Okay, fans of the first, what was it about it that made you like it? I’m to assume it was the individual stories, possibly the charm of the VHS-ish quality (only maybe, seems this one goes both ways for people) and not so much the storyline of the guys in the house. I still, having watched it recently, don’t really understand that part of it but I digress, we’re here for the sequel.
The second entry into what will undoubtedly become a series is just not the same. The same general concept comes with it where there’s an overlaying story of a couple of people breaking into a house to find clues as to what has happened to a missing person
Let me quickly step back and mention that I don’t AT ALL understand why the beginning of the movie starts as it does. The fellow, Larry, that we’re about to follow throughout the entire film obviously is out doing some spy work but it never again plays into the story so the character development possibility simply doesn’t mean anything. We see another set of boobs (better ones than the original had to offer at least) and another male organ. I’m not sexist, so I understand giving women viewers a little something as well but the whole scene is truly unnecessary. Now, let’s move on.
This is in VHS quality once again so you’ll instantly be used to the quality. If you came to terms with it previously, you’ll be able to accept it again. I, personally, like the charm of it as I mentioned earlier. I grew up just as VHS tapes and VCR’s were a usual item in a household. I guess you can chalk that up to nostalgia.
But I have a really big problem with the fact that while the ‘main story’ is in lower-quality, the stories are all in HD. And I don’t mean ‘because I bought the blu-ray’, I mean because they’re recorded using high-def cameras. So what happened to VHS? This will probably delight a few but for me, it was a big turn-off. All of the shorts come off, to me, looking like YouTube fan films and/or parodies. I actually made that comment right after watching it. It feels that way more-so in some than in others.
Now, let’s skip a few things so as to leave some mystery for you, and get to Ayesha. She is put on duty of checking out a laptop and some VHS tapes they find in the living room. She finds video of said missing person talking about watching these tapes and things happening. We’re to gather that it’s a website of people who share such things. What does she do? Naturally, she decides to watch the tapes as well. Does they have an effect on her? You’ll have to watch and see!
In the first story, we’re introduced to Herman, a guy who lost his eye in an auto-accident. We enter his little world as he’s just gotten a new, highly-innovative eye put in that will allow him to see again and allow the doctor’s to monitor him as well. I expected more from the doctor’s considering that he rants a bit about how he wants his privacy, but you never get it besides a phone-call wanting the eye out and being blown off. As he leaves, a girl coming in the doctor’s lobby gives him an intense look. Why? Another reason to watch. But she does play a role as the story progresses. You get a few spooky, dead people his eye allows him to see now, a hot scene that is very uncomfortable and Herman trying to save himself.
This was my favorite of the stories but absolutely nothing to write home about in my opinion. Admittedly, it did amp me up to see what would come in the next story though.
I’m going to briefly describe the last 3 as I don’t want to deal out any real spoilers and.. well.. I just didn’t really enjoy any of them very much at all. Again, needless to say but I will, this is my opinion and I hope to think that other’s found more to enjoy than I did.
The next story is one of zombies titled, ‘A Ride in the Park’. A guy goes on a bike-ride in the woods, in the day, and zombies happen. I think they were looking to be innovative with some of the ideas but they really failed for me. This is the one that really comes off feeling like a YT fan-parody. The budget could’ve been; buy editing software, get some friends together to do the zombie thing, now add some decent gore-effects and you could make-at-home what we were given. I hate to be so harsh, but I felt like the story was as bland as the acting which was as bland as the effects. A particular female zombie really didn’t seem to know how to loosen up and sell it. Certainly no Nicotero effects happening here. That’s usually just fine by me, a HUGE fan of 80’s cheesiest, but it felt like I was supposed to take it seriously and I couldn’t.
Next, we’re invited into the world of a cult leader and eventually his followers. He is leading his people to the gates and they’re all drinking the kool-aid. ‘Why’ is a fair question but not one that I can really answer. Usually when talking cults, you’re presented with a leader/guy who can persuade and has a true personality you can’t get enough of but this is not the case here. I kept wondering what on earth happened that these people would follow THIS guy. Truly life must have been terrible for them to end up here. This one feels like an honest try but it’s just not very enthralling. Even at its most intense, it feels forced. I realize that these are shorts but when dealing with subjects such as this, character development just has to happen and it never truly did. Things go haywire fairly quickly and it’s over before you even learn to care. I’ll give it this; if it could’ve been longer, it could’ve been better. But the ending is just weak in my opinion. I don’t mind unhappy ending’s but it did a pretty rough job of moving to a bigger purpose for all of it, the ‘bad-guy’ just felt silly.
Last, and definitely least, we get ‘Slumber Party Alien Abduction’. Saving it for last might’ve been a bad move, it should’ve been more of a middle-filler. It just seemed like a really, really low-budget alien flick that was more miss than hit. I like alien films, pretty much all things paranormal as a matter of fact, but the alien’s, to me, never felt very menacing. They felt very reminiscent of how the witches felt in The Lords of Salem. I’ll end this one here, you be the judge. I’ve not got anything really nice to say about it, breaking it down would just get ugly.
I think if it had ended how it started, I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more. And I applaud that they went out and made a second one, the first one was a lot of fun for me. No, each story wasn’t super-realistic or believable, but I turned off the mind and just enjoyed myself.
I want to lastly say that I hope a part 3 does come out. I have always loved films like this, they remind me of Trilogy of Terror and Creepshow. VHS 2 isn’t an awful movie, hence the 2-head score, but it is absolutely not on par with other recent releases such as The Conjuring. The budget, granted, was a lot smaller and the stories are all confined to much shorter runtimes, but that’s just part of what the series is. I hope that the next round brings better results, there’s still much hope for what they’ve done here.