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Just a Sec: Sickle's Take on "Virus:32"

Virus:32 follows a security guard who must find and save her daughter from the facility in which she works, as a throng of people infected with a zombie-like virus descend upon them.

[This movie was viewed on Shudder at the time of this review.]

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Virus: 32 Review

If it isn't clear by now, originality is an important attribute to me for any horror movie, especially as that becomes a rarer commodity with every new idea. If you want to make a good movie, make it original. BUT...there is a caveat...If you can't be original, at least execute. Virus: 32 is, for the most part, an example of the latter. It is by no means original. In many ways it feels like a 28 Days Later-esque virus with a slight twist to add in its own personality and moments of tension. But it was very well shot throughout and had plenty of great set pieces.

The film follows the formula of any modern zombie movie, picking out its favorite bits and introducing its own twist that is spoiled in the title of the movie. This particular virus causes "rage", much like the aforementioned Danny Boyle classic, but the rage is temporarily satiated for 32 seconds between brutal kills. This addition, of course, leads to a few fresh moments, but nothing that doesn't feel familiar from the structure. Virus breaks out, protagonist gradually becomes aware of the danger, protagonist learns the attributes of the zombified people, protagonist tries to escape alive with survivors. It's about as cookie-cutter as they come. But the execution is well done.

The acting is solid throughout and the pacing is steady and stable. The film truly shines in its set pieces, taking advantage of the decaying building's seemingly countless rooms of varying size, shape, and purpose. We are introduced to this zombified building early on (which I will get into more below) as the obvious foreshadowing elements are neatly put in place for our set pieces later on. Despite its predictability, we get plenty of fun out of it because of the care and attention paid to the set pieces.

Perhaps I missed it in an early exposition dump, or perhaps it was a cultural translation I failed to realize, but I was completely lost as to why this seemingly derelict building with randomly advanced security systems was being guarded at all. Every room appeared dilapidated, soggy, abandoned, or rotted. With the exception of a somewhat intact and well-kept front office space with a hefty camera system and these random fingerprint-encoded security measures, there was nothing that stood out as to why we cared about this place at all. This was by no means something that frustrated me, as I also doubt this film failed to explain this and the chances are I just missed the explanation, but I did find it funny and awkward whenever I thought about it entering a new imploding room.

Since the film is most effective in its set pieces, I don't want to spoil any of them and recommend simply watching it yourself. It's a lean 90 minutes and moves at a good pace, so it's worth the time. Even though your brain won't be exercised much with its trite concepts and formulaic storytelling, you'll at least be able to enjoy some fun zombie mayhem that is well executed.

Horror Rating System

Horror Qualifier: 9/10

Horror Quality: 7/10

Film Quality: 6/10

#shudder #virus32 #dannyboyle #28dayslater

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