V/H/S/2 (2013) DVD Review

VHS-001V/H/S/2 (2013)
Dir. Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez, Timo Tjahjanto, Adam Wingard                92 mins


Koch Media
UK Release: 14th October 2013

For me the prospect of V/H/S/2 initiates immediate drool. The first heralded the return of the portmanteau horror, a lost art of filmmaking. It did it successfully as well and dragged the anthology movie into the 21st century by the scruff of its neck using edgy, contemporary filmmakers like Ti West and Glenn McQuaid. The second uses the old adage if it ain’t broke… you know the rest. Retaining the services of Adam Wingard and adding people like Eduardo Sanchez (Blair Witch Project) and Gareth Evans (The Raid) V/H/S/2 we can set about enjoying four chapters of terror all contained within a nicely written wraparound.

The aforementioned wraparound concerns two private investigators who have been employed to find a woman’s missing son. Handsomely paid, they break in to a property that could well yield some information only to discover a stack of VHS and a laptop to which they’re instructed to watch a set number of tapes in a specific order to unveil some clues as to the whereabouts of the missing boy. So it begins…

VHS-002‘Phase I Clinical Trials’
Starring the director himself, Adam Wingard, who receives an ocular implant – a genius twist on the POV perspective, and heads home only to discover that his new optical aid hides a sinister past. Without doubt this is one of the best of the four stories. Wingard is on fire right now, and it’s a privilege to see him write, direct and star in this frightening ghost story.

‘A Ride In The Park’
Here we meet a biker, Mike Sullivan (Jay Saunders) who is taking a ride through a local park only to be flagged down by a woman who says her boyfriend is injured. This isn’t a regular nature walker however – it’s a feverish hungry zombie, and Mike soon finds himself bitten and on his own mission of the undead. This is a squeamishly gruesome segment of V/H/S/2 and should keep leave all gorehounds salivating.

‘Safe Haven’
On paper the union of Gareth Evans (The Raid) and Timo Tjahjanto (Macabre) should yield quite a spectacle. Well take that potential, send it on a drug fuelled bender and finish it off with a session at an Indonesian massage parlour. The story revolves around some reporters who are hoping to interview the leader of an Indonesian cult when suddenly things go somewhat awry. The less said the better in this, the longest segment of V/H/S/2 but also quite possibly the best.

‘Slumber Party Alien Abduction’
In Slumber Party Alien Abduction, aliens infiltrate a slumber party and do some abducting. Yes, it’s just that simple, but thankfully we have Jason Eisener at the helm who shot the excellent Hobo With A Shotgun. It’s filmed from an amazing perspective which I’ll refrain from revealing, and in its short running time is packed with more humour, originality and ingenuity than many films have in 90 minutes.

VHS-003That was quite a ride. I really hope that the folks behind this anthology keep it coming, and that it pulls in some numbers that make it viable to do so. Speaking to people on the street, it’s funny to gauge the reaction that V/H/S had. Many folk where really puzzled by the format due to the length of time that the anthology movie has disappeared for. Would it be overdramatic to say it’s been a generation? Now that we’re two movies in, people are really embracing this format and seeing for themselves what can be achieved. With ABCs Of Death released this year as well as Little Deaths (c’mon – someone release Chillerama in the UK!), the anthology movie is back. Without doubt V/H/S is king, and this sequel only serves to tighten its crown.

8 out of 10

•        Alas the one down side from Koch Media – no extras at all, nor a blu-ray release either.

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