V/H/S 2 Review
Off the back of the sometimes awesome, sometimes average V/H/S comes V/H/S 2. A brand new bunch of horror shorts that are on the whole, better than their predecessor with a better framing story around the short films. Everyone remembers the anthology films of the past and kudos to the people behind the V/H/S series for bringing this format back into view.
The film starts with a framing story of two private investigators working on a missing student case. The P.I’s break into the students house and they find a stack of VHS tapes, which one of them starts to watch as the other searches the house.
The short films inside of the framing story are:
Clinical Trials directed by Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett – A man (Adam Wingard) gets a robotic eye and starts seeing ghosts.
A Ride In The Park directed by Gregg Hale and Eduardo Sanchez – A story about a zombie apocalypse, from the point of view of the zombie.
Safe Haven directed by Gareth Evans and Timo Tjahjanto– A documentary crew goes into a cult in the Indonesian jungle.
Alien Abduction Slumber Party directed by Jason Eisner – Kids at a slumber party encounter aliens.
All of the stories are entertaining and very clever with the ingenuity in incorporating the found footage angle. However for a horror feature none of the shorts are particularly scary or creepy. The exception is Safe Haven which is one of the scariest short films I have seen. A truly creepy premise, that goes from creepy to scary and has plenty of WTF moments thrown in. Evans and Tjahjanto do a great job with this and it is easily the best segment of the lot. With an ending as disturbing as it is strange.
The other segments vary in effectiveness. Wingard and Barrett’s ghost story is good with plenty of jump scares but gives us nothing particularly new. A Ride In The Park was an interesting angle on the zombie film and was probably the least scary of the segments but it was one of the more clever ones. Alien Abduction Slumber Party delivers on its title and it is also the funniest segment of the lot with plenty of laughs coming early but they disappear when the Aliens start turning up.
Glad to say that all of the segments are directed very well and the effects, whether they are practical or otherwise, are fantastic. As a whole V/H/S 2 is better than V/H/S which is a good start, the framing story has more of a creep factor and its ending is just as horrific as any of the stories. One thing that can be said is that all of the stories are very entertaining, just lacking in the scares department. However ultimately for a film that comes with such a horror pedigree this is not a good thing. I’d like to see V/H/S become a sizable franchise – the format is ripe for it – but the stories need to be better and perhaps the vetting processes needs to be tighter as I am sure that most horror fans would agree that three great, perhaps slightly longer stories are better than four good ones.
V/H/S 2 is a good collection of horror tales but judging it as an entire film, it is too uneven to be considered a classic which it could have been.
By Ryan Morrissey-Smith
Follow Ryan on Twitter: @TigersMS78