If you follow my blog, or read often, you know that I love horror anthologies. In all honesty though, I don't think there's a horror fan alive who don't like anthology films. 'V/H/S/2 is the follow-up to the cult smash hit 'V/H/S', which hit last year. Being a big fan and supporter of the first film, I was more than ready to experience the next chapter in this series. Just like the first film, this one has a nice set-up of directors of all variety. Offering us new stories, and new points of view, there's something for every kind of horror fan in this sequel.
I watched the film for the first time with some friends last night. I woke up this morning and gave it a 2nd viewing before my review, allowing me to let it soak in some more in my head. I was pleased with this movie, it's good stuff. But, it's not like the first film. They don't have the same feel to them. The first came off like a snuff film; very gritty and haunting.
This sequel, comes off as a lot more fun and not as serious. There's some good stuff in this movie though, a ton of creativity and heart. 'V/H/S/2' is a really good installment in what may become the best new horror series out there right now.
Director- Simon Barrett
Writer- Simon Barrett
This is the story that was the glue holding the other stories together. It's the one the film starts with, and we go back to it in between viewing the VHS tapes. It's the current story, and it follows two private investigators who are looking for a missing college student. They break into his house to look for clues or, anything that may lead to where he is. They find blood on one of the walls, and a setup of several TVs and an unlimited amount of VHS tapes. The male investigator leaves the female investigator, Ayesha, to watch the cassettes while he roams the house looking for clues.
Much like the first film, you get angles of the viewer, in this film it's Ayesha, watching the tapes with her back turned to the rest of the house. We, the viewers, see weird things going on in the background that she doesn't notice. Adding that touch of suspense. As the other stories are told and allow this one to unfold piece by piece, it still leaves you with questions. But it's a good, well-told story that is sinister, and fun. 3.5/5
"Phase I Clinical Trials"
Director- Adam Wingard
Writer- Simon Barrett
As a small price for getting his eyesight back, a man agrees to let his life be watched through his new government implanted eye, as part of a test trial. He's warned that there may be glitches, but what he ends up experiencing is much, much more grim. He starts seeing ghosts in his house, more specifically, a little girl, who tends to sleep under the covers of his bed. I thought it was really creepy seeing the small child outline under the comforter. I know that I for one, would have crapped my pants, and hightailed it the hell out of there.
Then a girl incorporates herself into the mix, claiming she knows about what's going on and why our lead is seeing weird things. It hits you abruptly and doesn't let up. The last five minutes of this story are extremely suspenseful. It gets pretty bloody too, which is always a nice touch. Overall, I wasn't overly happy with this story, but I did like it. I just didn't do anything really new for me. 2/5
"A Ride in the Park"
Director- Gregg Hale and Eduardo Sánchez
Writer- Jamie Nash and Eduardo Sánchez
This film revolves around a male biker who's out for an early morning run to get his heart pumping. His camera is mounted on his helmet, so everything you see is from the top of his head. I liked that idea, it was different from just seeing through the characters eyes. His trail ride is interrupted when a woman stops him for help, and begins regurgitating projectile blood-vomit. She then bites our main character and the film progresses from his POV as he turns into a zombie.
The zombies in this movie are actually pretty decent. In a world where the zombie realm is overplayed and overused, it's nice to see some new and creative life be breathed into the rising dead. These zombies are actually intelligent, which makes them fierce! You can actually tell how and what they're feeling through the noises, grunts and groans that they make. They're fast, fierce, and brutal. It ends with a bang, and has some humor to it, very entertaining. 3/5
Director- Timo Tjahjanto
Writer- Timo Tjahjanto
This is the 2nd to best one in the whole damn movie. This one hits hard, with a dark and twisted-but desirous story. A film crew goes to Indonesia to do a report on a cult going on. A man, "The Father", of the cult sleeps with children to purify them. He leads a large commune of people who believe in his ideology, that they're on their way to a higher plane of existence.
Things get out of control suddenly and fast. You're thrown into the middle of some sick, ritualistic things that start hammering you with jitters and puzzlement. It's intense and nail biting. The ending gets silly though, and loses that firm grip of fear it built up. Overall it's a damn good story, but it would have been a lot better if the ending had some solidity to it. 3.5/5
"Slumber Party Alien Abduction"
Director- Jason Eisener
Writer- Jason Eisener
This is by far my favorite of the bunch this time around. This is the scariest, and most suspenseful out of all of the stories shown. The camera is first hand POV for the first half, the last half has the camera mounted on the family dog. Finally, a really well done, scary alien movie. The fact this this is a short film actually helps the integrity of it. It keeps things short and sweet, causing you to sort through the mayhem of what's going on. A group of youngsters, young and older, undergo an alien invasion during a slumber party.
The cherry on top was how genuine the characters came off. The children acting like imbeciles gave it that sense of realism it needed for this story to be pulled off. The extraterrestrials are eerie as hell looking! They fit the perfect description of what you expect of "Greys". Bloody well done. 4.5/5
THIS FILM GETS 3 1/2 REAPER SKULLS OUT OF 5