First came VHS. It was okay.
Then came VHS 2. It was good.
VHS: Viral came and upset me by being terrible.
The VHS films are each an anthology of horror shorts with each short contributed by a director of some acclaim. For instance, in VHS, you have contributions by Ti West and Joe Swanberg. In the first two, a cache of videotapes are found that depict horrible things by horrible people. In the third…I’m not sure how it all ties together.
The first two films each feature one short that stands heads and shoulders above the rest. “Amateur Night” in VHS is a sexually charged statement of female empowerment with a star-making turn by Hannah Fierman. “Safe Haven” by Timo Tjahjanto from VHS 2 is one of the most insane, jaw-dropping crazy, and scary experiences you’ll have watching a movie. The standout short in VHS: Viral is…okay, “Dante the Great” would pass for a mildly entertaining student film.
VHS: Viral contains the singular worst entry of the series (and, granted, the series has some stinkers) with “Bonestorm”. “Bonestorm” is 20 minutes of following a group of privileged douchebag skateboarders who run into some type of Mexican death cult.
The directors who participated have shown the capability to produce quality work. Justin Benson (who directed “Bonestorm”) directed the thought-provoking and unsettling Resolution (and the critical favorite Spring). Shame on you, Mr. Benson, for “Bonestorm”! Marcel Sarmiento directed the classic 2008 film Deadgirl. Shame on you, Mr. Sarmiento, for “Vicious Circles”! Nacho Vigalondo directed the cult favorite Timecrimes. Shame on you, Mr. Vigalondo, for “Parallel Monsters”!
Gentlemen, you are better than this.
Readers, you are better than VHS: Viral. Do not watch this movie.
The trailer is the best part.