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VHS 2 (2013)
Movie Review by The Mortician

VHS 2 (2013) Like lousy rap music, I had high hopes that the jerkycam, POV, found-footage camcorder rage would just be a passing fad, but sadly, looks like this style is here to stay in all genres, especially horror. Here's an anthology movie wallowing in the "found footage" motif to the point that it's downright difficult to endure due to the dizzying, whiplash-inducing amateur videography. I watched this one on a small monitor and it still made me sea-sick. We've got eyeball cams, dog collar cams, helmet cams, button cams...and I still don't understand the "VHS concept", since this low-fi format has absolutely nothing to do with the high-end 21st Century digital technology that these shorts wallow in. In a wraparound story, once again, our protagonists (PI's sent to a house to find a missing college kid) find digital footage improbably archived on VHS tapes and we end up watching the mysterious tapes with them. First up, we've got a dude who gets a bionic eye, and this one is probably shot with Google glasses or something. He goes home and starts to see dead people, and honestly, this was boring and not scary at all. A chick who got bionic hearing from the same clinic shows up and says she can "hear" dead people and the duo decide to sex things up in order to drown out their pandemonium. (Yeah, makes sense, right? At least there was some female nudity in the segment to liven things up.) Said "dead people" get closer and closer to ‘em until the predictable ending. SIXTH SENSE light here, folks. The next tale follows a dude recording his bike ride with a helmet cam and he's attacked by zombies and quickly becomes one. So we get the first-person experience of a human becoming zombie food and then becoming one of the flesh-eating creatures on the hunt. He joins other zombies and attacks some birthday party folks at a pavilion. There's some decent gore, gut munching [amidst footage way too shaky], and a pretty neat ending where the guy realizes he's a zombie and decides to try to kill himself, but I hate to tell BLAIR WITCH co- director Eduardo Sanchez (who made this one)...concept has already TOTALLY been done to death way too many times starting with flicks like COLIN [2008], so ultimately...not much new meat to chew on here. Short number three follows some documentary filmmakers as they interview a Jim Jones-ish cult figure when all hell breaks loose in his compound. It's "drink the Kool Aid" time for his followers, so we bear witness to mass suicides, bodies exploding, and a demon being born right before our eyes! Clever and fun stuff here, the gore is outrageous and top-notch but once again... the footage is shot in such spinning succession that you feel like you're on a merry-go-round. I liked the final twist in this story (a car wreck) and it was creatively pulled off with no budget, although they obviously ripped off the ending of another found footage flick called THE DEVIL INSIDE. The last story concerns some really out of control teens videoing a day of debauchery, including squirt gun fights, masturbating, and big sister having sex. They also put a little cam on their pet dog and this is the footage that captures an alien invasion which happens later that night. Evidently the aliens from SIGNS have gotten used to water because they come out of a nearby lake and waste all the little pukes randomly. Sadly, the dog gets killed too. I liked the alien shots in this one, they looked downright cool and creepy, but the teenyboppers were downright annoying---sadly, this is how most of today's youth behaves, so... can't say that I didn't enjoy seeing them all get their comeuppance. Damn these self-absorbed soccer kids---may aliens get them all! Again, the footage was way too shaky for my liking and the filmmakers totally overdo the "reality-cam" concept. Even your worst i-phone videographers try to keep the device STEADY, so shaking the camera like it's amidst a Richter scale ‘10' earthquake mars most of this movie beyond belief. I was wondering why V/H/S 2 went straight to Netflix Streaming, didn't even see copies on DVD in the stores, and I think this is one of the reasons why---it's just too shaky and blurry for audiences to take. Overall, though, there's some good moments in this movie, a shame they are decimated by such deliberately poor videography choices. Skip it.

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