Sequels in horror movies are a given. We have come to expect these sequels to be inferior cash grabs that barely connect the plot to it predecessor. For the most part this is the case and we as horror fans have no choice but swallow what we are given. Well this is not the case for the follow-up to the 2012 cult hit V/H/S, V/H/S/2. The powers that be behind this franchise really know how to pick the directors. It’s almost as if they were reading my horror fan diary… Uhh.. I mean a journal… dammit. Anyways on with the review… Just so you guys know I don’t have a diary…..
The biggest gripe I had with V/H/S 1 was how vague and unresolved the “framing” segment was. Well, that’s not a problem here. Simon Barrett (writer turned director) does an excellent job of building on what was left wide open in the first film. A PI and his assistant ( I got the feeling it was his girlfriend) are hired to find a missing student and of course end up watching the tapes. Barrett handles this with much more clarity that leads to a creepy ending. I dug it more than the first and Barrett was able to create a mythos of sorts that I’m sure will start to come into play in the sequels to come.
In Jason Eisener’s (Hobo With A Shotgun) segment “Alien Abduction Slumber Party” ( Think Signs meets Porky’s on crank), the camera is strapped to the back of the family dog. As the family is being chased, in one of the wildest alien abduction stories ever told on film, it feels natural that kids would go back for the dog. Who the hell wouldn’t? Most of us love our pets more than our families… Okay, maybe that’s just me. My personal feelings on family does not take away from how much fun I had watching this segment. Surprisingly light on gore ( If you’ve seen Eiseners’s Hobo With A Shotgun you’ll know why I was surprised), but once the gas pedal is hit AASP does not let up.
Eduardo Sanchez ( Lovely Molly) and Gregg Hale’s “A Ride In The Park” is the first zombie POV film from the perspective of the zombie. The whole segment being a product of a zombie bite while wearing a GoPro camera helmet. This of course allows for close-ups of all the gory goodness. Which is a lot. Seeing in first person a zombie disembowel someone then enjoy breakfast was a highlight in my life. I didn’t think it could get any better, then the zombies stumble on to a child’s birthday party. This segment could have easily been a featured length movie and that’s not to take anything away from it this segment was damn fun.
Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption) and Timo Tjaohjanto’s “Safe Haven” a crew of filmmakers documenting an eccentric cult leader inside his compound. Each crew member is equipped with a spy-cam in their shirt buttons. When all hell breaks loose and the demonic shit hits the fan, the cameras are rolling and we are front seat for this ride. With out any hyperbole or exaggeration Evan’s and Tjaohjanto have filmed the best 30 minutes ( give or take) of any horror film I have ever witnessed. Everything from the structure down to the editing flows so perfect you almost forget you’re watching a horror movie and feel as if you’ve actually stumbled on to lost footage.
Adam Wingard’s ( A Horrible Way To Die) segment “Clinical Trails” starts off with a guy ( played by Wingard) who just got a robotic retina implant that allows him to see ghosts. This segment starts off pretty standard but quickly takes a turn for interesting when we are introduced to a beautiful character that can hear the ghosts. My hats off to Wingard for coming up with one of the most interesting ways to film the segment. Not to mention a truly cringe worthy ending.
Having originally seen the movie at this years Tribeca Film Festival I had yet to see the flick on the small screen. In a way I can’t help but feel it’s the proper way to view it. I really wish I owned an old tube T.V. with the tracking all messed up and sitting on top of another, bigger non-working T.V. Now that’s a special edition I would willingly dish out the extra coin for! Fortunately for us Magnet Releasing gives us a pretty descent release. While not as awesome as the DVD release for V/H/S/ ( No alternate endings or deleted scenes? Those are always my favorite, come on guys!) it still is has some cool extras.
First up is the audio commentary, which is done nicely by having each segment feature its own film maker(s). It’s always cool getting those little factoids ( Wingard and Barrett had me cracking up and it’s wild to think Jason Eisner shot that fake porno for Slumber Party Alien Abduction.) . Magnet Releasing also included a making of featurette for each segment and the wrap around segment. These felt a bit to short but I guess with 5 featurettes it levels off. We also get a pretty cool photo gallery with 200 plus low-res photos spread over five galleries. Rounding out the extras are a pair of high-def trailers and a three-minute promotional featurette from AXS TV.
V/H/S/2 is now available where ever DVD/Blu Rays are sold. I recommend heading over to amazon.com and laying down the extra scratch for the Blu Ray/DVD combo which includes a VHS copy of the film. A must own for any horror collection.