Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 72 minutes
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Filmmaker Gino Montoya explores a disturbing prospect in his horror film, Virus; that a computer virus could somehow replicate not just to computers, cell phones and other technology, but make the jump to humans too. From there, anything is possible, depending on the virus involved.
It’s Kevin’s first day at work with a new company, and he’s being brought in to work as an anti-virus tech. His abrasive boss Dan (David Kroll) seems less than impressed that Kevin (Heath Allyn) has joined the team, virus expert Carlos (Derek Vandi) thinks Kevin is beneath him, sad sack Bob (Michael Ferstenfeld) just wants to go home after a long day at work, Rita (Heather del Rio) is on her last day and Jen (Sarah Clark) is the office manager in charge of keeping everything running smoothing in the transition. Thus, the stage is set as Bob realizes that a virus has compromised the server, and the team gets to work to shut it down. Unfortunately for them, they discover the nature of the virus too late, as it jumps from computer to cell phone, auto-calling Bob and causing him to act weird.
And Bob isn’t the only one. Dan succumbs to the same malady after a phone call from Bob, and Rita’s pizza delivery boyfriend finds out that his Bluetooth headset is a direct line to zombie-ville, courtesy of the virus. Things eventually get worse, as the once harmless, mute and zombie-esque victims trade in their silent stares for weapons and killing.
Virus keeps the film moving from beginning to end, whether you can predict what’s coming or not, without too many slow moments. Also, while you may know what is coming, the “why” or “how” remains a mystery for much of the film. It also has fun with itself, and the genre. For example, there’s the off-kilter janitor in the film who gets the coveted role of guy who practically screams, “Doomed! You’re all doomed!” to Kevin, but then disappears until it’s time for the Virus Zombies to have someone to kill. He’d seem odd and out of place, except so many horror films have that one person; you know what role he’s playing.
On the negative side, the film is shot very matter-of-fact. There are a few interesting compositions and angles, but for the most part the goal seems to be to have things in focus, and have the camera wide enough to capture everything in the frame (even if that means often leaving a lot of negative space around the actors). Which is fine, but it misses out on the opportunity to really add something to the film visually, to ratchet up the tension in creative ways or even just mask some of the lesser action moments.
Overall, Virus is a simple yet entertaining horror film. It’s not spectacular, but it offers up an entertaining enough ride. While it primarily works off the suspense and the tension of the survivors slowly understanding what’s going on, and then protecting themselves, it does have one particularly gore-friendly moment near the end that I appreciated. Whether said moment makes any sense is open to debate, but it sure was cool.
This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.
Posted on June 17, 2012 in Reviews by Mark Bell
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