Reviewed byJames WrightVote: 7/10/10
This is definitely not a blood and guts zombie rampage, although thereis the occasional gross scene or fight. Instead it is a character pieceabout the relationship between two sisters, and it is done pretty well.
The characters are likable and believable in their relationship, itjust so happens that the family issues they have are being resolvedduring some sort of viral outbreak that has many of the samecharacteristics of a zombie apocalypse. There is some good worldbuilding on that end too, with differing creature rules from youraverage zombie horror, but most of this is put to the side for theactual family dynamic, so there is still stuff to be explored.
This is a small scale story in a bigger world, but still has enoughquality to be an entertaining and heartfelt piece. The only realproblem is the predictable and somewhat generic ending, especiallyconsidering how thoughtful and interesting the rest of the film is,maybe they ran out of steam. Still worth a watch though, just don'texpect a raging kill-fest.
Reviewed byDogFilmCriticVote: 7/10/10
This movie can surprise you the idea was well executed and the twoleads felt like actual sisters, to me that's the high point in themovie how their relationship unfolds, they are complete opposites stillin the situation they care for one another, and the roles from strongand weak will go back and forth.
Sadly everything else is fairly passable as it focuses on what happenswhen your cut off and teenagers make some dumb decisions, I can saythis could have been better but the way it was executed was prettyenjoyable.
The parasite idea I thought was pretty good.
I recommend this one but be ready for a slow burn.
Reviewed bygeraldohannaVote: 6/10/10
It has come to my attention that Hollywood loves a good epidemic toshake us at our core. With recent film like "Blindness", "Contagion","Maggie" and "The Bay" being just a small few to name, they reallyallow us to fantasize and view what could become of earth if anepidemic overtook us.
"Viral" is another film to add to your collection of "Disease OutbreakFilms".
Emma (Sofia Black D'Elia, "The Night Of") is a new fish in a smallpond. Starting a new school and moving to a new house all at once makesher shy and nervous, unlike her big sister Stacey (Analeigh Tipton,"Two Night Stand") who rather live freely and outspoken. When a virusmysteriously breaks out, trapping their mother at the airport. Theirfather (Michael Kelly, "Secret in Their Eyes") is forced to go get her;trapping himself in the progress. Emma and Stacey must now deal withfending for themselves and surviving this unknown virus.
Screenwriters Christopher B. Landon ("Scouts Guide to the ZombieApocalypse") and Barbara Marshall craft a small and tight knit scriptthat offers some scares at times but overall lacks in momentum andstorytelling unlike its aforementioned "Disease Outbreak Films". Thiswould rather focus on the characters of the story than the diseaseitself, Which is fine if and only if you balance the two. Landon andMarshall would rather us pay attention to Emma and how she is affectedby the virus that is rapidly changing those around her. But with Emmanot being a strong character, to begin with, or lacking emotionalgravitas I found myself not caring about the difficult choices she hadto make throughout the film. Now don't get me wrong, she is a veryconfident, smart and likable character. It's just her actions make lesssense as the film progress leaving us - the audience to wonder what wemight have done differently in her situation.
And this is the real reason why this film suffers its setbacks. If ithad been released first before any outbreak film or tried to adapt oracquire new details to this ever growing genre we would have embracedand welcomed it. But because we've seen this countless times, Nothingis new to us. Which is why I found myself wanting the film to pick aside to land on. Landon and Marshall are not so much at fault here -They do create interesting and likable characters and establish abackstory that shapes the reason why our two leads find themselves inthis predicament.
Directors Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman ("Catfish" and "Nerve") feed offtension and unease as they follow the little details of this virus.After the success of "Catfish", "Paranormal Activity 3", and"Paranormal Activity 4", coincidentally both written by Landon. Theyhave an eye for found footage horror, which maybe this could have been- I think we're all happy it's not.
"Viral" is a new addition to our list of "Disease Outbreak Films",Sadly I don't think it will make our list of "Best Outbreak Films".
Emma and her sister Stacey are normal teenagers in a small town, when a mysterious infection begins to spread. With the town quarantined, and their parents stuck on the other side of the barrier, the girls have a blast eating junk food and sneaking out to go to parties. But when the disease starts to infect people they know, the girls, together with their neighbor Evan (Emma's secret crush), barricade themselves into their home. But it may already be too late, as the infection is already in their midst, and Emma will be faced with a choice: protect her sister or survive the virus.