Drama, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Horror
IMDB rating:
Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost
Judyann Elder as Mrs. Toomey
Philip Labes as Gangly Kid
Sofia Black-D'Elia as Emma Drakeford
Travis Tope as Evan Klein
Machine Gun Kelly as CJ (as Colson Baker)
Brianne Howey as Tara Dannelly
Matt Knudsen as CDC Agent
Jennifer Say Gan as CDC Agent
Analeigh Tipton as Stacey Drakeford
Brendon Hale Eggersen as Party Jock
Alexa Fischer as CDC Investigator
Michael Kelly as Michael Drakeford
John Cothran Jr. as Mr. Toomey
Storyline: 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.
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simple nothing horror
Sisters Emma (Sofia Black-D'Elia) and Stacey Drakeford (Analeigh Tipton) are home alone in a California suburb. As her class studies parasites, her friend Gracie starts coughing up blood. Emma has a crush on neighbor Evan Klein (Travis Tope). The girls go to a party where all hell breaks loose. Their father is away and stuck outside of a quarantine during a viral outbreak. Some on the internet call it worm flu.

This is a relative simple horror. It's nothing we haven't seen before. Its unoriginality leaves it without any scares. The worms are functional body horror but not that grotesque. The girls' sistership has some potential. Overall, this is too basic to be that interesting.
A not too bad little virus/zombie flick with an emotional component...
Viral is a not too bad little virus/zombie flick. Its pitched squarely at the late teen, early twenty something demographic but its accessible to older movie goers too.

Its a predictable, well worn formula for the most part. Virus leads to end of the world style zombie outbreak. There's something of an emotional component and focus to this film, that somewhat "softens" it and makes it more thought provoking than your standard zombie fare. What happens to families and people in general, when a disaster occurs, how does it shape our behaviour and influence our loyalties?

Its a nice touch that lifts this film above a lot of similar films in the survivalist/zombie horror genre. Its reasonably well acted too, which is also a plus.

All in all, a well scripted, directed and acted film that's an enjoyable, if at times sad watch. Seven out of ten from me.
A Well Directed Film With Strong Characters
"Worm-flu hits America..." I really wasn't looking forward to watching this film with that tagline, though the synopsis and trailer were enough of a hook to fish me in... and I am glad they did.

There's some new illness going around and it spreads with the speed of Speedy Gonzalas. At first, the news tells people not to worry... then to stay at home... then the airwaves are taken over by the CDC as everything goes to hell.

What you get here is a typical "Teenagers will do what teenagers will do survival story". the difference being it's pretty strongly directed and acted.

The story by Barbara Marshall and Christopher Landon had me in mind of Stephen King's Cell (also reviewed on this blog) though done better. Instead of a cell phone signal affecting people, it's a strange infectious disease... or is it? What the writers do best is to create strong and engaging characters.

Respect to directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman for breathing new life into the genre by creating relatable and realistic characters, adding tension and scares where required, and especially for some very nice camera shots.

Something else which booted the film in my eyes was the absence of an annoying character. There's usually one character in this type of movie that is irksome and usually lowers the movie; the best example of this is "Snot-Girl" in The Blair Witch Project. Luckily there's no such character here - thank you.

What you get are sisters Emma and Stacey Drakeford who have been forced to move to the new housing estate in a new city, thanks to their teacher dad's transfer. The sisters are realistically portrayed by Sofia Black D'Elia and Analeigh Tipton, respectively. Even though all hell is breaking loose around them it's a story of their relationship and how strong their and their families bonds are.

Even though there aren't many big special effects in the film, what there is are well done and nicely throughout. The airstrike comes straight to mind as an example as does the "wiggly" ears...

If you like science fiction films about humans fighting an unwinnable fight against unknown forces then this would be worth a watch. You will also see how Cell should have been done.
Foremost, I liked seeing the logo of Dimension Films at the beginning of Viral. I didn't know that that studio, which during the '90s was like the Blumhouse from nowadays, still existed. Wait a minute... Viral is also from Blumhouse?! Who bought who? Nevermind. The point is that Viral is a fascinating film with elements of a juvenile drama, "coming of age" tale and a disturbing vision of the post- apocalyptic world in which civilization gradually crumbles, on the one hand because of the effects of a mysterious illness, and on the other hand, the violence and paranoia developed between the few survivors. But all that is condensed into the minuscule scale of a typical North American suburb, and from the point of view of two young women who are suddenly separated from everything they considered normal. I guess some people will also add "zombie cinema" to that list of ingredients, even if the infected ones in Viral aren't exactly "living dead", but I would personally not do so. To start with, the feature defining Viral aren't the zombies, or the typical hunt/chase of creatures through the abandoned city. On the opposite, Viral stays at home in order to examine the relationship between the two main characters, displaying the chaos of their social micro-universe, their adaptation to isolation and the strengthening of the sisterly bonds when the deterioration of physical and social condition obliges them to mature. One of the things I liked the most in Viral is the nature of the epidemic, as well as its symptoms and gradual transformation of the infected ones; co-screenwriters Christopher Landon and Barbara Marshall created a very interesting biological cycle I would like to see further explored in future sequels. Besides, we have the excellent performances from Sofia Black-D'Elia and Analeigh Tipton, who feel absolutely credible in their roles while having a perfect chemistry with each other, transmitting a simultaneously casual, deep, warm and hostile dynamic. And the ending is very satisfactory, while leaving us with a bittersweet message which doesn't betray the spirit of the movie. In summary, Viral isn't a post-apocalyptic epic, but an intimate tale with a global aftermath (or vice versa). It isn't a zombie movie, but a sincere juvenile drama with blood and violence instead of "makeovers" and musical assemblies. But don't expect "hardcore" horror either; just the honest interaction between two young woman who love each other in the inside, but hate each other in the outside. It would be a "chick flick" if it wasn't for the bloody vomit.
cell+the strain=crap w/misleading title.
This will probably be one of the worst movies of 2016. I watched it yesterday and it was a waste of time. The story is so unoriginal, it's like a second rate trying hard (if they even tried hard enough) copycat of the strain. Though i must say that it succeeded at copying the crapiness of another worst film contender of the year.. CELL( samuel l. Jackson).

That script is so crappy only a dumb person would say that in real life. The acting is really bad, especially from the main leads, the cute guy, the cute girl and aneleigh tipton's boyfriend. The two main characters are eye candies but they can't really act. Oh, and there's even a cringe worthy love story going on in this movie too. It's like twilight but instead of vampires it's a vampire,zombie,WORM hybrid.

Sorry for my crappy English.. but this movie is crappier (if that's a word).

If you're planning on watching this, don't. It will just eat your brains out and will get insane JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIE. Just watch the happening instead. It's a bad movie, but compared to this, its a masterpiece.

P.s. it's not even a virus.. It's a parasitic worm.. Whoever gave title to this movie should've checked the definition of viral first. My gee.
How many times can u recycle the same story...
It baffles me how nowadays you can just pick 3 or 4 old movies, mush them together and make a new one... I won't say Viral is necessarily a bad movie, what I can say is that it horribly lacks originality, it is very predictable and brings utterly nothing new to the table. Watching the same regurgitated story over and over is really getting tiring... The movie lazily rips off elements from other movies as they are without even bothering to switch things up. It's basically the combination of Carriers (2009), The Crazies (2010), Maggie (2015), and The Hive(2015).
If you are pro horror movies fanatic, i guess you felt OK and bored.
i watch this late at night 12:00am so can felt the horror within this movie. Like me love thrill, adrenaline scary horror scene and disgusting feeling watching it. This movie is for newbie kids or youngster felt chill and terrific about pandemic virus outbreak. OK, common say zombie outbreak. For me, i watch and surf internet. This movie really tell a lot people natural behavior really stubborn and headstrong and naive and no brain and selfies. After watching tons of pandemic virus or zombie outbreak this movie bring chill and teach human kind stay alert and stay safe and always backup and have survivor instinct. The main character please next time act more realistic that all.
The worm that turned.......
Emma and her sister Stacey are teenagers in a small town, when an infection begins to spread across the townsfolk.

Now quarantined, and their parents on the other side of the barrier, the girls do what any healthy teenager would do and eat rubbish and sneak out to parties.

But when the infection starts to affect people they know, the girls, together with their neighbour and secret crush Evan, barricade themselves into their home.

But it's already be too late, the infection is in their midst, and Emma must choose to either protect her sister, or survive the virus........

Jason Blum must be laughing all the way to the bank. His production company is responsible for more than fifty percent of horror movies these days, and the foolproof ingredients are, small settings, low budget, simple premise.

And by golly they do some business, but it's not surprising that this has been released straight to DVD.

First off, of all the Blumhouse films that I've seen (and I've seen a lot), this has the least cinematic feel to it, although we are situated in quite a sizeable suburb, the cast seems pretty sparse, as the only time where we see multiple characters are in class, or right at the end. The majority of the film features our three protagonists running around empty streets, or looking out of their windows.

It's effective, but it's also very budget friendly, but the shots of the characters on the roof, are ironically some of the most beautiful shots I've seen in a modern horror film. It's sounds like I'm contradicting myself, but if you've seen the film, you will know where I'm coming from.

The quarantine film isn't very new, but integrating it with a high school movie is a clever move, because it will attract different demographics, whereas similar films like Right At Your Door Failed to do so.

The second act is arguably the strongest part of the film. All the emotion, all the interesting narrative, and all the effective chills are featured here, as Emma tries in vain to keep the military away from her and her family.

The third act though sends the film down the river and turns it into nothing more than a creature feature. Again , the emotional angle is there, but the directors of the overrated Catfish could have really explored the blood is thicker than water part of the film.

So all in all, it's an enjoyable ninety minutes, but loses its bottle toward the end.
Yet another epidemic that's about to wipe out the complete global population. It wasn't so bad though!
"There's something going around that's making people sick. Most are now speculating that it's parasitic."

Oh no, again another zombie movie? Or is it the umpteenth film about the end of the world thanks to a fast spreading epidemic? "You know what?" they thought at Blumhouse Production. "Lets just mix together those two worn-out horror genres". The result is "Viral". And I have to admit, the result isn't so bad. It certainly won't compete for the price of best horror. And it won't leave an everlasting impression. But because of the convincing performances and the growing tension, this movie managed to captivate me.

Emma Drakeford (Sofia Black-D'Elia) is a young, shy student who just moved from Berkeley to Shadow Canyon with her father Michael (Michael Kelly) and the rather rebellious sister Stacey (Analeigh Tipton). Apart from the everyday events in this secluded town and the worries that occur at school, there isn't much happening there. The rest of the world, however, isn't doing so well. According to the media, there's an epidemic spreading alarmingly fast. Apparently this isn't something the two Drakeford sisters worry about. Emma struggles with her feelings for Evan (Travis Tope), while Stacey tries to keep her boyfriend CJ (Machine Gun Kelly) under control. However, when their neighborhood is put under quarantine and they are being attacked by infected fellow students, who want to pass the infection by vomiting blood into someones face, they realize that the situation is getting more threatening.

First of all, a petty side note about the title of this film. You can safely call this a somewhat misplaced and misleading title. Perhaps it's fashionable to use this term, since everything is going "viral" on social networks. But this infection which is wreaking havoc in the US, has nothing to do with viruses or viral infections. It's a parasite. During the media reports this is cited repeatedly. Even Michael Drakeford, biology teacher at Emma's school, talks about it in one of his classes with tasty pictures as illustration. Are you afraid there'll be sickening images full of wriggling meat maggots? Don't worry because that won't be the case.

And that's really the only disappointing element in "Viral". As a horror, where a parasite threatens to wipe out an entire population and infected slowly turning into blood vomiting absurdities with superhuman powers, it's all quite ordinary portrayed. No bloody scenes. Most of these horrific situations are handled off-screen. Is this a budgetary decision? Or a deliberate decision so the film is more accessible to a wider audience?

The end result is an exciting but also soft horror, with a teenage love and sisterly love as a major central theme. But the performances are really credible, the shootings look exquisite and there was even an interesting story. Sofia Black-D'Elia plays by far the most striking character and her fragility and vulnerability look very natural and believable. Analeigh Tipton is completely the opposite of her sister. Not exactly someone who sticks to the rules. And a real bully towards Emma sometimes. But above all, she turns out to be a loving sister. These successful performances combined with the better camera work, makes this film a must see.

More reviews here :
How slow can you go...
I wanted to give this one star, but I actually have nothing against the special effects, so I added another star.

Yes, so the effects were believable, the rest of this movie - not so much. I think this might be the slowest paced horror movie I have ever seen. What a drag to watch. And I honestly think this had so much potential.

The acting wasn't all that bad, but most of the time I didn't believe the characters. You don't get to form any connection with this story.

I went in not knowing what to expect. I haven't even seen the trailer. I checked out the trailer afterwards and man, I was grateful I didn't go watch this on account of the trailer. Because the trailer is rather good and I think I would have felt even more cheated by this film, if I went in with any expectations. Wish the whole movie followed the pace of the trailer.

There was one thing that really stood out though (and unfortunately it's not a good thing), but it's like the director or cinematographer had a love affair with the slow pan. A pan is not a bad thing, but it gets in the way if that's the only thing you notice instead of it subtly adding to context or story.

This movie really gave me the sense of lazy film making. There is absolutely no suspense build up and there was maybe one "edge of your seat" moment. It had quite a few scares, but once again, lazy and unfortunately poorly executed, scares. I mostly flipped out of my seat because of sudden big crashes and overbearing noises to add scares. But I really feel cheated by these techniques. Scream is a good movie to teach you all about creating some good scary moments. And I am Legend, knows how to build up some good tension. Viral, however, lacks the "scary" and lacks the "tension".
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