‘V/H/S/2’ Movie Review – A More Terrifying Anthology
Admittedly, I don’t do horror movies. Of the roughly 105 movies I saw last year, just 3 were horror films. So far this year, my count is up to 51 movies and it only consists of 2 horror movies – Evil Dead and now V/H/S/2. I can’t quite nail down why I don’t really like them because it’s not that I’m too scared to fall asleep that night or hear phantom noises. I’m usually pretty good at seeing through scary movies. I can truthfully say I didn’t dream of V/H/S/2 after seeing it or lose any sleep; however, I honestly can’t remember a more terrifying movie experience in my life…granted the sample size is still pretty small.
Along the same lines as its predecessor V/H/S (which I actually reviewed last year), the sequel is considered a horror anthology, meaning there are several shorts compiled together into one film. In the case of the original, there were six shorts, and in V/H/S/2 there are five. Each short is directed by a different director, and the newest movie includes some bigger names, including the directors of movies like The Blair Witch Project and The Raid: Redemption.
As much as I don’t like the segmented feel of the movie, I will say, from a viewer scared out of his mind, having the story broken up has its advantages. In my opinion, the first full short (second to appear chronologically), titled “Phase I Clinical Trials,” is by far the most terrifying. After making it through that one, it did become a little easier.
Another advantage involves the range of genres. Most horror movies I’ve seen (yes, not that many) grow very tired because they play on the same horror clichés. However, V/H/S/2 is part possession, part zombie, part alien, and part creepy cult film. It has a little of everything…
…for the good and the bad. The most screwed up short definitely belongs to director Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption). While it was certainly the bloodiest, it definitely marked the moment of over-the-top in terms of theme, plot, and gore. However, all these things come with the territory.
Much like V/H/S, I found myself longing for a better connection between the shorts. While I appreciated that they kept their stories more succinct (and didn’t drag them out) while touching on multiple genres, I still wish there was a better connection between the films. Again, like V/H/S, they do it by simply having characters find a room full of old VHS tapes.
It still just wasn’t good enough.
In the end, V/H/S/2 is more star-studded and scarier than its predecessor. This is saying a lot because I was legitimately scared during the original. Call me a wuss, but I’m not in a huge hurry to re-watch either film – even if watching peoples’ reaction to the film would be wholly entertaining. However, that also doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie because I’d make a checkered argument for the movie…even if it doesn’t seem all that connected.
V/H/S/2 is out in limited release (after a Video on Demand run), so check your local theaters or On Demand for a screening.
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