Directed by Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Edúardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Huw Evans, Jason Eisener
The Sundance Film Festival continues on, and next on tap is the sequel to last year’s shocker V/H/S, which is once again brought to the screen by The Collective and Bloody Disgusting. In our beloved horror genre we are often plagued by terrible sequels that more often than not end up being some direct-to-DVD, $5 bargain bin Walmart crap. V/H/S/2, however, sets the bar to a new level by creating a sequel that surpasses the original in execution, direction and content.
V/H/S/2 is home to four incredible segments this time, along with a nice wraparound that involves a couple of private investigators who are hired by a woman to find her missing son to the tune of $1,000 per day. After breaking into the college student's home through an unlocked window in the backyard, the investigators of course stumble upon stacks of tube televisions, stacks of VHS tapes, and a laptop. Upon watching a video on the laptop, our female investigator learns that she must watch some of the tapes in a specific order to possibly obtain the whereabouts of the missing student. What this poor soul does not realize is that there are consequences lying in wait for anyone who dares to watch the tapes.
The tapes in order are listed below with a brief synopsis of each:
"Phase I Clinical Trials" – A man receives an ocular implant (an eye with a camera) only to become terrorized by ghosts that only he can see with said implant. This segment is the creepiest of the bunch.
"A Ride in the Park" – A man riding a bike on the trail through a park stumbles upon what he thinks is someone hurt, only to realize it is actually a zombie. Once bitten, there can be nothing left but some SERIOUS POV zombie madness!
"Safe Haven" – Centers on a documentary crew trying to gain access to Paradise Gates, an Indonesian safe house that is more akin to a polygamist colony. After pulling some strings and getting an exclusive interview with the “Father,” all hell breaks loose. Splatter fans, rejoice! This one is for you!
"Slumber Party Alien Abduction" – A group of teenagers decide to throw a party, only to have it crashed by an alien invasion. Pretty tense little sequence with some pretty good chase scenes. Oh, and did I mention that it's filmed by Jason Eisener's dog? Seeing is believing!
V/H/S/2 should not be a tough sell for those who enjoyed the first installment. It's all here! This is a film with great stories and a wraparound that has twice the scares! We are talking more gore, more carnage and more laughs than its predecessor! V/H/S/2 is looking to be the horror film to beat at this year's festival, and doing so will be no easy task. A special hats off should go to the great conglomeration of directors who bring on the kind of mayhem that will not only keep the audience glued to the screen for 95 minutes but also have them applauding between each segment.
The found footage sub-genre is still alive and well, folks. V/H/S/2 is a prime example of why. Don’t miss this one!
5 out of 5