Anthology films have never been as popular as they are now and V/H/S: Viral (2014) is the third in the franchise in as many years. The concept of “found” V/H/S tapes as a framing device for the previous films was a unique concept but this film has decided to change the framing device to be an actual segment of the film. The Los Angeles police are in the middle of a high speed car chase following an ice cream truck when a young man with dreams of being famous starts to film the chase but becomes personally involved when his girlfriend is abducted.
This film has only three stories in it. One involves a magician’s cape which seems to possess actual magical powers as long as it is kept feed on a constant basis, the second story involves an inventor who creates a machine to open a doorway to a parallel dimension where his doppelganger lives and exploring that parallel world is more dangerous than he realizes, and the third story is about a group of punk skateboarders who find the perfect place to ride that also just so happens to be a place for the undead.
I wish I could say that I enjoyed this film like I did the previous two (the second one being the overall best) but this latest film lacks the creativity and drive of the previous films and spends so much more time on the framing story (which also is not nearly as interesting) was a bad choice, in my opinion. Nacho Vigalondo’s segment about the inventor who ventures into a parallel world is the most interesting. Both of the other two segments have interesting concepts but the characters are not interesting nor the horrors they find themselves in.
Unfortunately, with anthology films you kind of expect there to be a higher ratio of mediocre segments to good ones but usually there is at least one that anchors the film as a whole. Unfortunately, that is what is missing from this film.