VHS VIRAL

Epic Pictures Group

There have only been two films in the V/H/S horror anthology franchise so far, but if the jump in quality between the first and second are any indication it’s a series of increasing returns. This bodes well for a third film, and while we’ve known it was coming we had no details to go on until now.

Per ScreenDaily, Epic Pictures Group will be bringing the second sequel to the Cannes marketplace next month in pursuit of buyers. They’ve released the still above and a few morsels of information about the film including the official title, the writers and directors and the revelation that for the first time the segments will share a common narrative theme.

V/H/S Viral is once again produced by The Collective and Bloody Disgusting and appears to feature four stories plus a wraparound. The announced directors include Gregg Bishop (Dance of the Dead), Todd Lincoln (The Apparition), Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl), Nacho Vigalondo (Time Crimes) and the duo behind 2012’s Resolution, Justin Benson & Aaron Moorehead. Most of them are also scripting alongside TJ Cimfel and Dave White.

Ina  departure from the established formula of shorts connected only by their presence on VHS tapes found in ramshackle homes, the third film “focuses on fame-obsessed teens who unwittingly become stars of the next internet sensation.” It’s unclear at this point if that narrative will be part of the wraparound or a common theme in the shorts themselves, but my money’s on the former. Not only does it allow continued freedom in the stories themselves, but it also implies an improvement in the wraparound which was the weakest part of both earlier films.

But don’t be surprised if the announced title disappears by the time the film premieres. They originally tried to have a bit of fun with the titling on the first sequel by calling it S-VHS, but they presumably realized the limitation it would have on the franchise going forward and changed it for the more traditional V/H/S/2. The new Viral add-on matches the stated narrative and suggest that going forward new sequels will be similarly named, but I fully expect a change to V/H/S/3 before the end of the year.

Regardless of what the final title ends up being though I’m pretty excited about the film and the continued franchise. Quality horror anthologies are fairly rare these days, but this one shows continued promise and potential.


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