[Movie Review] VIRUS :32
Courtesy Shudder
VIRUS :32 is brought to us by co-writer and director, Gustavo Hernández, and he’s very familiar with horror, being the writer and director of other films such as The Silent House and You Shall Not Sleep.

But is VIRUS :32 worth even 32 seconds of your time? Well, let’s take a look and find out.

Iris is a bad mom. That’s a clear fact from the beginning with her own daughter not wanting to see her, her rum-bottle-cluttered apartment, and her dead-end job as a security guard in a dilapidated building. But when she forgets she needs to watch her daughter, she has no choice but to bring her daughter to work.

However, this night is anything but a normal shift when strange things start happening and, yes, zombies break in. 32-second zombies to be precise — zombies that reboot for 32 seconds after being a real jerk (mostly to humans, but unfortunately to animals, too, so there’s your trigger warning). But can Iris safely get her daughter out of the situation or will she fail all over again?

My thoughts on this are many. Because, back in the day, I actually was a security guard. And I’ll tell you what, I felt this hard. You see, when you’re a security guard and a weirdo like many security guards are (we admit it), your brain does weird things as you’re walking around for hours, in the same halls you walk every day. Especially if you’re a night guard.

You start kind of imagining things that aren’t there. It’s like the Troxler effect, seeing distorted faces in the mirror. It’s when your brain gets bored and starts playing around. Eventually, the mind starts to daydream, and a lot of my daydreams involved zombies.

Courtesy Shudder

So, you can see how this hits a little closer to me than possibly the average person? There was a lot in VIRUS :32 that was like looking into the past of all my horrific daydreams. The dark corners and spooky distant noises you have to investigate, always thinking that when you turn another corner, it’ll be right there. Yes, VIRUS :32 brought me back to work circa 2015, with only a flashlight and a prayer…

Suffice to say, I loved it.

And honestly, this film has a lot to love. Hernández has great pacing; enough mystery; and a creative, fun vision. The cinematography by Fermin Torres was impeccable, taking from old techniques and making them feel fresh again. Gabriela de Armas’s costume designs were down-to-earth, but also iconic; I adored the security outfit for Iris. And there’s only one special effects artist listed in IMDB, and if so Sofia Sellanes did a good bloody job, as they were terrific.

In fact, the list of people who worked on this film is scant. It’s very small. And to think something that polished and that well-told was made by a little more than a handful of people, it’s a bit mind-blowing.

As is the acting, particularly from Paula Silva and Daniel Hendler. Their dynamic together was so raw and real. They made it all feel very real and VIRUS :32 has a lot of real and complex issues in it besides rebooting zombies. There are heavy topics that are intricately woven into the story and the actors portray this shift so organically, it’s an incredible performance by the whole cast. It highlights the monsters from our environment, but also deep within ourselves.

VIRUS :32 is stellar. If you love zombies, strong leads, fresh horror, and the horrors of loss, this will absolutely be your jam, as it was mine.

You can now catch VIRUS :32 streaming exclusively on Shudder.

J.M. Brannyk
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