DVD Review: VIRAL

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VIRAL was directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost and stars Analeigh Tipton, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Michael Kelly, Travis Tope, Colson Baker and Machine Gun Kelly.

This outbreak horror-thriller follows Emma (Sofia Black-D’Elia ) and Stacey (Analeigh Tipton), two sisters who find their worlds completely turned upside down when a terrifying virus sweeps across the globe, including the small town they recently moved to. With their parents out of town (it’s all explained), the two sisters take refuge in their home as this mysterious outbreak continues to spread. A military quarantine is put into effect with all of the infected and their homes being marked. Emma and Stacey haven’t always seen eye to eye but this epidemic ends up bringing the two sisters closer together. The sad thing is, Emma discovers the contagion may have already infiltrated their home.

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The movie focuses on the two sisters but other characters do come in and out of the picture quite a bit. We see them in school in the beginning of the movie and then they attend a party where things really start to turn dark. This is also where we get to see what this virus can really do. There’s Evan (Travis Tope) who likes Emma who finds his way to their home because he simply wants to make sure that she’s okay during the chaos. As the story plays out and things go from bad to worse, Emma is the one who has to keep her head together as she ultimately confronts this highly contagious virus point blank range. Emma’s not only trying to keep the monsters out of her home but she also ends up having to deal with one inside as well.

Okay, I really liked this movie! The story for Viral dealt with this mysterious “Worm Flu” and was well done along with the directing from Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost who are best known for helming Paranormal Activity 2 and 3 and the indie hit Catfish. Viral treads on completely new territory for the directors and they pretty much nailed it. All of the acting was great with the movie focusing mainly on Analeigh Tipton and Sofia Black-D’Elia’s characters. The actresses did an outstanding job playing these two sisters who are caught in the middle of this terrifying pandemic. While I’m pretty much burnt out on the zombie genre, some viewers may consider the infected here just that, but there’s more to them. The infected in Viral become drones for these worm-like parasites to control and they’re hard to stop. They also like to infect anyone that gets too close to them. There’s also some creepy cool special effects that go with the infected people and this mysterious outbreak.

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The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details and some images. The DVD disc features the movie title with no artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this standard-definition release were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Viral was a really fun outbreak thriller that reminded me of movies like The Faculty, Contagion, The Crazies and Quarantine. There’s others but these are the four that came to my mind first. The movie itself was fast-paced and there was never a dull moment as the world falls apart around these two sisters. It was fun following these two main characters as we get to know them and what’s actually going on with their family It’s all about the sister’s fragile relationship in the beginning of the movie and how we watch them bond while the world around them crumbles. Analeigh Tipton and Sofia Black-D’Elia are the heart and soul of this movie and they did such a great job with their characters. Viral is another good entry from Blumhouse Productions that continues to crank out fun and entertaining horror movies. The DVD releases on August 2nd and is definitely worth checking out. The movie will also be available on Digital HD on July 29th.

Distributor: Anchor Bay

Run Time: 85 Minutes

Rated: R

DVD Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.39:1)

DVD Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English and Spanish

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

 

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