Last year, I referred to anthology found footage film V/H/S having a sequel being called D/V/D – twelve months on the sequel is here, but has missed a trick slightly in not even going for S-V/H/S but taking the more mundane title V/H/S 2.
The good news is that it has learned from some of the weaknesses of the first film – the wrapper story, while still taking a background seat, is stronger this time round and finds a private investigator finding the stash of tapes from the first film. There are hints to a larger mythology too, which indicates that this will not be the last in the series either.
The “component”stories are nicely varied – an eye implant that sees more than expected, a cyclist encountering a zombie outbreak, the investigation into a personality-based cult and even an alien invasion! Slightly unusually, all are at least solid, with the middle two segments being particularly good – if anything, it means the final segment suffers a little from not being quite up to the level of the one preceding.
V/H/S is fast turning into a series that showcases a variety of talent and with a pretty quick turnover – it is unsurprising to hear that there is a third film in the works (not called Betamax, sorry!) so the franchise could potentially become an annual horror fixture. Having the variety even within each film should prevent stagnation, so could be one to watch for!
One note though – avoid the trailer, which is hugely spoilery! ***1/2