V/H/S/2

I was one of the few that seemed to really dig V/H/S, even with the abundance of crappy "found footage" flicks I still find myself enjoying films of that nature, as such I was anticipating the sequel.  I sat down this afternoon and watched V/H/S/2 and I'm happy to report that I really liked this sequel.


This time the central story involves a private investigator and his colleague who are hired by woman to track down her missing son.  The search leads to an empty house which much like the film's predecessor has a room containing a mountain of flickering TV sets.  The kid they are looking for turns out to be one of the delinquents from the first film, he also happens to have quite the collection of unmarked tapes which the two investigators begin to watch.
Leading us to the first short Clinical Trials Phase 1.  This segment was directed by Adam Wingard who is one of the few returning directors from the first film.  This story is about a young man who lost an eye thanks to a car accident.  He ends up getting a state of the art cybernetic eye which gives the man his vision back.  This is a clinical trial however, and the doctor insists on having a camera connected to monitor things as this is a new technology.  A technology that could lead to a deadly paranormal encounter.  I felt this was a strong way to kick off the film.  The short has a few jumps, blood, and even some pointless nudity.  Makes me wish Wingard handled more than just the wrap around footage in the first film.


As the last short ended I found myself really looking forward to the next.  A Ride in the Park was directed by Eduardo Sanchez of Blair Witch notoriety along with Gregg Hale.  It's about a cyclist who's out biking in the forest.  Equipped with a helmet cam he winds up taping the beginning of what could be the zombie apocalypse.  A Ride in the Park takes a different approach to things though, as the cyclist is infected early on and spends most of the short shambling around looking for food.  While I appreciate the original take, I've got to say I felt this was the weakest of the four segments.  While I found it average it also didn't help that it was sandwiched between two of the strongest shorts the film has to offer.

The next segment titled Safe Haven was directed by Gareth Huw Evans and Timo Tjahjanto.  It's centered around a news crew who make their way into the compound of an Indonesian cult.  If you're familiar with Jim Jones and The Peoples Temple than you'll find yourself in some very familiar territory.  The two directors take that story and twist it turning it into a very gruesome few minutes.  Essentially the cult leader wasn't as jaded as most thought and with a mass suicide seems to open up the gates of hell.  This was easily my favorite of the four.  Visually there's a lot of demented things going on and I really dug it.  The fact that it was modeled after some of what took place in Jonestown was just icing on the cake as I've always been interested in that particular cult.


Alien Abduction Slumber Party is the last tape played.  It's directed by Jason Eisener who most of you probably know from directing Hobo With A Shotgun.  If the descriptive title didn't already give it away, this is about a group of kids having a sleepover that gets invaded by otherworldly visitors.  I really like the way the aliens were handled in this short, they look less like the Hollywood monsters we're used to seeing and more like the Grey creatures described by abductees.  The short starts out innocently enough, with a group of foul mouthed kids playing pranks on one another, but once the sci-fi element kicks into gear things get pretty tense.  

After that tape finishes the wrap around story involving the two investigators concludes.  With viewing the two V/H/S films almost back to back I found that the wrap around stories were my least favorite aspect of the films.  The sequel did improve on that though, as the characters featured in the central story were far less annoying...But it still remains one of the less interesting aspects presented in the movie.  Overall V/H/S/2 is a strong sequel, it did it's best to eliminate most of the original's faults and it managed to succeed.  If you enjoyed the first film then you will be more than happy with it's successor.  

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