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Reed Alexander's Horror Review of 'Viral' (2016)

A Not Rapey Version of 'Shivers'

By Reed AlexanderPublished 5 years ago 3 min read

Why the fuck is this movie called Viral? I mean, they tell you right off the bat that it's about parasites. They explain it right in the description. There's a whole damn exposé about parasites in the beginning of the damn movie. So why the fuck is it called Viral? Do they not know the difference between a parasite and a virus? I mean, even a single-celled parasite is different than a virus, let alone the multi-celled organisms in this movie. You could have called it "Infection" and you would have been closer than Viral.

Okay, off the soap box... yeah, the movie was okay. I'm fucking over zombie movies though. Can we please move the fuck on now? We can always come back to them later when they aren't all fucking "Bandwagon Movies." I mean, I even appreciate this movie for what it was. Like The Returned, there were hardly any zombies in it the movie, and the military was a WAY bigger antagonist. But I'm just so fucking tired of zombies.

So here's why this was still a good movie, even though it was a "Cookie Cutter Plot" in a bandwagon genre: Tension and the desperation for survival. This movie was about human sacrifice in some of the most agonizing respects. It was palpable at times, even if a bit teen angsty. It also deals with my favorite part of the zombie apocalypse sub genre: Watching the slow and inevitable decay of society. Most zombie movies skip right to the survival part. This one, step by step, leads you through total social meltdown to the bitter and cruel existence after. I really enjoy that part of zombie movies more than anything else. It was practically all World War Z got right about the genre.

So yeah, the atmosphere was amazing, the acting was fantastic, and it does do the genre justice on its own, even if the whole fucking thing is based on a "Cookie Cutter Plot." I can actually give this one my recommendation as it did not disappoint. You might wanna wait for the whole zombie thing to die out a little bit though.


This movie is just Shivers, but less rapey. I guess it's a good thing they basically remade the same movie, but without being rapey. But even the spread of the infection was a ripoff of The Invasions. They basically just projectile vomit onto their victims (shit, 28 Days Later did the exact same thing). Still, it is pretty interesting how they take you through the entire gestation of the parasite. Even if it's not entirely original, it's at least compelling to watch.

That being said, it does bring me to my first fucking complaint with this movie. The lead female tries to save her sister by studying the parasite and trying to find a way of neutralizing it. She formulates a plan to remove the mature parasite and somehow expects that to be it. Fantastic... and what about the larva? I mean, she did some pretty intense study, even if it was just through montage. What? She didn't think there might be more than just the mature worm to neutralize? I understand they were trying to paint the character as desperate, but they spend a long time building her up as brilliant. I don't buy that she'd be so simple minded.

And of course "Black Guy Dies First." Well, black girl. They introduce the main character with a black friend and she doesn't even make it through the first act... seriously? The only other minority in the movie maybe gets a full 10 minutes of screen time before they take his ass out, too. At least the two primary antagonists are female. Baby steps I guess.

But yeah, even as a bandwagon film with a cookie cutter story, it was still pretty good. I mean Shivers, but not rapey is enough of a reason to watch it and not watch Shivers. I can give it my recommendation regardless of it's multiple glaring sins. It really was that good.

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About the Creator

Reed Alexander

I'm a horror author and foulmouthed critic of all things horror. New reviews posted every Sunday.

@ReedsHorror on TikTok, Threads, Instagram, YouTube, and Mastodon.

Check out my books on Godless: https://godless.com/products/reed-alexander

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