films seen
3
average score
3.33*
nationality
USA - 44 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Solid pieces

V/H/S/94

by Timo Tjahjanto, Simon Barrett, Chloe Okuno, Ryan Prows, Steven Kostanski, Jennifer Reeder
2021 / 100m - USA
Horror
3.5*/5.0*
V/H/S/94 poster

After a relatively long hiatus, the V/H/S series is back, reincarnated by Shudder. Not much has changed since the last time, several found footage shorts are loosely tied together by a central segment. Each director was given carte blanche, the only unifying factor is the found footage approach.

I'm not the biggest fan of the series (with only the second entry being really worth a watch), that probably explains why my expectations were pretty low. The time off seems to have breathed some new life in the concept, since there were some pretty inspired entries this time around.

Tjahjanto's short in particular is a real stand-out. Superb effects, great designs and lots of nasty gore. The Empty Wake and Storm Drain are simple but effective, Terror and Holy Hell (the wrap-around segment) are decent but clearly not up to par with the others. All in all, a jolly good time for fans of the found footage niche.

V/H/S/2

by Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez, Timo Tjahjanto, Adam Wingard
2013 / 96m - USA
Horror, Thriller
3.5*/5.0*
V/H/S/2 poster

After the cult success of the first V/H/S film and the positive feedback on The ABC's of Death, the news that a follow-up anthology would be made was hardly a surprise. To be honest though, I didn't like the first V/H/S anthology all that much. Few of the short managed to entertain and the "group of friends making a horror flick" atmosphere that drove the first film was rather unpleasant. I'm glad to say they turned things around in their second attempt.

Wingard kicks off and sadly he delivers the least interesting of the four shorts. Wingard is great when he focuses on audiovisual storytelling, but I just don't like him in front of the camera. He's a pretty awful actor, which gives the shorts he stars in a rather amateurish finish. It's a real shame because this hi-tech variation on Gin Gwai could've been fun, now it's just a nice idea that never becomes scary or horrific.

Luckily Eduardo Sánchez (Blair Witch Project) and Gregg Hale follow up with a remarkably fun first-person zombie short. Far from serious and pleasantly gory, a lone cyclist (sporting a headcam) is overtaken by zombies and joins the herd to barge in on a birthday party in the middle of the woods. Sánchze and Hale keep the fun factor high, never taking their short too serious but providing a good balance between blood and laughs.

Highlight of the anthology is Gareth Evans' (The Raid) and Timo Tjahjanto's (Macabre) entry. An eerie trip into the world of a perverted cult goes horribly wrong. What starts as an unsettling documentary following an Indonesian cult leader ends up in bloody and fucked up mayhem. The short is eerie, nasty, gory and in your face. A very nice surprise indeed.

Eisener ends the anthology in style. He draws the audience in quickly with a few pranks and laughs, then hits fast and hard with some prime quality chaos. His short is loud and direct, but works exactly because of that. Pretty freaky and intense stuff.

The wrap-around story was of pretty poor quality and Wingard's short should've been a lot better, but this sequel is a serious step forward for the V/H/S crew. The internationalization of the directors benefited the project a lot, resulting in one amusing, one freaky and one outlandish short. Not bad at all.

The inoffensive

Seance

by Simon Barrett
2021 / 92m - USA
Horror
3.0*/5.0*
Seance poster

Simple but amusing slasher flick, mixed with light haunted house elements. Simon Barrett has been part of Wingard's troupe for a long time now, this is only the first time he got to direct a feature-length film. It's a surprisingly basic project, that puts everything on execution to make an impact.

Camille is a young girl who lands a seat into a prestigious school after one of the students kills herself. She immediately gets into a fight with the popular girls. During detention, the group organizes a little séance. While meant as a joke, the kids inadvertently call the spirit of the deceased student, kick-starting a new wave of deaths.

The plot is pretty simple, also very predictable, but the direction is solid. Nice camera work, a pretty great score and pleasant performances make this a fun little horror flick. It's not that memorable and certainly not the type of film that will thrive beyond its original release, but if you're looking for solid horror filler, it's a very safe bet.