In the movie Viper Club, the first movie in theaters from YouTube Originals, at her job, veteran emergency room nurse Helen Sterling (Oscar winner Susan Sarandon) is unflappable: she can navigate crises at her hospital with strength and grace. On the inside, though, she’s starting to fall apart.
Her son, a freelance journalist named Andy (Julian Morris), has vanished while covering a war zone in the Middle East, and she’s just gotten word from the kidnappers making demands she doesn’t even begin to know how to meet. Helen first seeks help from the FBI, who demands she tell no one, and warns her it’s illegal to pay terrorist organizations.
The State Department is even less help.
When she is contacted with a ransom demand for twenty million dollars, her government handlers tell her to stall the terrorists with negotiations, even though they seem to have no plan to rescue Andy. Unable to share any of her ordeal with her colleagues at work, Helen finds herself connecting with a young patient critically injured in a mass shooting, and the hesitant new resident, Dr. Rahimi (Amir Malaklou), a recent immigrant from Iran. She’s plagued by memories of her lifelong connection to her son, a relationship fraught with Andy’s perpetual need for independence and adventure far away from the sheltered life his mother built for him. Andy’s ex-girlfriend, Iraqi-American reporter Sheila (Sheila Vand) brings Helen a morsel of hope: a secret fraternity of international journalists called the Viper Club might be able to help.
Sheila puts Helen in contact with photojournalist Sam (Matt Bomer) and with Charlotte Spencer (Edie Falco), a wealthy New Yorker whose son also was kidnapped by terrorists. Helen grows close to Andy’s network of friends and colleagues and starts to understand the man her son has become.
Desperate, determined, and disenchanted with bureaucracy, Helen must decide whether to follow the rules of ineffective government officials or to join with her newfound community to get Andy back at all costs.
Roadside Attractions is distributing the movie Viper Club theatrically for YouTube Originals.