V/H/S/94 (2021)

Follow-up to: V/H/S, V/H/S 2, V/H/S Viral
Seen on: 3.10.2022

V/H/S/94 is an okay anthology film. It’s not so bad that it’s unwatchable, but it’s definitely not so good to make me really excited. I watched it mostly because it was programmed at the SLASH Filmfestival during my COVID bout and I thought I could extend the festival a bit by catching up with it at home. If you don’t have a similar reason or are the world’s biggest fan of VHS and/or found footage, this is an anthology you can safely skip.

The film poster showing a face with something metallic coming out of its mouth. The image is distorted, as if taken from an old VHS tape.

Holy Hell
Director: Jennifer Reeder
Writer: Jennifer Reeder
Cast: Dru Viergever, Kimmy Choi, Nicolette Pearse, Thomas Mitchell, Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll, Dax Ravina

A SWAT team storms a warehouse in what they think is a drug bust. But what they find there is something else entirely.

Holy Hell is the framing device of the anthology and it did absolutely nothing for me. The various horrors in the warehouse looked too fake to be scary and the way things unfolded was too confusing for me. The final revelation was interesting on a political level, but by then I had grown so bored that I couldn’t really care anymore.

A man standing in front of several old TVs, all showing static.

Storm Drain
Director: Chloe Okuno
Writer: Chloe Okuno
Cast: Anna Hopkins, Christian Potenza, Brian Paul

Holly (Anna Hopkins) is told to report on the legends of a Ratman that has been increasingly making the rounds in her town. Holly is less than overjoyed – she’d rather report on more important things. But to her surprise, she and her cameraman (Christian Potenza) actually find something in the sewers.

Storm Drain was the classic found footage stuff (it reminded me a lot of The Tunnel with its set-up, not so much how its plot developed), decently done. I thought that the Ratman was a fun idea, but other than that, it lacked a bit of a creative spark for me.

A woman standing in the sewers.

The Empty Wake
Director: Simon Barrett
Writer: Simon Barrett
Cast: Kyal Legend, Daniel Matmor

Hayley (Kyal Legend) works in a funeral home and is tasked with facilitating an all-night wake. Weirdly enough, all of the wake is supposed to be videotaped – and there is only one guest (Daniel Matmor) who drops by for a couple of minutes. But there does seem to be something happening with the corpse.

This segment was, to me, the scariest one in the sense that it managed to build at least some tension, especially before the “big bad” was revealed. The wake itself and Hayley’s lonely presence worked pretty well. But then things fell apart a little, and I’m not actually sure what story the segment was telling in the end.

A coffin in a funeral home.

The Subject
Director: Timo Tjahjanto
Writer: Timo Tjahjanto
Cast: Budi Ross, Donny Alamsyah, Juan Bione Subiantoro, Vincent Martin, Novi Rahmat Hidayat

A doctor (Budi Ross) has made it his mission to create cyborg beings – by kidnapping people and making adaptations to their bodies. Now that he has finally had more than a moderate success, the police catches up to him, though.

The Subject is probably the best segment in the anthology with its frantic energy and creatures. I also liked the ending. It’s not completely great, but it is above the rest of the anthology.

A screaming man.

Director: Ryan Prows
Writer: Ryan Prows
Cast: Christian Lloyd, Thomas Mitchell Barnet, Cameron Kneteman, Steven McCarthy, Brendan McMurtry-Howlett, Dru Viergeve

A right-wing militia is preparing to take America back. And they have a secret: a very specialy prisoner who could be just what they need to succeed.

On paper, I really liked Terror with its criticism of right-wing extremism in combination with a monster element (not giving away what kind of monster). But the execution just didn’t work out. The pacing wasn’t right, I never got a sense for the characters, and ultimately, it just felt like a bit of a let-down.

A group of men shooting guns.

Summarizing: oh well.

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