30 July 2016

If it has zombies, you can always count me in. So, I was excited when the new film, Viral, was released. Viral takes on the traditional zombie plot; a couple sisters are barricaded within a quarantined zone, while people around them slowly succumb to a sickness. Viral provides some relatively new takes on the zombie genre, but also falls into avoidable clichés. 

The source of the zombie outbreak is refreshing. Viral does not peg the zombification of its actors on the traditional "viral" source. Oddly enough, people loose their minds and bodies through means of a parasitic worm. This makes way for some petrifying zombies, which have bug-like tendrils sprouting from their ears and eyes. I love a good, original zombie, and Viral provides!  

Viral falls into the trap of writing stupid decisions for its actors. In nearly every horror movie, unsmart moves must be made on behalf of the characters for the plot to progress, but some movies cross a line. Viral is on the guilty list. For one, as the town is under quarantine for threat of a virus, the local teen population takes it upon themselves to throw a massive party. As if this wasn't dumb enough, dozens of teens decide to go, including our protagonists. Obviously, this decision does not turn out well, but the obliviousness continues. At one point the youngest sister decides to sleep with her older sister when it is obvious that she is coming down with all the flu-like symptoms for which they are under quarantine for! Ugh!

However, Viral remains watchable. Teen romance is done fairly well within the flick, and though the characters make unwise decisions, I found myself sympathizing with them. Analeigh Tipton (you may recognize her from Warm Bodies) does a great job, as does the main protagonist, Sofia Black-D'Elia. So who should watch Viral? Viral's audience is definitely geared toward a younger crowd. Teenagers will find themselves enjoying this movie thoroughly; the movie is better than most horror flicks. Fans of the zombie genre will also appreciate the somewhat original take Viral portrays. Viral though, will give the viewer no great twist, nor offer anything unexpected. Watch it to have fun, but don't expect it to give you a jog through the horror movie hall of fame. 

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Toby Qualls

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