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Virus (1999) Review

My History With the Film:
Alright truth time… I thought this movie took place on a spaceship. For the past twenty two years, I would have swore it took place in outer space. I mean, heck, look at the poster! That’s what I was going on, since I don’t recall ever seeing a trailer for this film. I just remember it showing up at Blockbuster and I just kept passing it by.

Virus popped into my memory about a year ago and I’ve been on the lookout ever since. I finally found it streaming on Tubi, so I decided to sit down and give it a shot. I probably could have gone with never seeing it and the film probably would have been better on a space ship.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A ship’s crew find an abandoned ship that has recently been infected by an alien virus.

What I Liked About It:
-It amazed me to this day how the limited use of CGI alongside practical effects in the late 90’s at times could look way more convincing then modern day CGI. The attention to detail and the filmmaker not totally relying on the technology really made this movie age well. It’s almost cyberpunk and the number of computer generated scenes that don’t work is extremely limited.

-It takes a bit for the movie to get rolling, but once the hybrids appear the movie quickly turns into a body horror movie and it’s better for it. I was surprised at how gruesome the film gets and how far they were willing to take some of gore.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-Jamie Lee Curtis is wasted in this movie. It’s a shame, but the character has just no depth and no real hero moments. I’m guessing she was the “name” they were banking on, but having a lesser star (like say, Julianna Margulies in Ghost Ship) would have been a better casting choice.

-Sadly, the rest of the cast were all phoning it in as well. No one comes across really all that likeable and I felt quite indifferent about them surviving the situation or not.

Additional Notes:
-You only see one side of the ship in the film, because it was already mothballed and the other side was covered in rust. They had to paint the side you see in the film to make it presentable. The ship was sunk in 2009 outside of Key West and turned into an artificial reef. It still featured the Russian ship name on it’s side when it was sunk.

-Jamie Lee Curtis calls Virus “the worst movie ever made” and campaigned during production for the director to be fired and replaced with Steve Miner who she worked with in Halloween H20. Sadly, he was unavailable because he was filming Dawson’s Creek.

-A loosely based tie-in Playstation game was released titled, “Virus: It’s Aware.”

Take one part of The Thing and one part The Borg then slap them into the premise of Ghost Ship and you get Virus. You’ll see I didn’t write much about Virus, because there really isn’t all that much to say. It’s a below average film with some cool effects. Sadly, I spent most of the time resisting reaching for my phone and thinking about what film I was going to watch next.

Virus is a two out of five and I say skip it.

Published inHorrorMovies

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