V/H/S may have put the horror anthology format back on the map, but V/H/S 2 truly solidifies it as an effective form of storytelling that can satisfy the masses just as well as any feature narrative. This time around, the film is comprised of four short films connected by a wraparound component, and all achieve a notable degree of innovation and true terror.
V/H/S 2 is currently making waves on the festival circuit leading up to its June 6th On Demand release and July 12th theatrical debut. It already hit Sundance and SXSW and is now wrapping up its run in the Tribeca Film Festival’s Midnight Program. In honor of its Tribeca presence, Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun), Adam Wingard (You’re Next), Edúardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project), and Simon Barrett (You’re Next) all sat down to discuss the art of short form horror.
After having directed the V/H/S wraparound, Wingard goes an entirely different route in the sequel with “Phase I Clinical Trials,” ditching the old school camcorders for a far more advanced perspective – a robotic eye. Wingard stars in the piece himself as a guy who’s left without an eye after a car crash. He’s fitted with a bionic one and gets his vision back, but with the addition of some eerie supernatural entities he never saw before.
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The horror anthology is a beautiful thing – a bloody, twisted, haunting, and/or ghastly beautiful thing. It’s nothing new, per se, but since the success of “V/H/S,” it’s easy to see the format is on the rise and, fortunately for genre fans, it means more of that thrilling mixture of curiosity, dread and excitement that comes along with one segment of a movie coming to an end, only to realize another completely fresh dose of sheer terror awaits you.
It all begins with the Simon Barrett wraparound before, in true “V/H/S” form, the film moves into Adam Wingard’s “Clinical Trials” courtesy of an unsuspecting character popping in a forbidden VHS tape. After an artificial eye fills your own with paranormal entities, it’s on to Eduardo Sanchez and Gregg Hale’s “A Ride in the Park,” shedding new light on the zombie apocalypse. You’ll never feel the need to investigate a doomsday cult courtesy of Timo Tjahjanto and Gareth Evans’ third installment, “Safe Haven,” and then Jason Eisener will prove there’s no safety-in-numbers when aliens invade your sleepover party.
After sitting through the buffet of brutality that is “V/H/S 2,” no one in their right might should want to sit down with Barrett, Wingard, Eisener, Sanchez and Hale, but as someone with an insatiable hunger for terrifying, inventive scares, I’ll happily take my chances with a distorted bionic eye, a bike ride through a forest full of zombies, a demonic ideology, a too-close encounter, and an interview with the sick and brilliant minds that bring it all to life.
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Ready for a year of straight slasher flicks, horror anthologies, paranormal entities, home invasions, and more? 2013 is due to cover just about every corner of the horror genre – including remakes, adaptations, and even a few original ideas, too.
There’s dozens of prospective nightmare-inducing productions on the way (or already in theaters), but we’ve narrowed it down to the 10 that pack the most promising source material, stellar teams of talent, innovative core concepts and/or the potential for unprecedented carnage.
Check out our 10 Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2013.
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