V/H/S 2, one of these scary types of movies that I’m terrified to watch.
It was just last year when V/H/S was released and here we are, already to strap back in and bite the mouth guard for the sequel. V/H/S 2 gets rolling in much the same way as the first film, and in short order as we find yet another selection of adults who have such a thirst for the unknown knowledge of the universe and focus so strong that they can sit through numerous VHS viewings, sans refreshments! I couldn’t even do this when I was a teenager and had to shuffle through a pile of unmarked videocassettes to find the specific 10 minutes of porn I wanted in order to fuel my jack. Full disclosure: it was probably only 2 minutes of porn.
My spank habits aside for the rest of this review, I have to start out by saying that I wasn’t a huge fan of the first V/H/S movie. I’m a huge fan of horror anthology movies, going back to oldies-but-allrighties like After Midnight or Nightmares time and again for quick, reasonably effective horror quickies. Nothing wrong there: much unlike dicks, it’s not the size that counts, but the width…I mean, “what you do with it.” And when it comes to horror and anthologies I’ve always thought, “well, just how long is a nightmare?”
Keeping that in mind, I was inexplicably excited about V/H/S 2 upon hearing of its release: partly so because I found out that it was even a thing precisely one day before it was released, and partly because I can watch these horror anthologies, not be blown away by it at all, and still be reasonably satisfied with the activity. Tall drink of water in hand, I started watching the flick and popped out the other side of a time vortex a little less than 100 minutes later.
I was really surprised that I didn’t just like this movie, but really kinda loved it! The wraparound story of a couple of private eyes/scam artists was about as (im)plausible as the last one, but it was also equally as tense. The stories, with topics covering the spectrum of horror film stock baddies, were all at least passable, with Timo Tajhjanto and Gareth Evans’ (The Raid: Redemption) “Safe Haven” and Gregg Hale & Eduardo Sanchez’s (The Blair Witch Project) “A Ride In The Park” being standouts of the collection. And while you may know exactly what you’re getting into with V/H/S 2 if you’ve seen the first one, it doesn’t detract from the experience at all. In fact, knowing what’s up might even make this sequel more enjoyable.
If a blood-soaked Asian man in tighties doesn’t absolutely horrify the poop right out of your bum, you might already be dead.
Not only that, but I actually enjoyed the stories! These weren’t just setups for jump scares or moody pieces (OK, maybe one or two kinda were), they were legitimately interesting premises that were executed very well within the framework of the found-footage films they are. Sure, one might wonder how some of the footage was cut together and put on a VHS tape, but seriously, once you see the 1st ghost in a movie like this, doesn’t a nitpick like that fly out the window? If a ghost can be a ghost, I’m sure that a ghost can also edit together a short film. Plus, since they’re ghosts, they understand the psychology of a ghost…or something.
Ultimately, this is four-corner horror; anyone can jump into this movie, and with no previous knowledge of anything except old electronics and media formats they can have a great little time with it. Just like the first, this isn’t going to blow a hole through the fabric of reality with wildly inventive new avenues of terror, but it plays all the old hands with great talent, a wink from a robotic eye, and a demon-driven smile. Considering that there are a total of seven directors involved with the film, the simple fact that it gels somewhat coherently is a feat in and of itself. I’m definitely glad I watched it, and would gladly recommend it to my pastor after Wednesday night devotionals. That’ll give me the chance to chat up his wife and find out if all the Girls Gone Wild rumors are true.
V/H/S 2: let’s say four stars, which basically means a percentage score between 61-80%. Definitely fair, and if you really liked the first one, that score might even be a bit higher for you. I don’t know you.