Tuesday, February 21, 2017

VIRAL - Virus Outbreak Horror Drama

I have seen the poster of this movie in the "coming soon" section at the Cinema 21 website for a while. It came as a surprise to me when I saw a tweet on Saturday that the movie was already playing since the day before. As my wife and I had no plan to watch any movies on Sunday, we decided to see this one yesterday on a weekday. The movie did not get a lot of hype and I honestly don't think there was any trailer I saw previously, so I only know the very brief synopsis from the website. Without further ado, below is the background story before I continue with my views of the movie.

Brief Story Line

Emma (Sofia Black D'Elia - Project Almanac) was a good high school student, loves biology and just moved in new town and new environment. She seemed to have a crush on another student named Evan (Travis Tope - Independence Day: Resurgence) and was being teased by her best friend Gracie about it. Meanwhile there was a bit information in the background (news in television, or narration on the radio or video shared in internet) about some virus/parasites outbreak in China and seemed to be spreading around.

Emma had an older sister named Stacey (Analeigh Tipton - The Green Hornet, Damsels in Distress etc) who was the total opposite of Emma and loved to make trouble. She was always with her boyfriend named CJ (Machine Gun Kelly - Nerve) who was using crutches as his legs were broken. It was also revealed that Emma and Stacey's father was the biology teacher in their new school named Michael (Michael Kelly - Man of Steel, Everest etc). On that day, Stacey offered Evan to go back with them by car so Emma and Evan would have the opportunity to know each other better. Apparently Evan was their neighbor and staying with his step father.

The following day, a student started to have a virus infection. After fainted, the student still managed to cough blood onto the face of another student and infecting him before she disappeared and nowhere to be found by the authorities. The news spread very fast around the school and it was then put on holiday. Michael told his girls that he had to pick up their mother from the airport and must leave them at the house by themselves. He also told them to be very careful and avoid unnecessary contact outside, while their home was being put in quarantine. To make things worse, due to the blockade by the army and also the Central Disease Control (CDC), Michael was stuck and unable to either go to the airport or back to his home. The CDC also quarantine the whole state, including Emma & Stacey's neighborhood. They started to handout meals for the people to eat and do a daily check on whether the people were already infected.

During the quarantine, some teenagers threw a party where Stacey and her boyfriend CJ went to it. Emma, knowing that Evan would be there also went to the party. This was where the story became more suspenseful, since the infected boy from school also came to the party and creating havoc.

So could Emma and the rest of them got away unharmed from the party? Could the virus outbreak be stopped? Would Michael be able to come back and meet his girls again? And where were all the infected persons hiding? Find them all in this horror drama movie.

End of Brief Story Line

This movie was quite interesting. It was a combination of horrific (& disgusting) moments with shocking and suspenseful scenes plus dramatic moments. It was not a simple horror movie where you would be constantly waiting for the shocking jump off your seats moments but also a family drama movie. This is not a zombie movie where you would be continuously badgered by the  chasing of zombie hordes. There was only few occasional chasing moments by the infected person, but the rest of them were more drama of the relationships between the main characters.

There was no very extraordinary special effects in the movie, but the make up effects were pretty good. The sound effects were quite good as could be felt on the impact it gave to the audience who were having the surprises whenever there were those moments in the movie. The movie was not having a very famous cast, apart from Michael Kelly whom I had seen numerous times before. The rest of younger cast were not well known yet, though I had seen 1 or 2 of them in a movie before.

As for the story, it was not a very original one, though the dramatic moments did give something different compared to similar virus attacks movie which resulted to undead/zombies. It did give an impression of similarity with another hit movie about virus outbreak and the aftermath which caused lots of tragedy, titled Contagion directed by Steven Soderbergh. Although we really cannot compare with that movie which had so many famous stars in it. Anyway, for a low budget movie, this one did it quite nicely and was able to give the audience some sense of thrill when watching it. Please be reminded that this movie is not suitable for kids as it might give a scary sense to children. Oh there was not a post credit scene or a surprising twist moment at the end like the usual horror movies, in case you are waiting for it.

So for those who are interested in watching this kind of movie then you can give it a try and hopefully can enjoy it. But if you are looking for some very full action nonstop suspense kind of movie, then you may not be able to fully enjoy it. The choice is yours.

Happy watching!

Mike's movie moments rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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