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Ghosts, Zombies, Cults, and Aliens... A Terrifying and Creative Horror Anthology...
on June 7, 2013
(The following review may have potential spoilers, although most descriptions are as brief as possible.)
V/H/S 2 is a found-footage horror anthology. "Tape 49" is the frame story which follows two private investigators searching for a missing college student. When they arrive at the house, they find and view several VHS tapes hoping to track the young student. Instead, they find the following short movies:
"Clinical Trials Phase 1" follows a man who has received a new eye after a car accident - an eye with a built-in camera. When he gets home, he begins to hallucinate - things are misplaced, odd figures are seen, etc. This story works superbly as a jump-scare ghost story. It uses great suspense and the claustrophobic tunnel-vision to create effectively unexpected and consistent jump-scares. Some of the visuals are also eerie, and very creative. The acting of the lead was a bit off at times as his dialogue delivery felt unnatural - he didn't seem frightened.
"A Ride In The Park" follows a man as he takes a quick spin on his bike through the park. He eventually runs into an injured, vomiting woman and can see several people approaching from afar. The woman bites him, and, as he escapes, he becomes a zombie. The shooting style is great, and the unique zombie perspective also works well - it is a very creative story. This story is intense and violent, and even a bit humorous. Everything blends together well to create a highly entertaining tale. The special effects and makeup are great, and so is the acting.
"Safe Haven" follows a documentary crew investigating an Indonesian cult. The leader, referred to as "Father", is presumably involved in illegal acts, such as underage sex as he "purifies" children. During the interview, all hell breaks loose as the time of reckoning approaches. This story is fantastic. It starts as a creepy documentary working solely off its dialogue and performances. Then, everything spirals out of control as mass suicide and murder occurs, along with an abduction of sorts. Then, it spirals further into hell as a demon is born and the dead return back to life. This story uses disturbing visuals, jump-scares, and insane amounts of gore. I really loved the story in this film, especially the constant buildup and change in the story; it was completely unexpected. The acting is great, the special effects and makeup are impressive, and the direction is superb.
"Slumber Party Alien Abduction" follows three young siblings and their respective friends, along with their dog, during a slumber party. After a day of pranking (and effective foreshadowing), a bright flash occurs at night and odd figures surround the home. They are subsequently attacked by aliens, and are chased through the forest, with a surprise waiting at every corner. This is another unique found-footage story, mostly shot creatively from a dog's back. It uses its lighting, tension, and jump-scares effectively. (The lighting may be hazardous for those with sensitive eyes since it often flashes rapidly and consistently.) I don't like animal violence, fake or real, and this ends sadly. (I won't spoil it, but dog-lovers might cringe.) It was entertaining, and well-made, nonetheless. And, finally, Tape 49 ends with a very creepy and intense scene, and with a lot of blood. (and incredible special effects.)
Overall, V/H/S/2 is an immensely entertaining, creative, unique, and terrifying anthology; I thoroughly enjoyed every story in this ferociously paced film. I'm a sucker for horror anthologies like Trick R' Treat, Tales From The Hood, and V/H/S, and this film ranks with the best of them. Whether your a fan of ghost stories or gore stories, V/H/S/2 has something for everyone, and it effectively compliments the first film. Thanks to its versatility, this is one series that I wouldn't mind seeing more installments of.
V/H/S/2 has very strong violence and gore, sex and nudity.