Sunday, September 29, 2013

V/H/S/2 on Blu-ray: Portmanteau Sequels Do Dream of Full Length Features

V/H/S, the anthology movie that featured directorial efforts from multiple filmmakers in a found footage style surrounding some very questionable VHS tapes, divided audiences. Some of you loved it praising the variety of stories, challenge to the anthology format and ability to create a little bit of scary on a small budget. Others thought that the holes left by the shooting style, shaky camera work and complete abstract and often vague storytelling didn't provide a complete experience and left a feeling of where's the beef? (read that where's the Mylar tape?). The follow up has receive harshest aforementioned criticisms, V/H/S/2 is fan friendly and fixes some of the bugs from the original presentation. Now, off it's VOD success, the Blu-ray has hit the shelves running and ready for fans to enjoy not only a very good copy of the movie, but some extras that help to compliment that enjoyment of this well received portmanteau.


Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his abandoned house and find another collection of mysterious VHS tapes. In viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be terrifying motives behind the student’s disappearance.

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V/H/S/2 got the bugs out. It's a shorter more concise movie with a more dynamic wrap story that let's the camera shake stay with the original and provides more cohesive, short stories. These stories are more developed, and while fan reaction seems to dictate that at least two of the shorts are absolutely fantastic, the whole of the movie won't disappoint. 

The fan favorite is Safe Haven. It's a comprehensive horror movie. It's a movie that can be seen as way more than a short even if it's duration isn't feature length. This is a well developed movie. Haunting. Real... until it becomes a piece of pure fantasy fun. If you ever wondered what those damn cults were doing in obscure parts of the world, Safe Haven gives you the worst case scenario and you just might believe it. This is real Jim Jones meets the monster from beyond the deep kind of shit.

My personal favorite is Slumber Party Alien Abduction. This is a frightening tale of aliens and how they can turn a fun filled weekend into a nightmare that you'd only see in the movies. The use of bright light is terrifying. The use of sound, more so. This is a story that can find its audience easily because we were all kids once and we were all running from the aliens... real or imaginary. There's an element of a cautionary tale as well. When your parents are away, don't masturbate in front of the TV set in your living room... even if you think you're alone. 

Phase I Clinical Trials is a solid effort though somewhat obvious. The tale of a man with an eye transplant who starts to see things that may be more than just digital phantoms is a good warm up, but there's no real twist. The method of storytelling and visual display of what appears to be ghosties is what saves it from being flat. There's a modicum of suspense if you forgive that you most likely know the outcome from the outset.

A Ride in the Park is a zombie movie from the zombie's perspective from transition to feeding. While there's not much to this short, it's fun and it's gory. It doesn't have far to go, and really you can consider this an expose into the birth of the undead (or perhaps the complete life cycle). 

The special feature is where this disc becomes intriguing. The commentary track is funny and follows each filmmaker through their segment of the film. The audience is given a detailed explanation as to what the meaning, purpose and motivation is for the creation of each tale. That helps a lot. It helps to understand why Safe Haven ends the way it does or how A Slumber Party Alien Abduction came into being. If you've seen the VOD release and enjoyed it the commentary track is a must listen.

There's a brief making of featurette and photo gallery for a couple of the stories. Fans will enjoy this look into the movie even if it's somewhat short. The disc contains both the rated and unrated cuts of the movie.

Full feature list:

-- Tape 49 Rewind

-- Dissecting Phase I Clinical Trials

-- Inside Safe Haven

-- Slumber Party Alien Abduction: Behind the Lights

-- A Ride in the Park: I Dare You

-- AXS TV: A Look at V/H/S/2

-- Behind the Scenes Photo Galleries

-- Filmmaker Commentary

-- Theatrical Trailers

Here's my previous full review of the movie after watching it VOD:

V/H/S/2: You Were Kind, You Rewound.

You can pick up the Blu-ray, DVD or combo Blu-ray/DVD/VHS HERE.


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