Viral (2016 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Music by||Rob Simonsen|
|Distributed by||Dimension Films|
Viral is a 2016 American science fiction horror film directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, directed from a screenplay by Christopher Landon and Barbara Marshall. It stars Sofia Black D'Elia, Analeigh Tipton, Travis Tope, Machine Gun Kelly, and Michael Kelly. The film was released on July 29, 2016, in a limited release and through video on demand, by Dimension Films.
Two high-school sisters, Stacey and Emma, have recently moved to a suburban area in California. Emma struggles to integrate into the community while Stacey quickly makes new friends and has a local boyfriend, CJ.
Emma befriends Evan, her neighbor. Stacey and Emma’s parents have a strained relationship, and her mother is out of town. Emma’s best friend Gracie begins displaying unusual behavior at school, eating constantly and coughing up blood. She collapses in the school parking lot and Emma and another boy find her in a seizure-like state. The boy urges Emma to get help, but before she can return, Gracie vomits blood all over the boy.
The news begin to report that a “worm flu” has begun to spread to their area. The next day after school, Emma’s father leaves to retrieve their mother from the airport, but quickly finds himself shut off from the girls by the government. The government orders for quarantine to be placed on the whole town: no one can enter or leave.
Not realizing the danger of their situation, Stacey attends a party and forces Emma to tag along. During the party, Stacey finds CJ having sex with another woman, while the local boy from earlier appears, now looking very ill, and starts attacking the party goers. The boy coughs blood on Stacey but before he can infect Emma, Evan saves her. Stacey begins exhibiting signs of infection as a disturbing growth forms at the base of her neck, and she becomes ravenously hungry.
The next day, Emma receives a call from their father, who urges them to secure the entire house. Later that night, they watch as their next door neighbor, Mr. Toomey, fires his flare gun. The military arrives at the house and restrain Mr. Toomey and drag out his infected wife. That night, Stacey confesses to Emma that the reason why their parents are having problems is because she found her father with a student and immediately told her mother. She reveals that nobody wanted to tell Emma the truth, afraid she couldn't handle it. Suddenly, Evan knocks on the door, begging for the girls to let him in and after they do, Bill (Evan's father), now infected and violent, breaks in. Evan explains to the girls that Bill cannot see very well and they use this as an advantage to take him out. Stacey shoots him, saving Emma, but falls to the floor, having a seizure.
Emma and Evan lock Stacey in the bathroom to prevent her from going out and being captured by the military. Emma, remembering the science classes from her father in school, devises a plan to cure Stacey to remove the parasite from her neck. CJ arrives at the house, and Stacey pulls him into the bathroom and begins to devour his arm. Emma and Evan find CJ dead with his arm ripped off and Stacey saying, "He made me do it". Using drugs, Emma knocks Stacey unconscious and begins to extract the parasite, but Stacey awakes and begins pulling out the parasite herself, Emma and Evan watching in horror.
The next day, Evan listens to the local radio and learns that the government has ordered an immediate evacuation of the city. He tells Emma and they find that Stacey has left the house with all the food. They pursue her into a house and discover a large group of infected people. After escaping them, they find Stacey, who tells them that she can hear what the infected are saying as the parasite begins to gain full control of her. Emma, having no other choice, shoots her sister. She and Evan escape through the window, barely saving themselves as the military bomb the area.
Emma and Evan arrive at the gas station her father called from and find a photo of the family, with a note on the back that says to meet her parents at her uncle’s residence in Washington State. Evan takes a vacant car from the station and the two depart for Washington to find Emma’s parents.
- Sofia Black-D'Elia as Emma Drakeford
- Analeigh Tipton as Stacey Drakeford
- Travis Tope as Evan Klein
- Machine Gun Kelly as CJ (credited as Colson Baker)
- Michael Kelly as Michael Drakeford
- John Cothran, Jr. as Mr. Toomey
- Stoney Westmoreland as Bill
- Linzie Grey as Gracie Lemay
- Judyann Elder as Mrs. Toomey
- Philip Labes as Gangly Kid
- Brianne Howey as Tara Dannelly
On April 29, 2014, it was announced Analeigh Tipton had been cast in the lead role of the film, with Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost directing the film, with Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions producing the film. On May 1, 2014, it was announced Sofia Black D'Elia had been cast in the role of Emma. On May 14, 2014, it was announced Linzie Grey had been cast in the film as Gracie, Emma's best friend. On May 23, 2014, it was announced Michael Kelly had been cast as Emma's father.
In May 2015, Dimension Films set the film for a February 19, 2016, release date. In January 2016, it was announced the film had been pulled from the schedule. When Filmyard Holdings sold Miramax to beIN Media Group on March 2, 2016, Miramax was no longer the production company of Viral. The film was released on July 29, 2016, through video on demand prior to being released in home-media formats on August 2, 2016. The film has a 50% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 14 reviews, with an average rating of 4.57/10.
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- Yamato, Jen (May 1, 2014). "Sofia Black-D'Elia To Star In Blumhouse / IM Global / Dimension Outbreak Thriller 'Viral'". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
- "Catherine Keener, Kiernan Shipka, Anton Yelchin & More Join 'The Greens Are Gone'; Linzie Gray Cast In 'Viral'". Deadline.com. May 14, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
- "Devon Bostick Cast In 'Regression'; Michael Kelly Goes 'Viral'". Deadline.com. May 23, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
- "'Paranormal Activity' Directors' Horror Goes 'Viral' In 2016". Bloody Disgusting. May 21, 2015. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
- Lang, Brent (January 8, 2016). "Outbreak Thriller 'Viral' Forgoes Theatrical Release". Variety.com. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
- Busch, Anita (2 March 2016). "Miramax Acquired By Qatar-Based beIN Media Group". Deadline.com. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- "title". Beinmediagroup.com. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
- Barton, Steve (June 21, 2016). "Viral Goes Viral in August". Dread Central. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
- "Viral (2016)". Retrieved 12 June 2020 – via www.rottentomatoes.com.