Cody Calahan and Chad Archibald reunite for sequel ANTISOCIAL 2
When ANTISOCIAL hit the big screen back in 2013, horror fans around the world rejoiced. The zombie sci-fi thriller took social media satire to new level and its fantastically grim and gruesome ending left audiences crying out for more. No surprise then that Cody Calahan and Chad Archibald came back with a sequel ANTISOCIAL 2.
For those who have never seen the original, ANTISOCIAL tells the story of a social media computer virus that turned into a literal virus, causing genetic mutation. The sequel ANTISOCIAL 2 expands the key themes from the first instalment, offering a chilling glimpse of what a world dominated by the virus is like.
ANTISOCIAL 2 begins with survivor Sam (Michelle Mylett) giving birth to her baby, only to have him ripped from her grasp by a stranger before fainting from the pain. Three years later, Sam searches a world infested with infected users from the Social Redroom website for news of her son. Befriending a young girl named Bean (Josette Halpert), she finds herself captured and locked in a facility dedicated to finding a cure. Trapped and tortured, Sam tries to escape the facility before an impending update on the Redroom site hits 100% and unleashes its final phase of attack.
While ANTISOCIAL 2 boasts many of the plot themes from the original film, the sequel’s multi-layered storyline is unfortunately a little overthought and under-executed. The first half of the film starts off well, with our stone cold heroine brandishing an axe as she singlehandedly fights off the zombies but things soon shift when the plot begins to focus much more on the scientific aspect of the virus. The storyline spins off in so many directions that you start to lose track and the introduction of Sam’s long lost son – who has grown at an alarming rate and possesses higher powers – is also a little confusing and farfetched, making the story less believable and therefore less scary.
That said, there a plenty of things to love about ANTISOCIAL 2. Calahan and his team do a nice job of maintaining the dark, desolate atmosphere set by the first film and the special effects are pretty decent with some impressive gross-out scenes during Max’s ‘experimentations’. The cast performances are also solid with Michelle Mylett impressing as Sam and Stephen Bogaert delivering a convincing performance as Max, the desperate scientist who will do anything to stop the upcoming “upgrade”. But the true star of the film is Josette Halpert as Bean, the runaway teen who, like Sam, is a defect having had the “virus” removed.
Like many sequels, ANTISOCIAL 2, doesn’t quite match up to the original but is an entertaining watch nevertheless.
ANTISOCIAL 2 made its European premiere at GrimmFest 2015 on Sunday 4th October
This review was originally written for ScreenRelish