V/H/S/2 is a found-footage, horror anthology film that released in 2013. It’s a sequel to V/H/S which released a year prior. Much like its predecessor, V/H/S/2 comprises of 5 segments linked together by a frame narrative.
Two private investigators called Larry and Ayesha are hired by a college student’s mother. She wants them to look into the disappearance of her son Kyle. They break into Kyle’s residence and discover a large stack of VHS tapes. Additionally, there’s a laptop that is still recording a video and also contains the tapes from the previous film.
Larry tells Ayesha to watch the tapes while he inspects the house. As Ayesha begins to watch, a figure peers out from the shadows and watches her.
Instead of going into detail on each of the tales, I’m just going to get straight to the review.
Firstly, I can happily proclaim that V/H/S/2 improves on a lot of the shortcomings of the first film. For one thing, the frame narrative makes much more sense. The way in which it slowly progresses to the ending is worthwhile. Also, the clarity of the visuals throughout are far better. Gone is the grainy footage and in its place is glorious HD. It doesn’t make much sense for a VHS tape to look this good but there you go.
Secondly, the characters are less obnoxious this time around. They do feel like real people and yet spending time with them isn’t excruciating. The juvenile nature of the original is mostly nowhere to be seen. Female characters exist for more than just exploitative purposes. I was concerned that this wasn’t the case after witnessing the first tape called “Phase I Clinical Trials”. It’s by the far the worst of the bunch. Mainly because it doesn’t make much sense. Why does this guy even get a camera eye in the first place? Also, if he doesn’t want to see the ghosts then just invest in an eyepatch dude.
There are two horror tales that are well worth your time. “Safe Haven” & “A Ride in the Park” are incredible. I’d love to see a full length film based on either of them. The gore effects throughout are truly phenomenal. I’ve seen a lot of horror movies and V/H/S/2 has some of the most realistic looking gore that I have ever witnessed.
“Slumber Party Alien Abduction” brings back a more traditional found-footage style. If anything this only proved that you don’t need such tropes to be effective. Still, I once again applaud each creator for thinking up smart ways to explain why the recordings exist.
Overall, V/H/S/2 is superior to its predecessor. It takes most of what the first film did poorly and completely turns it around. It deserves praise for that fact alone. Also, it delivers at least 2 fantastic horror shorts. On the whole, I really enjoyed it. It’s creepy in places and even fairly shocking at times.
The Final Score - 8/10
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