To those who say that the found-footage horror genre has been done to death, I point to the micro-budgeted V/H/S series, which has succeeded in bringing together some of the genre’s most promising directors to collaborate on blood-curdling, interconnected short films.
The first film, V/H/S, was scattershot in its execution, with some strong segments (The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger) and some dull ones (notably Second Honeymoon). Follow-up V/H/S/2 was much better, boasting some terrific scares (especially in instant horror classic Safe Haven) and only one weak link (Slumber Party Alien Abduction). So, I’m understandably excited about the recently announced third installment, now confirmed with the title V/H/S Viral.
The overarching narrative that connects the horror shorts in this film will focus on, “fame-obsessed teens who unwittingly become stars of the next internet sensation.” Though that’s not very descriptive at all, it’s certainly an interesting next move for the V/H/S franchise, which previously linked stories together with a gang of ill-fated burglars watching the tapes, then a private investigator searching for a missing college student.
The director’s list for V/H/S Viral is highly promising, too. This time around, we can expect shorts by Todd Lincoln, Nacho Vigalondo, Marcel Sarmiento, Gregg Bishop, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. Let’s take a look at those directors for a minute, shall we?
Lincoln, the least proven, previously helmed and wrote The Apparition, which we can all agree was pretty awful. Hopefully this film will give him the chance to tell a truly scary story given a smaller scale and greater attention to plot.
Vigalondo is the writer-director behind SXSW entry Open Windows, which I personally found to be a breath of fresh air for the voyeur subgenre. He also brought us the “A is for Apocalypse” segment in The ABCs of Death and the terrific Timecrimes. Out of all the directors attached to V/H/S Viral, he’s perhaps the one I’m most thrilled about.
Sarmiento directed “D is for Dogfight,” one of the most roundly acclaimed segments in The ABCs of Death, in addition to Deadgirl, an ingenious if tremendously disturbing horror flick about two guys who discover a strange woman imprisoned in a dilapidated mental hospital. He’s working on another horror film at the moment, called No Exit, though very little has emerged about that project.
Bishop is another relative unknown. He directed a 2008 horror comedy called Dance of the Dead, focusing on a zombie outbreak during a high school prom, as well as an odd, Angry Birds-inspired short film riff on Alfred Hitchock’s The Birds titled The Birds of Anger.
Finally, Benson and Moorhead are the team behind Resolution, a horror film that our own Matt Donato gave four stars in his Blu-Ray review and later named the eleventh best entry in the genre from last year. I’m excited to see anything from this duo, so the fact that they are on board further raises my expectations for V/H/S Viral.
TJ Cimfel and Dave White will assist the directors with script duties, and while Emilia Zoryan, Justin Welborn and Emmy Argo have been cast, their roles, as well as the specific plots of the shorts, are still under wraps. The only clue we have is the baffling photo above, which finds one character in the clutches of a very creepy-looking trio of women. It’s not too much of a leap to gather that they don’t have the purest of intentions for their poor captive.
No release date has been set yet for V/H/S Viral, though a festival run is to be expected, along with a title change, if past installments (S/V/H/S to V/H/S/2) are any indication.
Source: The Film Stage