V/H/S: Viral

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
V/H/S: Viral Movie Poster Image
Third movie in horror anthology series is very bloody.
  • R
  • 2014
  • 82 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 18+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

In a way, it warns against the dangers of trying to film everything and gain fame from it. But the dangers are mainly unrealistic and supernatural, and the actual conflicts over this subject may be lost.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nobody here is worth emulating.

Violence

Heavy gore. Man hit by car, with bloody severed arm. Rabbit ripped apart. Dog stabbed in the head. Man fighting with woman, slapping. People turn into monsters. Stabbing. Ripped-open chest. Broken limbs. Fighting, shooting. Dead bodies. Beating monsters with skateboards. Dead monsters. Blood spatters. Car crash.

Sex

Older woman shown topless. Men film/ogle women's cleavage. Girl in shower. Girl in panties. Porn sounds coming from TV. A man touches himself while watching a woman sleep. Topless female "monster" shown. Monsters shown with strange growths where genitalia should be. Near-striptease in car; bra and panties.

Language

Multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t." Also "P---y," "t-ts," "ass," "bitch," "d--k," "vagina," "goddamn," "slut," and more.

Consumerism

Mentions of Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens smoke pot in one scene.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that V/H/S: Viral is the third movie in the V/H/S horror anthology series. This one abandons the creepy house full of old video cassettes and takes place in the present day, when everybody films everything in the hopes of getting famous on YouTube. Expect extreme gore, fighting, bashing with skateboards, blood spatters, shooting, killing, and monsters. An older topless woman is shown, as is a topless female "monster." Monsters are shown with strange growths where their genitalia should be. There's a near striptease and some cameras ogling women's cleavage. Language is strong, especially in the skateboarding segment, with constant uses of "f--k" and "s--t." Teens smoke pot in one scene. The theme of seeking fame via online viral videos is a timely and relevant one, but the supernatural elements here may render the discussion null and void.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byerica921 November 21, 2014
Adult Written bydouglas12345 March 16, 2015
Teen, 13 years old Written byrebo344 June 26, 2015

What a letdown.

The first two films were great, but this one shouldn't even be called VHS. Dante The Great was the only good segment. The rest were crap. The dimension one... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byYaseenP07 November 19, 2016

Its a Disappointment

Before I talk about the segments of the films I want to say that this film relies way too much on gore and shock value. No real scares that first too films pres... Continue reading

What's the story?

In a segment that wraps around the other episodes in the horror anthology V/H/S: VIRAL, a young man likes to shoot videos of his girlfriend, but when he gets obsessed with filming a police chase involving a mysterious ice cream truck, she disappears. Meanwhile, in the story of "Dante the Great," a loser magician inherits extraordinary powers when he discovers a cloak that might have belonged to Houdini. And later, a scientist invents a portal into an alternate universe that looks almost exactly like his own world but turns out to be a sinister, vicious place. Then a group of punk skateboarders goes in search of the perfect spot to shoot a video, winding up in Tijuana in a place of demonic ritual. Finally, the young man catches up to the ice cream truck and finds something terrible inside.

Is it any good?

The gripping third movie in the series that also includes V/H/S and V/H/S/2, V/H/S: Viral abandons its predecessors' set up of a creepy house filled with old video cassettes. Even though the movie seems to have built-in, recurring technical errors -- fizzling out and showing buried, half-erased images -- it has little to do with old-fashioned formats. Instead, it concentrates more on the "viral" theme -- and in doing so, the series spins off in an interesting new direction.

Each of the three segments, plus a fourth wraparound sequence, is told from the point of view of a first-person camera. Characters film absolutely everything, constantly, in the hopes that it will earn them a measure of fame. Each of the segments suggests that this is unhealthy behavior, favoring the act of seeing things for the way they are instead. The movie isn't exactly terrifying, but it's clever and playful and has a worthy -- if dark and bloody -- cautionary message.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about V/H/S: Viral's violence. How much is shown, and how much is withheld? Does it seem over the top? What impact does it have?

  • Is the movie scary? What makes a good horror movie? How does this movie qualify -- or not qualify?

  • What does the movie have to say about making videos of everything? One character justifies his actions by claiming that he's becoming "part of something bigger." Is he right?

  • What's the appeal of making a "viral" video? What's the downside? (Parents, here's everything you need to know about YouTube.)

Movie details

For kids who love scares

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate