Directed: by #ShaneRyan
Directed by Shane Ryan, who also stars in the film, American Virus is an excellent piece of special effects and camerawork, but unfortunately it does not work as a film.
The short follows a group of young adults that are aiming to kill the entire American population by releasing a virus that has already been contained. The premise is daunting, especially because it showcases the selfishness and the hatred of the human being. However, the film does not translate this; instead it relies too much on camera work and soundtrack to convey the feeling we do not get with the storyline. The result we get is a piece that turns out to be a shallow and confusing compilation of scenes. We are left wondering who these people are and how they came about to feel this anger. A short dialogue between the group gives us the idea that the group was divided the moment the threat of releasing the virus became real, but we are still not shown how high the stakes really are.
As previously mentioned, the film has its merits, especially on its technical side. Although at times a bit too frantic, the editing shows ambition and the work done with animation really complements the film. The part where the film shines the brightest is the makeup effects. It really translates the love and knowledge of the craft that the #filmmakers have. It is not so over the top and it is really scary and gory.
American Virus embodies the meaning of cinema as a collective work. It is possible to tell that the people who have done this film are passionate and engaged with their own art. And although the film was lacking in character development and engaging plot, I still feel compelled to follow the filmmakers’ work.