The filmmakers of V/H/S/2, the sequel to last years anthology horror film V/H/S, have created another series of unsettling and humorous horror shorts that basically exhibits a group of young filmmakers expressing their tastes in horror cinema. They have put together five different short films that range from a tech-ghost story to a bloody cult that will make any viewer a bit queasy. My expectations were not too high being that, as with the first film, this was just a cheap film that is a good midnight piece of escapist entertainment. Nothing really groundbreaking here, but a fun romp in style, humor and gore.
The film revolves around two investigators who have been hired to search for a missing student. When they break into his house, they find a collection of VHS tapes and begin watching them. They are unaware that by watching these graphic videos, unsettling situations and unhealthy reactions will begin to occur to them and they are truly in for a surprise. The main segment "Tape 49" is directed by Simon Barrett and is the central point in the story. It's where the two investigators begin watching this stash of videotapes and search for the missing student.
The next segment, and the first tape they watch, is "Phase I Clinical Trials" by Adam Wingard. A man (Adam Wingard) has been in an accident and lost his eye. It has been replaced with an artificial eye that is a test sample and it records everything he sees and does. As he goes about one afternoon he begins to see ghastly ghosts that begin to haunt and terrify him throughout the night. The story is the least graphic of all and the real shock is with the viewpoint being directly from his eye. That scare of turning around and something being right there. You see it as he sees it.
The second and final segments are "A Ride in the Park" directed by Eduardo Sanchez and Gregg Hale, and "Slumber Party Alien Abduction" directed by Jason Eisener. The first one is zombie story where a man goes for bike ride and gets attacked by zombies. The interesting part is he has a camera attached to his helmet to record his trip. I do not know why but we see his viewpoint throughout the whole segment as a zombie. The final segment was my favorite, being an old school alien attack. Kids are pranking there sister who is having sex with her boyfriend, they spray water guns filled with urine at them while at the lake and attach a camera to a dog when pranking one of the boys masturbating. The aliens begin attacking with huge flashes and loud noises from the lake and no one is safe. The coolest part of this segment was that the aliens looked like stretched out aliens from Roswell. Long fingers, round, raindrop shaped heads and huge almond eyes. I appreciated that old school look of the aliens. Silly and fun.
There is one more segment, the third one which is called "Safe Haven," directed by Gareth Huw Evans, who also directed The Raid and Timo Tjahjanto. This one is the centerpiece of the film and the most gruesome segment of this film and the first one. It is highly graphic, eerie and completely unsettling. I actually felt queasy after this segment and they went all out with this one. In Indonesia, a documentary film crew gains access to interview and film a leader of a cult. They go to the compound and while an interview gets paused because the cameraman needs a new battery, all hell breaks lose. I want go into too much detail so I do not ruin the segment for anyone but suffice it to say this satanic cult is bonkers as hell. Blood, death, walking dead and, oh yeah, lots of blood. The leader is whacked out beyond comprehension.
V/H/S/2 is what it is. A fun little romp of horror cinema. A compilation of a bunch of directors having fun, making movies. It is nothing too special but I have a soft spot for horror films and like them for that rush of fear and escapist cinema. Good horror films are hard to find and they do not make them like The Shining, The Exorcist and the original The Haunting anymore. Those films had good, story related thrills that were not done for just blood and graphic scares. But I did mildly enjoy this film and found it to be a non-important fun little journey. Good midnight movie and that's all.