V/H/S 2: Betamax of Found Footage Horror

So, I just got back from watching V/H/S 2 at the Seattle International Film Festival and wanted to start a thread on it while it was still fresh in my mind. I’ll carefully mark a section for spoilers so people won’t be caught unawares.

Anyway, general non-spoilery impressions ahead! Having seen V/H/S only a couple months prior it’s interesting to see how quickly this one has dropped. The premise is very similar in terms of the connecting storyline between each V/H/S vignette. It also is, in my opinion, once again the weakest segment. They don’t spend a lot of time on it and don’t try to tie it in in any meaningful way either - again much like the first one.

As for the segments themselves they are on the whole much better. Whereas the first V/H/S had one or two fairly clever well orchestrated segments this one I feel has maybe one poorly constructed short (not including the connecting storyline). It also has a bit of a sense of humor which doesn’t necessarily detract from horror as I feel in one particular vignette the idea is to come at horror tropes from an obtuse angle which I always really enjoy. The reasoning for having all these cameras is a bit gimmicky in a couple videos, but then again, that’s kind of the charm of this whole classic set up. I like that this has kind of become the modern equivalent of the Crypt Keeper or Trilogy of Terror.

I’d say that if you enjoyed the first V/H/S you’ll definitely find this one to be just as, if not more, entertaining. My favorite vignette by far was Gareth Evan’s (The Raid: Redemption) bit because it went from fairly unassuming to crazily over the top in a humorously brisk fashion.

Okay, spoiler time!
Here be spoilarz!

[spoiler]So, the first segment started out promising (I felt), but quickly devolved into a “I see dead people” bit in my opinion. I appreciated the moments of levity interspersed, but the whole thing just felt like it belonged in the first V/H/S given the quality of the other shorts.

The zombie segment started off poorly, but quickly became more of an interesting premise to show everything from his undead perspective. Hearing a loved one’s voice and being brought back seemed kind of like a cheap, knock off from other films, but I liked the way they handled it overall. I don’t think it was a particularly strong short, but better than the first. Gareth Evans cult documentary film was really quite good. It gets pretty over the top at the end, but it was definitely nerve wracking to watch it quietly unfold - witnessing some strange behavior inside the cult to a full on gore fest with a resurrected goat demon from hell by the very end. I also liked the alien abduction bit. Starts off humorous by establishing some likable brats based on culturally, and implicitly, understood tropes and then quickly devolves into chaos. Reminded me a bit of Fire in the Sky.

So, I would say the cult and alien abduction ones are by far the best of the lot. Gareth Evan’s cult doc is really excellent and since I loved The Raid (sorry, Tom!) I can’t wait to see what he does next. After the Raid 2, I suppose.[/spoiler]

Safe to assume that we can skip over the connecting story line portions like in the first one?

I was at last night’s screening, too, and I’d say that they were just as skipable. The problem was they didn’t really try with the first one- there was a tacit agreement that that’s all they were- connective tissue. This one I feel like they actually tried to put some meaning there, but just failed at it, and it’s always worse when they try and fail at something like that than just not try at all, IMO.

Other than that, BlakeD’s analysis matches my view pretty well. I think I liked the first segment more than he did, and the last less, but that said I enjoyed them all pretty well. Nothing up to the level of the first movie’s ‘Amateur Night’, but, hey, what is?

I saw the first movie the other night on Netflix, and my take away was that some producer said, “You know what? I feel Cloverfield’s cinematography was way too placid.”

Huh. My takeaway was ‘women are evil’ shorts, directed by men.

I just got a chance to see this. It was terrible. The only redeemable segment was the third one, and even that was pretty goofy. The first one was uneven, but this makes it look like a masterpiece.

Saw it over the weekend and loved it. The third segment was by far my favorite, but I thought all four were solid. There seemed to be a bit more of a theme this time, if that’s possible. Like, popular genre tropes. I don’t want to say too much about each scene, but that’s the feeling I got from it. The third part stood out a lot not just because of the quality but also the seriousness. The other three are lighter and funnier.

V/H/S 3 or “V/H/S Viral” trailer: http://youtu.be/5Gd1-e8yTlY

NSFW Red Band trailer!