I watched V/H/S (2012) a couple years back and enjoyed it a bit. Enough to have queued V/H/S/2 but not enough to have gotten around to its first “sequel” (if that is the right term for a horror anthology series), until now. The “faux found footage” concept rules the series, as all of the short films and even the wrap-around story are all shot to look like films shot first-hand by the people in the stories. That concept is tireder than ever but probably given the ubiquity of GoPro cameras, drones, and body cameras, we are probably at the early point of the era even now.
Adam Windgard is the key name returning from the first film, having added his successes of You’re Next (2011) and The Guest (2014) to his résumé. Still, he’s not the biggest name here. That would go to Gareth Huw Evans of The Raid (2011) and The Raid 2 (2014) who channels an inner Takashi Miike I didn’t know he had.
The films are a bit all over the place from a cybernetic eye implant that aids in ghost reception, zombies in the park, a demonic ritual and alien abductions, you’ve got a lot going on here. The frame narrative again involves a break-in to a seemingly abandoned house, rooting through a bunch of videos VHS and computer, to give context for the random tales. It’s still a kind of inventive twist on the portmanteau film, if in this case, the story is sloppy and full of logical gaps.
All of the films seem to suffer from logical gaps. I don’t know if it is the problem of stuffing a story into the “faux found footage” style that shackles, because all of the stories except the alien abduction one rely on multiple cameras to construct their narrative, posing the question of who wove it all together. Or if the problem, like in the case of the one Evans collaborated on (definitely the one with the highest production values), you’ve got a story way more involved than can really squeeze into the time constraints.
The alien abduction one by Jason Eisener, the finalé of the film, struck me as the most effective (though also a bit headache-inducing.)
There has to be one about a drone next. Has there been a “faux found footage” horror film shot by drone yet? I’m sure it’s happened.