Written by: John Edward Betancourt
Ah, the sequel. We love them, no bones about it. Especially horror sequels. But despite our love of seeing the story continue, it's often a mixed bag. The story can certainly let us down, or it ends up being just "okay". But thankfully, there is a gold standard when it comes to sequels that is sometimes achieved where the second film in a series is far superior to the first.
Dawn of the Dead, ALIENS and The Dark Knight are all fine examples of this, but today we will take a little time to discuss one sequel that quite frankly, blew me away by easily surpassing the first one...V/H/S/2.
A young college student has gone missing and his worried mother has called in a pair of private investigators to discover her son's whereabouts. When the P.I.'s arrive at his last known location they discover a strange television setup and VHS cassettes that bear brutal and disturbing imagery. While they work the case, little do they know that watching these tapes will unleash total terror upon them and this time...it is all part of a plan.
When I heard that V/H/S/2 was coming out, I was admittedly excited. The first one was a breath of fresh air and new stories could only enhance this franchise further. But what I did not expect, was a stellar sequel that left the first film as nothing more than a distant memory in my mind. It isn't the production values that do it, simply because with a low budget flick like this you get what you get, oh no...it was all about the stories and the middle of the film is simply spectacular.
There are four stories this time around, with the first and last paling in comparison to the middle two. While ghosts and aliens are scary, the first story that completely captivated me was was "A Ride in the Park". For one, it features zombies, which is awesome any time they show up, but the story is told from a point of view perspective courtesy of a Go Pro camera and it makes for stunning storytelling. How it does that I won't say much more, because I flat out don't want to spoil it.
But the gem of this film is "Safe Haven" which takes place in a cult compound reminiscent of the Branch Davidian compound, and wow. This one left me uncomfortable. With multiple themes that are extremely taboo present, even for horror, this one is a scary freaking story. I was literally on the edge of my seat as this one played out and cringing at the gore and the surprises that awaited me.
Flat out, this is a great horror flick. You need to watch it, and as quickly as possible. Only because of the fact that those two stories really push the envelope in the right kind of way. Plus, it's great to be able to sit down and enjoy a far superior sequel, I only hope that if they make another one, it manages to top this one.