Just a year after V/H/S first hit the play button, directors Jason Eisener,Gareth Evans, Timo Tjahjanto, Eduardo Sánchez and Gregg Hale, and franchise returnees Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard unleash a sequel that soars above the original in every possible way. The sequel follows two private investigators searching for a missing student. After breaking into his house and finding a collection of VHS tapes and viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be dark motives behind the student’s disappearance.
Real quick before we get this started if you take a look to the left you’ll see the score I gave each segment. I didn’t include Tape 49 because I don’t really consider it part of the segments — it was more or less just an excuse to tie the anthology together. As with most anthologies, there will always be a weaker story of the bunch and thankfully V/H/S/2 put that story at the front with Phase I.
Phase I Clinical Trials was by far and large the worst segment in the film — one of them had to be I suppose. I won’t spend much time on this one as I wasn’t a huge fan. For a short film it takes much too long to get going and when it does it’s all too disappointing. One of my biggest pet peeves in horror films is using nothing but jump scares that only work on 13-year-old girls and that is all this film did. Boring, nothing new. Let’s move on.
Next up was A Ride in the Park which was the perfect follow up to Phase I. The story is shot almost entirely with a Go Pro cam mounted on the helmet of a guy who’s mountain biking through some trails. I won’t spoil anything here but what ensues is one hell of a brilliant way to watch the genre. This one is just a ton of fun and a fantastic idea with plenty of gore to keep any of the splatter fans happy.
And then there was Safe Haven, which was pure cinematic horror gold. It’s the kind of story that the horror genre thrives on. By the time this one is over you’ll be scraping your jaw up off the floor. What was great about Safe Haven was that it pulls you into its bat shit crazy story kicking and screaming whether you like it or not. V/H/S/2 is worth watching for this segment alone — and not just because it’s the best story in the anthology but because it’s one of the best moments the horror genre has had in quite some time. I really think they should have cut to the credits after this beast was finished, but we’ve still got one more folks!
Last but definitely not least was Alien Abduction Slumber Party which was actually one of the most surprising entries of the bunch as far as tone and atmosphere. This one definitely provided the most laughs as well as the creepiest images of the bunch. It was almost like an old-school 80’s alien flick with its offbeat cast of hilarious kid actors. I have a soft spot for aliens and sci-fi flicks so I had a lot of fun with this one. This one is a prime example of how to earn your scares in a horror film. The aliens don’t just jump down your throat and say, “Hey asshole! Look at me!”. It’s not that easy with Alien Abduction Slumber Party. The aliens are lurking just beyond the shadows and if you happen to be looking in the right spot at the right time, you’ll catch a quick glimpse of one of those creepy looking bastards. For the shoe-string budget they worked with, it was very impressive the type of atmosphere they were able to pull off. You may not please the gore hounds with this segment but anyone looking for something to really chill you to the bones then look no further.
Overall, V/H/S/2 is an absolute blast despite the one hiccup at the beginning that I personally didn’t really care for. It did what all great anthologies do and that is to make enough diverse segments to please a wide group of fans. We’ve got ghosts, zombies, aliens and much more. It’s a fantastic film and a ton of fun to watch with friends. V/H/S/2 is a film you can be confident in when hitting that play button because it’s one hell of a crowd pleaser.