Review: V/H/S 2

 

 

Let me start off by saying that at its core, I think the V/H/S films have a good idea, which is to take young directors and have them tackle the found footage genre in an anthological format. In theory this is great, however, like every anthology, the outcome ends up being a bit uneven, and while there were elements of the original film that I enjoyed, ultimately I felt like V/H/S was at best an interesting experiment that didn’t quite live up to its full potential, and when the sequel, original titled S-V/H/S (now simply the less interesting V/H/S 2) was announced, I thought this just might be the fruition of what the original concept hadn’t been able to achieve.

 

Boy was I wrong.

 

First, let’s address the elephant in the room, the biggest glaring problem of the original film, and one that gets dragged along into this one. Yes I realize the films are called V/H/S, but when the shorts themselves don’t look at all like they were shot on, or are being viewed on VHS, it raises the question of how the footage we are seeing got onto VHS tapes when clearly it was shot digitally. This problem plagued the original film, and it returns once again for the sequel, only this time we are presented with all new impossible segments, and better put together wrap around story, but one that isn’t much better than the abysmal wraparound of the original.

 

Things start our strong enough with the story of a man with a prosthetic eye that records everything the eye sees. This is easily one of the best segments of the film, although it gets problematic quickly and by the end just sort of falls apart.

 

The second segment is a zombie affair that I was bored with as soon as it became clear that it was a zombie story. The ending of this segment was saccharine and just plain dumb.

 

The Raid director Gareth Evans gives us easily the best of the lot with his entry into the film, and while it touches on some familiar ground, it uses the found footage elements excellently and has some of the best special effects in the entire film.

 

And then the whole things comes crashing down with an awful closing segment that tries to mine the sci-fi genre the way The Sick thing that happened to Emily when she was Young from the original did, but this time it’s just tedious, poorly shot and frustrating.

Finally we finish off the wrap around story and the whole thing just ends rather unceremoniously.

 

Putting aside my issue of “How did any of these films get onto VHS tapes”, I’m left wondering do any of the events in theses shorts exist in one world? Do these events take place in the same universe as the wrap around story, and if so, what are the repercussions? Do these tapes exist as views into alternate dimensions or something? I’m not asking much here, I just want a little clarity is all.

 

Overall, V/H/S 2 falls into the same trap its predecessor does, keeping a dumb story premise and being a showcase for a couple of really talented directors to shine while the others flounder about with poorly written/directed segments.

 

Grade: D

 

The Good-

Gareth Evans knows what he’s doing.

 

The Bad-

WHY DID YOU KEEP THE GOD DAMN VHS GIMMICK?

Was the dog really necessary? Really?

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