2013 SXSW Review: V/H/S/2

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

In preparation for this screening at the festival, I made sure to watch the first film which I had never previously seen. The concept for these movies is really remarkable. For film buffs who have a love/hate relationship with “found-footage” movies, the first installment brought a breath of fresh air to this genre. Now granted, I didn’t particularly enjoy every single video short in V/H/S. With the sequel, I must state that I found every single one intense, compelling, and thrilling.

As with the first movie, V/H/S/2 has a root story which ties all of the video shorts together. A couple of private investigators are hired by a distraught mother to find her missing son. The detectives look for him at his home, where they find a collection of VHS tapes. As the horrific footage on the tapes gets viewed, strange and ominous events take place in the home.

I absolutely loved this film. Each video short brought something new and fresh to the movie. Some were more psychologically scary while others went for visual shocks and jump scares. Usually jump scares annoy me, but in this anthology, the filmmakers use them effectively well. Directors Simon Barrett, Jason Eisner, Gareth Evans, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez, Timo Tjahjanto and Adam Wingard deserve high praise for delivering genuine horror scares and thrills.

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