Movie Review: V/H/S, V/H/S 2, & V/H/S: Viral

 

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Usually I reserved my movie reviews for just one movie, but since I watched all three V/H/S movies recently, I decided to put them together on here and review them all. I started off by rewatching the original anthology film V/H/S from 2012. I had previously watched it when it was released but needed to be refreshed on some parts.

The movie features six segments each directed by a different director. The wraparound segment titled Tape 56, directed by Adam Wingard, revolves around a group of guys that break into a house to steal a videotape that they hope to make money from. But what they run into makes their burgurlary even more dangerous. But during their time in the house, they watch various VHS tapes, which contain the rest of the movie’s short stories.

Amateur Night, the second segment from director David Bruckner, is perhaps my favorite and is about a group of friends who go out and look to pick up women to bring back to their hotel. They eventually get two women to come back with them but one of them turns into a vampire-like creature and ruins their night of fun.

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The next segment is from director Ti West and is called Second Honeymoon. It is about a couple on their second honeymoon who are stalked at their hotel. Glenn McQuaid directed Tuesday the 17th, the next segment about a group of friends killed by an entity in the woods. The Sick Thing that Happened to Emily When She was Younger, directed by Joe Swanberg, is about a woman being used as an alien incubator and her boyfriend who is working with the aliens. And a group of directors called Radio Silence directed the final segment titled 10/31/98. This segment is about a group of guys that are going to a Halloween party but end up at a haunted house instead.

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The sequel, V/H/S 2, was released in 2013 and featured five new short stories for horror fans to enjoy. The wraparound segment is titled Tape 49 and is directed by Simon Barrett. It is about a couple who both work as private investigators and are asked to look into the disappearance of a college kid. They break into his dorm and discover a stack of VHS tapes which contain different short stories. But there is more in the house than VHS tapes that will haunt the couple.

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The second segment is titled Phase I Clinical Trials and is directed by and stars Adam Wingard. Wingard plays a man who receives an eye implant that gives him ghastly visions that drive him mad. Dark and twisted, Wingard’s segment is very good and he shows his growth from the first film to this one.

The next story is titled A Ride in the Park and is directed by Eduardo Sanchez & Gregg Hale and is about a cyclist being attacked by zombies. Timo Tjahjanto & Gareth Huw Evans directed the next segment called Safe Haven and it is about a news crew that travels to a foreign land to interview a cult leader but get more than they wanted. And the final segment is titled Slumber Party Alien Abduction and is directed by Jason Eisener. This segment is about a group of teens who have a party in the woods but don’t realize that aliens have landed near by.

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V/H/S: Viral is the latest in the horror series and features four new segments. But this film is a huge letdown from the first two. The first two films had some really good stories that were scary and entertaining, but V/H/S: Viral was disappointing and was easily the worst of the three films.

This third film contains segments about a deranged illusionist who gets a magical object, a machine with the power to open doors to a parallel world, skaters who become the targets of a Mexican cult, and shady organization hunting down a serial killer.

To wrap up this review, I felt like the second film was the best, closely followed by the first and then the last film. I just thought that the second film flowed better and was much more complete. The original V/H/S was very good but I thought two segments, Amateur Night and Second Honeymoon, really stood out while the others were just good. But I thought all of the segments in V/H/S 2 were really good and I enjoyed them all.

But, as for V/H/S: Viral, well, I really wouldn’t advise this film. I hate to say that, but I never really enjoyed this film at all. If you have any interest in this film series, I would recommend staying away from the third entry and just enjoy the first two films. They might not be great, but they are entertaining and give genre directors a chance to show off what they can do.

Daryl Karpinski Jr.

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