V/H/S/2 (2013)

Larry (Lawrence Michael Levine) is a low-rent private eye who is hired to find out why a college student has suddenly disappeared.  He and his assistant Ayesha (Kelsy Abbott) break into the house where the student lives and find a series of monitors set up with piles of old VHS tapes.  While Larry searches the house, Ayesha begins to watch the tapes.

Tape one involves a man who is given an experimental eye transplant by a medical company.  The eye is actually a camera, and at first everything is fine - until a bloody man and a little girl show up.  Turns up the camera is the perfect medium in which to see ghosts.

On the second tape we meet a man who goes out for a bike ride only to run into the beginnings of a zombie apocalypse.  Instead of the usual, we get to see things from a zombie's point of view.

Third tape in features a television crew investigating an apocalyptic cult in Indonesia that happens to decide it is time for judgment day.

Lastly, we have a group of kids left home for the weekend that become the target of an alien invasion.

I loved the first V/H/S.  There were some segments in there that didn't work too well, largely because the stories were not allowed to develop.  The ones that did, like the one with the flying creature and the haunted house sequence at the end, were examples of what could be done with the found footage genre.  Some accused the film of being anti-female, but I think this sort of knee-jerk reaction is why we rarely get good horror films today.  People are way too easily offended, directors and studios are afraid to offend, and good horror in some way always offends.

While I don't think the makers of V/H/S/2 took much of the tongue-clicking about misogyny that seriously, what they seem to have done is decided to ramp up the story telling.  Instead of trying to jam a number of disjointed stories together they instead concentrate on four and a wraparound - and this time make the wraparound halfway interesting instead of about a bunch of pricks that one wants to see dead minutes into the film.

Largely, the stories become slightly better as the movie goes on, although it is hard to follow Timo Tjahjanto's "Safe Haven" segment.  It is rare to see something that doesn't shy away from being absolutely nasty these days, and it helps that the nastiness has a point - and even quite a humorous payoff.  And, yes, this is the one you'll be wanting to see, although the rest are no slouches either.

Definitely one of the best anthology series in years, and quite a bit better than the original.

V/H/S/2 (2013)
Time: 96 minutes
Starring: Lawrence Michael Levine, Kelsy Abbott, Adam Wingard, Hannah Hughes, Jay Saunders, Fachry Albar, Hannah Al Rashid, Oka Antara, Ryan Logan, Cohen King, Samantha Gracie
Directors: Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez, Timo Tjahjanto, Adam Wingard


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