Following the outbreak of a virus that wipes out the majority of the human population, a young woman documents her family's new life in quarantine and tries to protect her infected sister.Following the outbreak of a virus that wipes out the majority of the human population, a young woman documents her family's new life in quarantine and tries to protect her infected sister.Following the outbreak of a virus that wipes out the majority of the human population, a young woman documents her family's new life in quarantine and tries to protect her infected sister.
"Viral" is another film to add to your collection of "Disease Outbreak Films".
Emma (Sofia Black D'Elia, "The Night Of") is a new fish in a small pond. Starting a new school and moving to a new house all at once makes her shy and nervous, unlike her big sister Stacey (Analeigh Tipton, "Two Night Stand") who rather live freely and outspoken. When a virus mysteriously breaks out, trapping their mother at the airport. Their father (Michael Kelly, "Secret in Their Eyes") is forced to go get her; trapping himself in the progress. Emma and Stacey must now deal with fending for themselves and surviving this unknown virus.
Screenwriters Christopher B. Landon ("Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse") and Barbara Marshall craft a small and tight knit script that offers some scares at times but overall lacks in momentum and storytelling unlike its aforementioned "Disease Outbreak Films". This would rather focus on the characters of the story than the disease itself, Which is fine if and only if you balance the two. Landon and Marshall would rather us pay attention to Emma and how she is affected by the virus that is rapidly changing those around her. But with Emma not being a strong character, to begin with, or lacking emotional gravitas I found myself not caring about the difficult choices she had to make throughout the film. Now don't get me wrong, she is a very confident, smart and likable character. It's just her actions make less sense as the film progress leaving us - the audience to wonder what we might have done differently in her situation.
And this is the real reason why this film suffers its setbacks. If it had been released first before any outbreak film or tried to adapt or acquire new details to this ever growing genre we would have embraced and welcomed it. But because we've seen this countless times, Nothing is new to us. Which is why I found myself wanting the film to pick a side to land on. Landon and Marshall are not so much at fault here - They do create interesting and likable characters and establish a backstory that shapes the reason why our two leads find themselves in this predicament.
Directors Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman ("Catfish" and "Nerve") feed off tension 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. They have 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".
- Jul 30, 2016