DVD Review: "V/H/S/2"

By: Heather Seebach

Last year's found-footage horror anthology V/H/S (my review here) didn't exactly break the genre mold but it was a fun mixed bag of shorts from some of today's best indie filmmakers. Its sequel V/H/S/2 (the original title S-VHS was way cooler) is a satisfying follow-up with its own share of weak segments and one short that surpasses anything in either movie.

You're Next filmmakers Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, who made the first film's wrap-around segments, are back again for this one. This time, Barrett gets behind the camera for the wrap-arounds and the duo also created a stand-alone short. As with the first film, the "Tape 49" wrap-arounds are pretty weak but serve their purpose (to string the segments together). They follow two private investigators who stumble upon mysterious VHS tapes in a missing student's house.

Wingard gets the first short, "Phase I Clinical Trials" which he directed and stars in. About a man whose ocular implant allows him to see ghosts, this is a creepy idea and a clever new way to incorporate the POV format, but ultimately it falls a little too flat. Still, some of the film's spookiest moments are had here, so this is the segment that will appeal to fans of the paranormal. Of the film's four shorts, this is my third favorite.

Next up is "A Ride in the Park" from Eduardo Sanchez (Lovely Molly) and Gregg Hale. While it is essentially just a first-person zombie film, it is way better than that premise makes it sound. A biker with a GoPro helmet cam gets turned into a zombie and wreaks havoc on a picnic area. It is unique, gory, funny, and even a little heartbreaking at times. This is easily my second favorite segment of V/H/S/2.

Third is the short that blows them all out of the water. Believe the hype, the offspring of Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption) and Timo Tjahjanto (Macabre) known as "Safe Haven" is not only the best segment of this movie, but it is better than any short from V/H/S, as well. It follows a team of investigators as they infiltrate a mysterious cult led by a man known simply as "Father." This segment gets creepier and creepier as it builds to an intense, outrageous climax you must see to believe. Of all the shorts from both of these films, this is the only one I can imagine being a feature film (and I wish it was). 

Finally,  the anthology ends with Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun)'s entry, "Slumber Party Alien Abduction." It is exactly what it sounds like - aliens attack a kids' slumber party. I have always been a fan of Eisener's short films, but this is the first one to let me down. It has some solid spooky moments but overall it's too damn hard to see anything, and honestly, a bummer ending kinda kills it for me.

Much like its predecessor (and any horror anthology), V/H/S/2 is a grab-bag of awesome and okay entries. If nothing else, watch it for the batshit awesomeness that is "Safe Haven." 


Magnet's DVD and Blu-ray releases include both the rated and theatrical unrated versions of the film, as well as behind-the-scenes featurettes and commentary tracks for each segment! Very cool!

V/H/S/2 is now available! Follow the links below to pick up a copy at Amazon:



Want it on actual VHS? Check out this DVD/Blu-ray/VHS combo pack! 

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