Robert's Review of V/H/S/2
I welcome a good anthology film, even more so specifically in the vein of horror. I bought Creepshow on Blu-Ray despite the fact that the theatrical trailer is the only supplement. I like to think I have an intelligent grasp of horror too. Last year I rented V/H/S from Redbox and afterwards wanted my dollar back. Make no mistake about, the directors and writers involved concisely instilled an undying love for horror but a misguided attempt at execution and in some cases a total misinterpretation of what horror actually is. Those same mishaps exist in the sequel although the entire franchise is imperceptibly increasing in quality.
Our wraparound story this time follows two opposing genders of private detectors hired to find a college student gone missing. Breaking into his house they find nothing but darkness and a room with video cassettes piled everywhere. Ayiesha begins watching them while Adam wanders off checking into other objects of interest. The four tapes are once again filled with unconnected short stories involving something supernatural. I have strong mixed feelings about all four although admittedly I can't say I liked a single one. There's one common ideology running rampant across them which happens to be extreme and gratuitous gore played only for shock value in hopes of alleviating the viewer's attention away from the amateurishly acted and unlikable characters driving each story. The nature of the violence rarely has context with the exception of Gareth Evan's (The Raid) short story about an Indonesian cult triggering the apocalypse. That story has an unsettling tone with above average acting. There is a scene where roughly 10 cultists are formed in a circle as they simultaneously blow their brains out that I found chilling. The story was fractured and ultimately jumped the shark into ridiculous territory but I actually believe there is potential if someone decided to adapt a feature length film from the premise.
The rest are unequivocally garbage without a shred of reasoning to muster up a damn about anything. One story is built on a cinematic structure of first person zombie found footage. It's as messy as it sounds and unbelievably dizzying. There are some aliens that are less intimidating aesthetically than found on South Park. There's also a paranormal story that is predictable but contains the most random transition from dread to nudity in quite some time. The wraparound story is mildly entertaining but doesn't really end the movie on a high note.
V/H/S 2 is still amateurishly crafted and a misguided attempt at horror, but it's definitely an improvement over the original. Your emotions will range from unintentional laughter to nauseam. Some of it is a chore to watch but maybe with some more prestigious directors or writers the series can gradually grow into something worthwhile. If nothing else I do applaud the passion and enthusiasm for horror these stories are being treated with.