V/H/S/2 is a 2013 Horror/Thriller anthology film and is the second installment in the V/H/S franchise. As a big fan of franchises, especially when within the sphere of the horror genre, I was very excited to finally get around to seeing this movie. The first film, while I found it ran a bit long and had some other minor issues, the overall product was very enjoyable and an effective horror film. This sadly doesn’t carry over into this installment as well as I had hoped. Once again the film is told in a number of segments with each story being the contents of an in film VHS tape.
The “main” story that ties the films together…ish is Tape 49 and follows a pair of private detectives, who are hired to find their clients missing son. Upon searching his home the pair finds a VCR hooked to a multitude of TVs, but the home is seemingly empty. But with each viewed tape things reveal to be more than what they seem.
The first of the segments, Clinical Trials is about a man who gets an eye implant that records what he see’s. But due to the new implant he can now see the spirits of the dead. After hiding in his bathroom the first night, he passes out in his living room the following morning from exhaustion and wakes up that evening. At his door, he finds a woman he had seen the day before as he left the doctor’s office, as it turns out she has an ear implant causing her to hear the dead. She aids him in his endeavors to survive the night so he can get his implant removed the following day.
Next A Ride In The Park, follows a young cyclist who’s out for a morning ride with GoPro. He quickly encounters a woman in need covered in blood. She wounded and is being followed by a pair of lumbering men. He hurries to help be the woman starts to vomit up blood, then attacks him severely wounding him. He races through the woods eventually collapsing and dying of blood loss. He then arises as a zombie and beings to attack others, creating more and more zombies.
The following story Safe Haven is about a group of reporters who gain access to a cult leader and his compound. They arrive on his day of reckoning and are caught up in the mass suicide. The pregnant female member of the crew is captured and brought to the birthing chamber. The last other surviving crewman tries to rescue her, but it’s to late the ritual is completed and she gives birth to a demon, chaos ensues.
The last of the stories is Slumber Party Alien Abduction… the title tells you everything that you need to know.
So the overall quality has been improved over the original, but I found the majority of the stories much less entertaining. With only one of the stories actually frightened me, the others were mostly far too slow-paced. Out of the five tales, only two lived up to the ones from the original.
My favorite segment is Clinical Trials, the mood and pacing made for a very effective ghost story. Also the characters were believable and even relatable. While the special effects are nothing to get excited about, this story didn’t need them. My only gripe with it how it ends since you don’t see what’s coming after them, which wouldn’t be an issue except its been stated the protagonist can see ghosts. So why is this one special? It just breaks to many of its own rules in the name of a quick ending. So while in my opinion, this was the best of the segments it would have done better on its own.
The second place winner was A Ride In The Park as I love zombie films, simply love them. So it should come as little surprise for those that follow this blog this is among my favorites. Most zombie films start with shit already hitting the fan, so I really enjoyed the shift to seeing it early on and build. It was also incredibly enjoyable to see it all unfolding from the zombies perspective.
But as for the other ones, I’m not to crazy for them. They were enjoyable, but don’t work as well the first two. This made the film start to drag for me after about the half way point. My least favorite part was Safe Haven, the segment felt dull, boring and very poorly paced. It had a good atmosphere, but the over the top acting from the cult leader made me laugh rather feel concerned. Paired with the cheating subplot, the characters became very unlikable so when the inevitable befell them I didn’t care.
Finial thoughts? Well it was inventive and outside the norms as much as it predecessor if not more so. So it gets credit for that, each story had a solid atmosphere and tackled different genres just as the first did. So V/H/S/2 does a great job staying true to the feel and spirit of its predecessor, which is something that needs to be done more often with sequels. So I would definitely recommend this to fans of the original as well anthology fans, so V/H/S/2 while not on the same plane as the original it’s still good in its own right. Earning it a 7/10.