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V/H/S/2 Blu-ray Review

VHS2 Blu-ray

“V/H/S/2” is the rare sequel that is better than the first.

As a huge horror anthology film fan, I was let down by the underwhelming “V/H/S.” The concepts and talent were certainly present, but the execution of most of the segments left a lot to be desired. Thankfully, the sequel is a big step up from the first installment.

The film begins and ends with a wrap around segment titled “Tape 49” which proves to be a much better wrap-around than the unintelligible one that we see in the first film. This story revolves around two private investigators looking into the disappearance of a college student. They discover that the student has a wealth of VHS tapes and that he seems to be experimenting with something (I won’t reveal what).

After that, “V/H/S/2” cuts to the first segment dubbed “Phase 1 Clinical Trials” which involves a man (who lost an eye in an accident) getting a camera installed in his eye. In typical horror film fashion, his new eye proves to be problematic as he begins to see dead people. ‘Clinical’ is definitely the weak link of the segments as it is simply a variation of “The Eye” and “Eye” from the “Body Bags” horror anthology film.

The second story (“A Ride In The Park”) is a very clever zombie story about a biking enthusiast who uses GoPro camera to record his adventures in the wild. After the biker encounters a injured woman who bites him, the biker turns him into a zombie. Considering how overplayed the zombie genre is these days, it’s refreshing to see a story that breathes new life into the genre. The First person perspective is particularly effective here.

Story number three (“Safe Haven”) is an absolutely balls to the wall crazy segment in which a news team covers a disturbing Indonesian cult. Little do they know, the cult is on the cusp of performing a ritual which has catastrophic effects. I’m not sure the short entirely works (especially the ending), but I have to give props to director Gareth Evans for going all out here. He definitely doesn’t hold back here which makes for a truly dark and messed up short (in a good way).

Last, but not least is the “Slumber Party Alien Abduction” segment which is exactly what the title says. While director Jason Eisner is certainly creative with the low budget and found footage storytelling technique, this is the type of segment that makes you wonder why would anyone be filming this. Still, Eisner’s creepy aliens make the short worthwhile in the end.

Note: This disc contains the rated and unrated cuts of the movie.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? The quality varies from segment to segment, but the Blu-ray transfer is definitely the best way to watch this flick.

Audio track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? All of the segments use sound in their own unique way, but the usage of sound is most effective in ‘Slumber’ and ‘Haven.’

Extras:
* Magnet/Magnolia trailers, 2 V/H/S/2 trailers, and BD-Live capabilities.
* 5 behind the scenes photo galleries titled “Tape 49,” “Phase 1 Clinical Trials,” “A Ride In The Park,” “Safe Haven,” and “Slumber Party Alien Abduction.”
* “AXS TV: A Look At V/H/S/2”- A standard AXS TV featurette with film clips, interviews, discussions about the segments, etc.
* “Tape 49 Rewind,” “Dissecting Phase 1 Clinical Trials,” “Inside Safe Haven,” “Slumber Party Alien Abduction: Behind The Lights,” and a “A Ride In The Park: I Dare You” are all behind-the-scenes looks at the 5 segments. Expect to see interviews with cast and crew members, discussions about the talent involved, set footage, secrets on how they achieved f/x, and more. All well worth watching for those who crave behind-the-scenes footage.
* A unique commentary by Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez, Gareth Evans, Timo Tjahjanto, Jason Eisner, John Davies, and Rob Cotterill in which they talk about their individual segments. It would be nice to hear more engaging commentary tracks like this.

Summary: “V/H/S/2” has its ups and downs, but it’s worth watching if you are a fan of the horror anthology genre.

September 26, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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