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V/H/S 2 (2013)

December 11, 2013

V-H-S-2_Poster When the ending credits of last year’s V/H/S traversed on screen, I squirming eagerly in my seat craving to leave the theater for a cold shower and some time alone to rethink the society I live in. An anthology story rooted in the deceptive nature of a group of people, V/H/S’ theme of mistrust chilled me to the bone and heightened the paranoia in my already consistently suspicious brain to new levels of anxiety. Its successor, V/H/S 2, impressively holds its own as a horrific vignette of tales, but unfortunately it’s missing that crucial element of ambiguous humanity that left me chilled to my core days after viewing the original.

In similar fashion to V/H/S, the stories within V/H/S 2 unfold when a couple breaks into an abandoned house; this time under the guise of a romantically involved private investigation team. Their job is to find information on a missing college student. Upon entering the home, the couple stumbles onto a media setup of static televisions, an array of tapes and an opened laptop, all beckoning the couple to explore its contents. Instead of turning on lights and exploring the home before the snooping commences, Larry leaves the task of filtering through the electronic data to his partner Ayesha, while he records his search of the home. Ayesha accepts her duty searching the computer and tapes for valuable information, which she happens to glance over, instead pitting herself into a supernatural web that spins out of control with each haunting and unbelievable tape she watches.

Much like its predecessor, V/H/S 2 focuses its energy on the paranormal introducing viewers to a slew of terrifying creatures. Yet, V/H/S 2 has a strong affinity for flesh-eating beings which results in examples of remarkably nauseating make-up work and special effects. V/H/S 2 packs the blood and gore on in extreme doses invoking multiple involuntary visceral reactions from me as I lazily lied in my bed. I repeatedly jumped thanks to the loud, unnerving sound effects ever-present throughout each story. At times, I literally pulled the covers over my eyes in recoil to avoid witnessing the ill-fated decisions of characters, most notably during a segment in which a character’s decision to end his hallucinations results in a sharp object and his eyes.

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What’s most intriguing about V/H/S 2, and it’s predecessor for that matter, is its ability play on the fears of us skeptics and paranoids. I’m someone that constantly looks over their shoulder when walking the streets, day or night. A reoccurring fear of mine is not only experiencing horrific images on a day-to-day basis, but the inability to distinguish my perceptions of reality from everyone else’s, much like Carol in Roman Polanski’s 1965 psychological thriller, Repulsion. I fear seeing things that others don’t, I fear being attacked by a non-suspecting person, I fear witnessing an apocalypse of any type; all conceptual fears played with in V/H/S and its sequel.

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V/H/S 2 impresses by being a ghastly imaginative horror film that makes strides in technological innovations to tell its stories from unthinkable perspectives and points of views; one story unfolds as viewers watch a zombie attack from the POV of a zombie through an outdoor camera. However, V/H/S 2’s main weaknesses lies in its lack of believable characters and motivations. Character’s behave unrealistically at times with some segments showing them react with little to no panic or true concern in their situations, a testament of poor acting and/or direction. Also the development of stories focus more on the scares rather than cohesiveness to make the individual and overall story make sense. Regardless, if you enjoyed V/H/S you will enjoy V/H/S 2, just likely not as much.

SEE IT. If you appreciated the creepfest V/H/S was, then you’ll at least be impressed at the terrifying strides made in V/H/S 2.

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