This week we have sequels to movies I’ve already reviewed. I figured I’d start with a sequel to a movie that would be pretty hard to entirely fuck up. Since the V/H/S series is an anthology of short films, I only need a couple of them to be pretty good to make it halfway watchable. Also, since the format is quick horror stories, I wouldn’t have to worry about any of them either taking forever until something happens or wearing out their welcome. For this I’ll just give each of the tapes their own score.
The meta-story this time around follows a couple private eyes as they go looking for a college kid that has gone missing. They check the place where he was staying first and find that it is littered with old tapes and there are TVs all hooked up to a viewing station. The guy goes to look around while his partner decides she’s going to watch some tapes because that should help. Of course things eventually go poorly for them and it’s weird to think that upon finding blood in the house they wouldn’t just immediately call the cops and leave but whatever. Horror movie. Here are the tapes!
Tape 1 is about a guy that gets a cybernetic implant in his eye. Pretty interesting framing for how you get a found footage without it being like “Oh my god, why are you still filming?”. Turns out that his new eye gives him Sixth Sense powers and now he can see dead people. He is visited by a girl that got a cochlear implant and can hear dead people. So that’s interesting. This one is mostly just a big excuse to do jump scares. Also there is way too much screechy noise and standard horror cliché sounds when spooky stuff happens. Since they already established that he can only see not hear the dead, it would have been much creepier if the ghosts appeared silently while the girl reacts to their screams, sobs, whatever. Wasted opportunity and went immediately for the easiest scares. 2 out of 5.
Tape 2 follows a guy on a bike wearing a Go Pro that stumbles his way into a zombie apocalypse scenario and joins the ranks of the undead. Another clever found footage framing technique for this one. I appreciate the difficulty that they took on with doing their movie this way. It’s harder to make something compelling when your main character is a literal mindless zombie with no dialogue. The short also ends up being about as long as the premise can sustain before it would become tedious. Well done for most except the end where he kills himself because he remembers being human or something. Not the best but still not terrible. 3 out of 5.
Tape 3 is a camera crew that is trying to get an interview with an Indonesian cult leader. They have a bunch of cameras but the main framing for the last bit is they are all wearing those hidden button-cameras. Not the most clever device but still good. This one gets really into the creepy cult vibe and does a good job of having the first half be pretty much entirely straight faced as if it was a standard cult. However, the last half of it veers hard into what was very reminiscent of Silent Hill as all the things we have seen before become perverted and twisted. There are even air raid sirens blaring. The anti-christ demon thing at the end is super cheesy looking but I can forgive that for how good everything else was up to that point. 4 out of 5.
Tape 4 is a bunch of kids that are having a sleepover. The young kids pull pranks on their older sister and her friends and, seriously, fuck those kids. They are annoying little shits and I rooted for them to get messed up. Outside of them filming their pranks we also get the framing device of a Go Pro strapped to their dog. Halfway through the sleepover there are some surprise aliens that come a knockin. They are super creepy looking and one of the best things is the lights go out but they have a strobe light that the kids were using in a prank. The strobe ends up being a great way to further distort the scene and make the aliens appear more…alien. Movie loses points for ending with the dog getting hurt though. 3 out of 5.