What’s in your VHS collection?
Let me start off by letting everyone know that V/H/S/2 isn’t a followup V/H/S. Though the structure of the film is much like the first, the stories are not connected in any way beside the obvious use of VHS tapes to narrate a series of stories, and the ultimate demise of those who are either in them or viewing them. It should also be noted that these are not the first found footage films; Cannibal Holocaust released in 1980 used this structure to portray the events that befell a film crew who traveled to the Amazon to document a cannibalistic tribe. More recent found footage films include The Blair Witch Project (also directed by Eduardo Sanchez), Paranormal Activity, the [REC] trilogy, Quarantine (a remake of [REC]), and Cloverfield.
In V/H/S/2 we meet a pair of so-called private investigators who have been hired to help a mother who has not seen or heard from her son. The duo head of in search of the missing person and end up at the house he had rented as a student prior to his disappearance. Once inside (after jimmying a window open) they find a mostly empty house and an extensive VHS collection. Pretty straight forward right?
An anthology, V/H/S/2 lays out four stories with a lot of dead air in between as the investigators try to figure out what happened. Since the stories themselves are also not related to each other I have broken them out below.
What would you do if you lost an eye in a car accident? Would you sign yourself up to be a test subject with the latest and greatest in eye replacement? Our main character in this piece does, and it isn’t necessarily for the best. The new world he lives in isn’t as friendly as the old. His new mechanics start showing him a different place but what does it all mean and who are these people?
A bike ride before breakfast is a great way to start the day especially when the weather is just right. If only you had stayed home then maybe you wouldn’t be on the front line for this disaster. What do you get when you take a guy on a bike in the woods, a helmet-mounted camera and some hungry park visitors?
Everyone remembers the massacre at Jonestown, or Marshall Applewhite and the whole Heaven’s Gate fiasco? This chapter of V/H/S/2 is kinda like that if you added a ton of blood and one pissed off goat. A film crew is allowed inside the gates of a religious group, and it’s all down hill from there. If this is what goes on behind the doors of cults, you can count me out.
I didn’t want to give too much away but the title of this one says it all. You have a group of friends having a slumber party. They are messing around with a video camera and capture on tape their own abduction by aliens. I enjoyed this story as it reminded me of my late dad and his belief in extraterrestrials, as well as the slumber parties I had with friends when I was younger.
If you enjoy the strange and unusual I would suggest giving this one a try. It leans on insanity, is coated in gore and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, which is why I like it. The two segments that really stood out for me were “A Ride in the Park,” and “Slumber Party Alien Abduction. My overall rating is 7 out of 10. Buy yourself a copy here.
How do feel about the found footage sub-genre? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!