‘VHS 2′ Review

Published 1 year ago by

VHS 2 Reviews 2013 VHS 2 Review

VHS 2 continues the horror anthology format of the first film, tied together by the overarching story of  a couple that works together as a sleazy, paparazzi-style private investigation team, assigned to track down a young man who has gone missing. The couple tracks the boy to the same creepy house from the first film, where they discover the infamous stack of televisions and pile of video cassette tapes, each of which contains a bizarre and horrible account of death and murder.

The short films this time include the story of a man whose cybernetic eye allows him to see the dead; an extreme biking enthusiast whose wilderness adventure is interrupted by the onslaught of a zombie apocalypse; the story of a documentary crew that investigates a strange Indonesian cult and finds something more horrific than they could’ve imagined; and a slumber party that goes terribly wrong when malevolent aliens show up looking for fresh abduction victims.

VHS 2 A Ride in the Park Segment VHS 2 Review

Edaurdo Sánchez’ ‘A Ride in the Park’ Segment

On the whole, VHS 2 is an improvement on its predecessor in just about every way possible: the directing talent is much better; the visual composition and effects are too; the reconfigured structure of the anthology (a “quality over quantity” approach this time) is more streamlined and efficient; and the implementation of the found-footage format is more logical and effective. At the same time, the film is still a somewhat uneven mix of parts; certain segments are less effective than other clear standouts, but even the weaker segments in part 2 are still times better than the many weak parts of the first installment.

Directing talent this time around includes Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption), Jason Eisner (Hobo With a Shotgun), Eduardo Sánchez (Blair Witch Project), Adam Wingard (You’re Next) – along with a few helping hands. Of the bunch, it is Evans (with co-director Timo Tjahjanto) and his segment, “Safe Haven” (about the Indonesian cult), which emerges as the clear and undisputed winner of the contest. Evans gained worldwide notice for his innovative Indonesian action-thriller The Raidand “Safe Haven” demonstrates that his ‘creativity on a budget’ resourcefulness is as effective in the horror genre as it was in the action genre.

VHS 2 Safe Haven1 VHS 2 Review

Gareth Evans’ ‘Safe Haven’ Segment

Sánchez (with co-director Gregg Hale) and Wingard present segments (“Phase I Clinical Trials” and “Ride in the Park”) that are more inspired and creative than actually scary; Eisner, unfortunately, follows Evans’ triumph with a lackluster (and dizzying) finale in “Slumber Party Alien Abduction.” All things considered, one almost wishes that Evans had been allowed to stretch his idea out into a nice, quick, feature or extended short, as it would’ve probably been a much more worthwhile experience overall.

Still, this crop of directors (both the new and returning players) still execute better (pun) than the rag-tag team that cobbled together the first VHS. One can only hope that the improved quality of the sequel is taken as a sign by other skilled filmmakers, so that we continue to see better and better talent contributing to the (almost certain to be made) future installments.

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VHS 2 is currently available On Demand, on iTunes – it also begins a very limited theatrical release starting today. Check with your local theater for availability. It is 96 minutes long and is Unrated (though it contains instances of sex, nudity, violence, gore, profanity, alcohol/drug use and frightening or intense scenes).

Our Rating:

3 out of 5
(Good)

TAGS: svhs, vhs

12 Comments

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  1. I felt it could have been better. Some of the sequences were comical but they did have a good mix of shock and awe. However the non intended laughs and some of the props lowered the overall experience for me.

  2. I liked the first one, and this was even better. The high point for me was “save haven”, the low point the story that frames the movie. Not at all bad but I didnt like the ending. All in all I think it’s very entertaining and scary and I hope the continue the series.

  3. I’m going to be giving this a watch today, I didn’t enjoy the first one all that much except for the ”succubus/demon” episode but hopefully this one will be better.

  4. This has been out over a month hasn’t it? It was way better than the first one on almost every level.

  5. I’m glad to hear that it’s better than the first, because that was disappointingly uneven in its quality – from “that was well done”, to “what was the point of that one?”, and a few in between.

  6. I don’t see how this was an improvement on the first one. For me the segments were so low budget and uninspired that they took me completely out of the film, it was like watching film school student projects. I expected to see something completely fresh given the first one delivered new ideas in spades: the killer trapped in glitches, the satanic house sprouting hands/warping windows & doors, this one had none of that. Bad acting and terrible make-up throughout if I had to sum it up.

    • I honestly thought that glitching killer was the worst and most boring segment of the first movie with the demon house at the end a very close second.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I can’t see how anyone could think this was better than the first one. Creativity and suspense were considerably more palpable in the first one. I also couldn’t get over the low budget look of some of the creatures. The aliens were horrendous and the demigod/beast was juvenile.

  7. So I’ve just finished watching the movie and have to say, the wraparound and first segment annoyed me due to lack of actual plot but the first segment was definitely full of jump scares that will be great for some.

    Second segment was a good concept despite my boredom of zombies the last 4-5 years and the final segment was cool and reminded me of The McPherson Tapes but the setup before the aliens arrived was full of the same one dimensional and “typical” teen dialog and one dimensional characters you can expect in movies with no plot but focus on sex based comedy, horror and the like.

    Safe Haven was definitely the highlight for sure.

  8. By far one of the worst movies ever. How did this even get released ? Did i miss something ? What parts were good? Horrible acting boring ass story. Not one scary thing in this whole movie. Should have been released on vhs so nobody could watch it.

  9. Like many of you, I’ve seen the reviews, and repeated posts,_” VHS 2; Leaps and bounds beyond the first, improved in almost every way! ” or “If you liked the first, you’ll love the second!” Seriously??? I’d be LMAO if I wasn’t so freakin disappointed! Yet, another reason to ignore critics, and be your own judge. I just don’t get it! For me, I saw the first without having even heard of, on Amazon, it was free, I was bored. Whoa! Talk about love/hate! Some of it seemed borderline brilliant, once forcing myself through it, had it not been for the obvious flaws! I could envision a new direction in horror, a good one, if they could just nail it down moving forward, and for the first in a long time, as desensitized as I am, parts disturbed me, made me think, IT’S ALIVE! Even inspite of being found footage. I remember thinking, finally a movie since Blair Witch that justifies it. I almost wished I hadn’t seen it, that they’d come out swinging for part two, and redeem themselves, putting out what they could have. Now I see, what was brilliant in areas of the first, was accidental. Improved??? Every element that made any scene of the first_original, standout, or any good_was flushed, and replaced with something that is total crap! I know it’s just my opinion, but to me, Godzilla was better scripted, acted, more believable, and with better makeup and costume. The wrap around in the first was open ended, but atleast it left room to expand, this one expanded alright, into something stupid that can’t be undone, and I just didn’t give a rats about, even if say part 3 elaborates some greater scheme that’s actually not lame. Adam Wingard, get off and stay off the camera, you’re not an actor, and it shows, ( coarse same can be said of anyone in this sequel ) just because other directors, writers, novelists have done it, or been on a budget, didn’t mean it worked for them either. We know who you are, those who care to anyway, and we’re sure if for no other reason than, you get laid, stop flaunting_we all do, too! Whoopidy freakin Doo! If you need TNA other than when it fits the bill on screen, go to the club, and afterward reflect, holm in on your skills in your career, rather than_” how can I just get another titty in their! Please! Some of us love em, but what relevance if it’s in a film. Things made sense in the first, now it’s not creative at all, we’re just strapping cams to everything. Bike riders, dogs,_maybe you can strap one to an eagle next and have it fly and get more found footage of the succubus in the first, someone who can actually act, and doesn’t look like just have Halloween makeup on, bad contacts, or was mounted on a wall from the taxidermist with garbage bag wings. Better than the first_yeah mmmkay! Please, at least I can fast forward through the crap in the first or ignore it knowing something goods coming. This was amateur nite! Dumb in every way, including Safe Haven, come on! If you think that’s original or done well, please rewind to the birthing scene, where it obviously comes through the table, or the prolonged stare into baby goats fake ass head and wing. GOD! Who even takes the blame here. When the same writers/ directors etc, aren’t involved, which is just stupid in the first place, if it’s a sequel. Watch Elm street or Halloween, Hellraisor, Friday the 13th, thru parts 2-13 and learn something. Damn, what a sad state of affairs this genre is in

  10. The scariest movie I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Safe Haven is definitely the best part. And the ‘thumbs up’ scene was the icing on the cake.

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