discovers Dante's stash of tapes, she alerts the police. Dante uses his magic powers to escape captivity and kill an entire SWAT team. Scarlet then confronts him, and the two duel over the magic cloak. Though Scarlet is briefly able to take it from him, he overpowers her and recovers it. Before Dante can kill her, Scarlet uses a trick he taught her to immobilize him, and the cloak feeds on him instead. Scarlet burns the cloak, only to find it in her house; the segment ends as arms reach from inside the cloak and grab her, having selected her as the cloak’s new host.
- Directed and written by Nacho Vigalondo
On each side of an interdimensional portal, parallel versions of inventor Alfonso cautiously greet each other. Overcome by curiosity, the two explore each other's worlds. At first, the worlds seem exact mirrored duplicates, but they are revealed to hold divergent dominant religions. As a pornographic snuff film plays in the background, his wife Marta prompts him to perform a ceremony with two men. Disturbed, Alfonso leaves the house and sees a large blimp with an inverted cross. When he attempts to record it, he gets spotted by two Orioles, who chase Alfonso before catching him. Their eyes and mouth turn bright red, and one of the Orioles takes his pants off to reveal his demonic penis. He manages to stab it and flees back to his house, where Marta takes off her robe to reveal her demonic vagina. Terrified, Alfonso punches her and flees back to his world, where the demonic Alfonso has already attacked the normal version of Marta as she slept before he stabs his normal self and returns to his own world. The two versions of Marta each kill their husbands, blaming them for the actions of their double.
A trio of skateboarders perform various stunts as the videographer they hired pushes them into increasingly dangerous circumstances in the hopes of filming a snuff film. After they become bored, the videographer suggests they continue the film shoot in Tijuana, where they subsequently become lost after buying fireworks. Once they find a suitable place, a flood channel, the videographer encourages them to again perform more stunts. When one of the skateboarders injures himself and bleeds on a large pentagram drawn on the ground, his blood quickly boils despite the apparent normal temperature of the pavement on which the pentagram is drawn. Almost immediately, a group of cloaked cultists attacks them. Using pistols and improvised weapons, including their skateboards, the skateboarders kill the cultists, and all but two of the skateboarders are killed in the ensuing fight. The dead cultists then rise as decomposing corpses, and mount a second attack, only to be killed and brought back to life once again, this time reanimating in the form of living skeletons. Using the fireworks they bought earlier, the skateboarders destroy several of the skeletons. The surviving skateboarders then flee back toward the border as a monstrous creature appears and presumably eats the videographer along with his camera.
- Patrick Lawrie as Kevin
- Emilia Zoryan as Iris
- Steve Berens as Cop
- Stephanie Silver as Eva
- Angela Garcia as Carolina
- Gary Sugarman as Lewis
- Celia K. Milius as Grandma
- Garrett Bales as Spooked Guy
- Val Vegas Gabriela
- Jorge Marquez as Carlos
- Chad Guernero as Uncle Alberto
- Noelle Ann Mabry as Lulu
- Kenny Burns as Taxi Driver
- Mary Ralston as girlfriend
- Anthony Rogers as boyfriend
- Richard Couch as boyfriend best friend
Dante the Great
- Justin Welborn as Dante the Great
- Emmy Argo as Scarlet Kay
- Dan Caudill as Detective Gregory Hugues
- Stephen Caudill as Swat Leader
- Nathan Mobley as Theatrical Critic
- John Curran as Blackstone
- Susan Williams as Dante's Mom
- Gregg Bishop as Documentary Director
- Michael Aaron Millgian as Clay
- Matt Peevy as SWAT Officer
- Randy McDowell as Harry Houdini
- Carrie Keagan as Herself
- Jessica Luza
- Greyson Chadwick
- Amanda Baker
- Amanda Hall
- Blair Redford
- Cory Rouse
- Jessica Serfaty
- Gustavo Salmeron as Alfonso
- Marian Alvarez as Martha
- Xavi Daura as Oriol (1)
- Esteban Navarro as Oriol (2)
- Nick Blanco as Danny
- Chase Newton as Jason
- Shane Bradey as Taylor
- Cristián Toledo as Sam
- David Castro as Chanting Man
- Angel Sala-Belen as Skull Face
- Jawed El Berni as Skull Face
- Michael Flores as Skull Face
- Alexandra Besore as Dark Fairy Woman
- Natalia Ferreiro as Creepy Woman
- Jonez Jones as Bone Face
- Conrad K. Pratt as Bone Face
- John Oravec as Hobo in the Park
- Jayden Robinson as The Empress
- Cheyenne Scarborough as Masked Person
- Jackson James as Masked Person
- Mark Stephen Ward as Masked Person
- Taylor West as Ritual Room Woman
- Jade Gotcher as Ritual Room Woman
- Tiffany Hamill as Ritual Room Woman
- Temple Hull as Ritual Room Woman
- Kasey Landoll as Ritual Room Woman
- Niousha Khosrowyar as Ritual Room Woman
- Jeannine Harrington as Female Victim
- Anna Kazmi as Female Victim
- Kelsey Richaud as Female Victim
- Faith Tollefson as Female Victim
- Rim Basma as Female Victim
- Lindsay Clift as Female Victim
- Laura Eschmann as Female Victim
- Chloe Nichols as Female Victim
V/H/S: Viral was filmed from May 1, 2014, until May 8, 2014. It was completed on July 1, 2014.
The film was released through Video on Demand on October 23, 2014, and was released in select theaters on November 21. The home-release on Blu-ray disc and DVD was on February 17, 2015, through Magnet Releasing. Magnet Releasing premiered the film on March 20, 2015, on Netflix Instant.
Most reviews for the film have been negative. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently holds a score of 34% and an average rating of 3.69/10 based on 32 reviews. Metacritic gives the film a score of 38/100 based on reviews from 12 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews" from critics. Peter Debruge of Variety described the film as "three playful yet thoroughly disposable experiments in short-form p.o.v. cinema". Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Lacking the originality of the first film and the superior entries of the second, V/H/S Viral spirals downwards towards the same sort of obsolescence as the home video format that provides its title." A. A. Dowd of The A.V. Club rated it D+ and called it "slapdash and ineffectual". Jordan Hoffman of The Guardian rated it 1/5 stars and wrote, "Besides one bright spot involving razor-sharp genitals, this horror compilation is bereft of thrills, scares or creativity." Shawn Macomber of Fangoria rated it 3/4 stars and wrote that the change in tone from previous entries in the film series will alienate some fans but is a "welcome breather". Brad McHargue of Dread Central rated it 4/5 stars and wrote, "The shorts that comprise V/H/S Viral are inventive enough to make up for the blunder that is Sarmiento's wraparound, even if each one breaks the found footage 'rules' in egregious ways." Luke Owen of Flickering Myth writes “Dante the Great has some amazing visuals, a wickedly fun fight scene and an amazing style. Both Vigalondo’s Parallel Monsters and Bishop’s Dante the Great deserve to be in a much better anthology horror movie.”
- "V/H/S Viral". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
- Magnet, Epic Catch Horror Anthology Threequel ‘V/H/S: Viral’
- Horror Anthology ‘V/H/S: Viral’ Picked Up by Magnet Releasing
- Secret ‘V/H/S: Viral’ Segment Revealed!
- Bloody Disgusting
- V/H/S: Viral (2014) - AnythingHorror Central
- 'V/H/S Viral' Unspools This October! -
- Exclusive Tease of Bonus V/H/S: VIRAL Segment GORGEOUS VORTEX
- ‘V/H/S Viral’ Is Now Available On Netflix Instant
- "V/H/S: Viral". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
- "V/H/S: Viral Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
- Debruge, Peter (2014-10-17). "Film Review: 'V/H/S Viral'". Variety. Retrieved 2015-03-21.
- Scheck, Frank (2014-11-21). "'V/H/S Viral': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-03-21.
- Dowd, A. A. (2014-11-20). "The V/H/S franchise goes Viral—and down the tubes". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2015-03-21.
- Hoffman, Jordan (2014-11-21). "V/H/S Viral review – aggravating and essentially plot-free, but that won't scare off horror fans". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-03-21.
- Macomber, Shawn (2014-11-03). ""V/H/S VIRAL" (Movie Review)". Fangoria. Retrieved 2015-03-21.
- McHargue, Brad (2014-09-20). "V/H/S Viral (2014)". Dread Central. Retrieved 2015-03-21.
- Owen, Luke (2014-08-26). "V/H/S Viral (2014)". Flickering Myth. Retrieved 2015-03-21.
- Icons of Fright Interview With V/H/S: VIRAL’s “Bonestorm” directors, Benson/Moorhead
- AICN HORROR talks with all five directors from V/H/S VIRAL! Plus a review of the film!
- Exclusive V/H/S: Viral Interviews Part 1: Gregg Bishop, Justin Welborn, Nacho Vigalondo, Marcel Sarmiento
- V/H/S: Viral Interviews Part 2: Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead