Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 86% (Critics) / 93% (Audience)
Directed By: Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans & Timo Tjahjanto, Eduardo Sánchez & Greg Hale, Adam Wingard
Written By: Simon Barrett, John Davies, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans & Timo Tjahjanto, Eduardo Sánchez & Jamie Nash
Starring: Kelsy Abbott, Hannah Al Rashid, Fachry Albar and Kevin Hunt
Studio: Magnet Releasing
Synopsis: Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his house and find collection of VHS tapes. Viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be dark motives behind the student’s disappearance. (Source)
The minds behind V/H/S 2 realized where they went wrong in the first installment and made the appropriate changes. The number of segments were cut down to a more manageable five and the actual short films were a lot better. The major standouts were “A Ride in the Park”, “Safe Haven” and to a lesser degree “Slumber Party Alien Abduction”.
I would absolutely pay to see a full-length version of “A Ride in the Park” where the audience is witness to the dawn of the zombie apocalypse from the POV of a recently turned zombie. And “Safe Haven” delivered more balls to the wall visual insanity in its short running time than pretty much every movie I have seen this year combined. I don’t even know if my fragile psyche could take a full movie built around this short.
“Slumber Party Alien Abduction” stumbled a bit in the latter part but the beginning was very engaging and quickly made you become attached to the kids who would eventually be involved in the alien invasion.
The frame narrative for V/H/S 2 fails to deliver much like the frame narrative from the original. The characters were not interesting and the story was just a mess.
Also not matching the rest of the film was the first segment “Phase I Clinical Trials” which also failed to have a coherent through line that made any sense at all.
Pretty much everything that happened by the midpoint of “Safe Haven” was the definition of ugly. Engrossing, compelling and disturbing too but definitely ugly.
Final Verdict: Second time was the charm for the V/H/S franchise as V/H/S 2 provides more bang for the horror fan’s buck with better segments in every way than the segments that were in the first film. If this movie is a sign of things to come then I am expecting a near masterpiece of horror filmmaking for the third installment.