V/H/S/2-United States/Canada/Indonesia-96 Mins. 2013
A pair of private investigators is hired to find a missing student. They go to his house and find a video tapes with the content of each tape being more shocking than the previous one. Welcome to V/H/S/2; one of those anthology films that forces me as a reviewer to watch an installment, review it, go on to the next and repeat the process all over again. So, do you want to come along for the ride? Of course you do; I have candy.
Phase 1 Clinical Trials
Directed by Adam Wingard
Written by Simon Barrett
Director Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next) is Herman. After an auto accident, Herman becomes the owner of a fully functional prosthetic eye. Make that almost fully functional since there are a few glitches to be ironed out. There’s also the downer of the creators of the eye seeing and recording Herman’s every move. If he thought it was hard to find time to flog the bishop before, well then. The ‘glitches’ include the haleyjoelosmentsian talent of seeing creepy dead people in his home. He meets Clarissa (Hannah Hughes, Pop Skull), who explains it all and has a very ‘unique’ way of getting rid of the apparitions. Phase 1 Clinical Trials is effectively creepy with the right mix of humor and makes for a satisfying start to V/H/S/2.
A Ride in the Park
Directed by Edúardo Sanchez and Gregg Hale
Written by Edúardo Sanchez and Jamie Nash
Jay Saunders (Ninjas vs. Vampires) is enjoying a bike ride when the zombie apocalypse breaks out and he becomes a member of the walking dead. Make that the riding dead. Thanks to helmet cam the segment is told almost entirely from first person point of view. Zombie gore and mayhem and not very much else ensue in this tale written and directed by Edúardo Sanchez (Altered, the upcoming Exists) and co-directed by Gregg Hale (Say Yes Quickly). It’s a fun segment; it just doesn’t bring anything new to the zombie dinner table.
Directed and written by Timo Tjahjanto and Gareth Huw Evans
David Koresh and Marshall Applewhite would have been proud of this segment from Timo Tjahjanto (Macabre) and Gareth Huw Evans (The Raid: Redemption) about a cult leader being interviewed by a camera crew amid allegations that he is having sex with children to ‘purify’ them to make them ready for whatever typical, twisted view of Heaven is loose inside his screwed-up brain. So far, Safe Haven is the goriest segment of V/H/S/2 and the most satisfying for horror fans. There’s everything in here from crazy cultists, mass suicides and a creature that is clearly inspired by both the Minotaur and the Jersey Devil. Some dialogue will make you feel like you need a shower afterwards but that’s okay; you’ll need one to wash all the blood and bits of brain off of you anyway.
Slumber Party Alien Abduction
Directed by Jason Eisener
Written by Jason Eisener and John Davies
Before I even watched this final segment I knew that it had the best title out of the four segments. It also has the most obvious title as that is exactly what it is about. Aliens invade a slumber party with the intent of abducting as many of the kids as possible. Obviously these are the special-education aliens who flunked the class that teaches that it’s more fun to blow up the world Independence Day style than it is Shyamalan’s Signs fashion. Aside from director Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun, Treevenge) I was unfamiliar with any of the rest of the cast and therefore could have cared less what happened to them. Slumber Party Alien Abduction boasts the loudest and therefore most annoying soundtrack which barely draws your attention away from the terrible acting. Best title also equals worst segment.
Looking back I discovered that I gave the original V/H/S an overall rating of . Doing the math and with that unsatisfied feeling gnawing at my gut I find that V/H/S/2 does not fare nearly as well. The film’s original title was S-VHS before being changed. That makes me wonder if the filmmakers didn’t know something all along.
- Braided Barrettes (birthdayinabox.com)
- Shoelace & Balloon Barrettes (birthdayinabox.com)
- Competition – Win V/H/S 2 On DVD (thepeoplesmovies.com)
- UK Readers: Win a Copy of V/H/S/2 on DVD! (dreadcentral.com)
- SXSW 2013 Interview: The Filmmakers of V/H/S 2 (shockya.com)
- V/H/S/2 Captures New Scares in Frightening New Stills (shockya.com)
- Ambush Bug counts down the best horror films on AICN HORROR since last Halloween – Number 18!!! (aintitcool.com)
- Coroner warns of drug dangers after hearing how two young men died from overdoses (manchestereveningnews.co.uk)
- 29 Days ‘Til Halloween – V/H/S/2 (revpatrikios.wordpress.com)
- S-vhs (whyamimrpink.wordpress.com)