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.Written by
In the science class, the descriptions of parasites Toxoplasma gondii and botfly are true, not just made up to support the story. See more »
When Emma gets a text message from Stacey on the first day of the story, the date on her phone says Thursday, October 2. When Emma gets a text message from Evan on the night of the following day, her phone display still reads Thursday, October 2 even though story-wise it should be Friday, October 3. See more »
[the Drakeford sisters are confronted by a Evan's infected stepfather]
Don't worry... he can no longer see us
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Welcome to "Viral"
It has come to my attention that Hollywood loves a good epidemic to shake us at our core. With recent film like "Blindness", "Contagion", "Maggie" and "The Bay" being just a small few to name, they really allow us to fantasize and view what could become of earth if an epidemic overtook us.
"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".
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