Virus :32

It’s not that Iris doesn’t love her daughter Tata, she does, and would do absolutely everything for her, it’s just that barely able to cope with her own life being a mother is a challenge which is too much for her right now. Separated from her husband Javi, he takes care of Tata but an arrangement for Iris to take her while he works is forgotten until they shows up at Iris’ apartment and Tata immediately proceeds to clear up her mother’s drug paraphernalia.

Iris herself working as a security guard at the Club Neptune, a sports complex, she is obliged to take Tata with her, playing with her and entertaining her as she can and secretly drinking and smoking while alone, watching her through the security cameras which show someone trying to break in; running to the hall where Tata was, Iris finds only the rabid intruder, covered in blood and lunging for her, giving chase through the darkened corridors.

Written and directed by La casa muda’s Gustavo Hernández from an outline by Juma Fodde, Virus :32 is a zombie horror set in the Uraguayan capital Montevideo, opening with a skilfully edited sequence which sweeps from apartment to apartment and out onto the streets before the camera soars up into the sky as panicked figures run below, an ambulance tearing past as smoke rises in the distance, all prompted by the suddenly silenced chirps of the caged canary belonging to an elderly couple.

A warning of what is to come, unlike many similar films Virus :32 takes time to establish the characters or Iris and Tata (En el pozo’s Paula Silva and Pilar Garcia) and their difficult but devoted relationship, the child aware even at eight years old that her mother is not entirely present, caught in the tragedy of her past and not trusting herself to not make another mistake.

Iris probably more comfortable playing games with a child than being an adult herself and facing responsibility, in the besieged labyrinth and faced with an imminent threat she finds she is resourceful and capable when her daughter is in danger, the situation further complicated by the appearance of Luis (Daniel Hendler) whose wife is about to give birth, his demand for help another obligation Iris does not want or need.

The infected fast but not unintelligent they track and hunt their quarry with only a single advantage to the survivors, the brief pause when they are satiated which gives the film its title, Virus :32 a grim but compelling film of awful decisions and actions driven by terrible circumstances which displays more originality and humanity than most similar films of the genre.

Virus: 32 will be available on Shudder from Thursday 21st April



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