I was excited to hear when the V/H/S franchise had decided to film a third instalment. I loved the first two anthology-style films, and surely this wouldn’t disappoint.
Oy. This one was a doozy. Please keep in mind that this is my opinion, and while I enjoyed elements of the film, it certainly didn’t (in my mind) measure up against it’s predecessors. Also, *Spoilers Ahead*.
If you aren’t familiar with the V/H/S franchise, it all began when six directors in 2012 who teamed up to make an anthology ‘mini-stories’ film which takes place within a different ‘main’ storyline. Horror-ception if you will. The stories were fresh, frightening and altogether exciting.
Now, when the sequel came out, I was prepared to be disappointed. Sequels very rarely are as good as the original, but I would debate that the second in the V/H/S series outdid itself. It came along with fresher, even more horrifying stories than the original, and I found myself on the edge of my seat.
As you can expect, I was very excited when the third instalment was announced. Surely, if you can master the sequel, the trilogy would be an excellent round off.
The main storyline Vicious Circle of a viral infection passed on by cellphone is old hat. Stephen King’s Cell broached this subject back in 2006, and the actual ‘infection’ in this version wasn’t particularly frightening. A bit of a nosebleed, and then you lose your fear of surroundings (like, you can get hit by a car or something). The main characters were unlike-able and annoying at best. I had no attachment to the main character, and was pretty chuffed when he died. The storyline was difficult to follow at best and doesn’t really convey much to the viewer as opposed to the previous instalments’ ‘wrap-around’ stories.
The mini-stories were…okay. First: Dante the Great, was a great premise, but I feel it could have had more suspenseful. It was pretty generic and held no real surprise in the end result. Plus the ‘monster’ in this part wasn’t particularly scary or anything. Bleh. The main protagonist happens upon a ‘demonic’ cloak which enables him to actually be a sorcerer; a cloak which Houdini himself was wary over. You can probably guess that things go sour and the ‘hero’ meets his doom.
The second mini-story: Parallel Monsters, was by far the best mini-story in the whole film. And in saying that, it had a lot of laugh-out-loud moments and pretty hilariously horrifying antagonists. A man creates a portal to a parallel universe that is seemingly similar to our own. Little nuances towards a darker undertone, clever suspense building, and then a big (kinda funny) reveal. It reminded me a lot of the music video by Duck Sauce (not quite the same, but you get the idea if you’ve seen it). The snippet you see above is just a taste of the hilarity.
The third mini story Bonestorm (any Simpson fans?) follows a couple of Mexican teen boys that go skateboarding and smoke some weed. A weird kind of ritual happens by accident when one of them accidentally bleeds on a strange symbol where they are skating, and summons particularly violent beings to which they bash with their skateboards. It was a high-energy piece, filmed with a Go-Pro style camera (reminded me of the second film with the Zombie Bicycler) and was kind of enjoyable but nothing to really write home about.
Unlike the previous films, this movie only had three mini-stories and a shorter run time, which certainly didn’t work in it’s favour with the lacking storylines included in the movie. Overall, it is probably worth a watch if you really loved the first two, but not something I would watch again.
Are you a fan of V/H/S Viral? Tell me why!