Aaron Moorhead

Vhs Viral

In an ideal world, this would be a review of a Nacho Vigalondo short film that gets to praise simple sci-fi that gradually expands its surprises. Unfortunately, Vigalondo’s short Parallel Monsters is the meat in the middle of a shit sandwich called V/H/S: Viral. The third installment of the horror franchise is a bumpy ride that abandons its original roots only to fumble the easiest concept imaginable. Instead of heading back into the creaky house with stacks of tube-filled televisions on the floor and pyramids of gonzo VHS tapes, it toys with uploaded cell phone videos as infections. In better hands it could have been the love child of Videodrome and a thousand editorials complaining about kids today with their dang-blasted YouTubes, but the handful of unconnected shorts tip the scale on how many interesting ideas we need to wade through before we get to capable execution. Since it’s an anthology, it’ll be easiest to break it down by its component parts while hoping they’re eventually sold separately.

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Resolution has been making the festival rounds for a short while now, and it’s left a strong mark as a smart horror film. Comparisons to the higher profile Cabin In the Woods are frequent, but the two actually share little in common aside from their desire to break away from the genre template. Granted, most of the action here does take place in a cabin in the woods… But the events that transpire differ wildly. Instead of the expected archetypes, our leads are simply two old friends reunited by loyalty, compassion and something that oozes evil from every possible pore (or whatever the evil equivalent of pores are).

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It takes a lot to make horror seem shiny and fresh. When a movie comes along that feels like a breath of bloody air, it’s worth noting and celebrating. Resolution focuses on a friend who chains up his best bud in a secluded building in order to make him stop using, but from the look of the trailer, there’s a hell of a lot more going on. As Twitch rightly points out, the woods, hand-held camera and violence are all stock and trade for a genre that attracts low-budget filmmakers. Fortunately, filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have delivered enough to raise an eyebrow and some interest here:

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published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+


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