The zombie trope gets a 2020s makeover in Shudder’s latest original picture Virus: 32 (2022). This fast-paced horror flick comes to us from Argentina and Uruguay and dropped on the Shudder streaming service this past Friday.
The story revolves around Iris (Paula Silva) an irresponsible mother who forgets it’s her turn to have her daughter for the weekend. Consequently, she’s got no choice but to bring the kid to work with her (while under the influence) at a sports complex she serves as a night watchman. Things get complicated when her community is struck by a virus that turns healthy humans into mindless rage monsters, not unlike the ones in 28 Days Later (2002). Now it’s a mad race to get to her daughter before either of them gets ripped apart by one of the infected.
Like 28 Days Later, these “zombies” run full speed, tearing into any living thing in their path, and I mean anything. As a cat lover, there’s one particular scene I really could have done without. Aside from their rabid behavior, infected individuals can also be identified by a red mark or rash on their hands – assuming you get a chance to look while they’re charging at you at maximum speed. The “32” in the film’s title refers to another fun rage-monster fact: they all freeze for exactly 32 seconds after they’ve attacked someone. Although I enjoyed this movie overall, I did find this particular plot device to be rather stupid.
While searching for her daughter, Iris encounters Luis (Daniel Hendler), a man protecting his infected, pregnant wife whom he’s somehow managed to tie to a wheelchair. I should mention there is a birth scene in this movie and, by the time it’s over, you’ll wish someone was there to smack Luis in place of the baby’s ass.
The actors are convincing and there’s suitable suspense throughout. This flick doesn’t tarry in the plot but plays out a series of action sequences. Consequently, it’s a tight 90 minutes that moves rather quickly. It’s well shot with a notable underwater sequence as well. The ending is far-fetched even in this world, though not unsatisfying. Overall, Virus: 32 is far from perfect, but an enjoyable ride nonetheless.