Baddie: Oh, man, so many things.
Lesson: Anthologies are sometimes awesome!
Feel free to tweet me any questions, recommendations, comments, compliments, whatever! Really, I just like the attention.
I was so taken with V/H/S (see my other review) that I chose to watch the second one the following day. V/H/S/2 is also an anthology of shorts so I’ll review them each individually. Spoilers below, so, be warned.
V/H/S/2 (2013): Following a similar theme, a private investigator and his assistant/lover are hired to find a missing teen. When they arrive, they discover a similar room of white-noised-out television screens and a stack of tapes. The P.I. leaves his lady to guard the room and patrols the house while she pops in the first tape. The conclusion to this storyline is fantastic!
Phase 1 Clinical Trials: Off to a roaring start, the first short follows a young man who had received an experimental bionic eyeball that, for obvious reasons, is capable of recording. He goes home and starts doing normal person stuff but with a new added bonus – ghosts. Terrified, he spends the night in the bathroom, planning to get the eye checked out. A girl shows up at his doorstep, first seen at the doctor’s office, and explains to him that some of the new tech picks up extra signals. In her case, a cochlear implant that picks up ghostly frequency. The same is happening with his eye. Needless to say, the night does not end well.
Verdict: Actually fairly terrifying. The ‘footage’ is from the actual eyeball, so everything is direct point of view, so when he sees the ghosts so do you. It manages a pretty sweet balance between ‘jump’ and ‘lurk’ and ‘suspense’. I was very impressed. Definitely a great little film.
A Ride in the Park: As the title implies, a simple bike ride soon escalates into some zombie apocalypse action. This short is filmed on a Go-Pro (helmet cam), and by a lone biker.
Verdict: It’s actually one of my favorite shorts like, ever. It’s very simple storytelling with the bare minimum of dialogue. It’s shot in a gorgeous natural park, too, so the cinematography is really great. The juxtaposition of gore to nature is really nice. I really can’t emphasize how neat of a plot package this is. It covers a wide gamut of zombie films (and regular films) in a short amount of time, but never feels rushed or busy.
Safe Haven: This short is actually kind of long, probably double the length of some of the others (if not longer), coming in around 30 minutes long. Rest assured that this does not matter, it’s one of the most engaging horror shorts I’ve ever seen. Centered around an Indonesian cult, a film team manages to infiltrate the compound to interview various members of the cult itself, with predictably disastrous results. I say predictably because we know it’ll be bad – but the extent of -how- bad it is is shocking.
Verdict: The internet stakes claim that this could easily be converted into a feature-length film, and I’m inclined to agree. There’s a lot going on with possession, demons, terrifying cults, brain-washed children, ritual suicides, etc., it’s nuts. It’s scary and intriguing and I was totally hooked riiiiight up until the very end. Then they kind of lost me, but only stylistically.
Slumber Party Alien Abduction: While the title of this short gives away a lot, as an audience member the first time around, you have no idea there are going to be aliens. A typical suburban family starts off pretty normal, albeit with the parents leaving their daughter in charge for the weekend. The kids start pranking each other, little brother & friends vs. older sister & boyfriend. This is also mostly through the view of a Go Pro, usually attached to a small dog.
Verdict: I was pleasantly surprised at the effectiveness of this kind of SciFi. I’m not usually such a fan of abduction stories, I find them kind of boring. This short approached the genre with a fresh take and, frankly, a refreshing narrative. It’s easily the saddest of the shorts, given the ending. Oh yeah, and the aliens are realllly disconcerting.
Final Verdict: Go and watch this movie! It’s a huge improvement from the first film, and every single short is well done and genuinely packs some scares.