V/H/S/94 – Fantastic Fest Review

Theatrical
V/H/S/94 – Fantastic Fest Review
V/H/S/94 – Fantastic Fest Review

A mysterious VHS tape leads a police S.W.A.T. team to the discovery of a sinister cult whose collection of pre-recorded material reveals a nightmarish conspiracy.

V/H/S/94 is a triumphant return for the found footage franchise, as with the world currently in a pandemic the writing and directing team shoots everything locally, except the final segment, and gives a retro feel to everything considering it takes place in 1994. Every segment is more deranged and terrifying that the one proceeding it, with the exception of the final entry which takes a little too long to go full blown crazy.

The central focus of this fourth installment in V/H/Sis entitled Holy Hell directed by Jennifer Reeder which follows a SWAT team as they’re investigating a horrific crime scene and what happened to the victims within this abandoned warehouse. All the stories within V/H/S/94 get intercut within Holy Hell which is the main story arch. They stumble across a room with several televisions broadcasting simultaneously and that is where we discover our second entry, Strom Drain. Storm Drain may be one of my personal favourites throughout the entire anthology. It follows a reporter, Holly played by Anna Hopkins, as she is sent on a location piece to find the mysterious Rat man that is lurking in the sewers.

This terrifying entry is a bloody gorefest with an excellent pay off that will satisfy the hunger that lives inside of us all. The next entry is The Empty Wake directed by Simon Barrett and it focuses on a funeral parlour preparing for the next day’s service. Without giving away too much information, nothing everything is as it seems, and the true terror lays in what we believe is fact.

With some excellent direction and storytelling, terrifying visuals, and some horror extravaganza, The Empty Wake is an excellent addition to V/H/S/94. The next entry is the longest story told in V/H/S/94and the most surreal, bonkers, insane story told. The Subject directed by Timo Tjahanto focuses on a mad scientist who is obsessed with fusing humans and machine to create the ultimate killing machine. His testing is incredibly inhumane and has been dubbed a sadistic serial killer by the media, while everything takes a turn for the most obscene and insane predicament, everything becomes told from a first-person shooter perspective and becomes almost a video game adaptation in this stylized story telling.

Lastly, we have Terror by Ryan Prows, which is filmed in Indonesia and focuses on a militia of a few men who are trying to harness a weapon to attack the US with. V/H/S/94 ends back on Holy Hell as we finally get to see who is behind all the chaos which leads to a bloody fantastic ending.

What makes V/H/S/94 such a success is the way all the stories stand on their own, bringing their own unique elements of terror and horror that all feed into the main story of Holy Hell. With each chapter bringing new terrors, new horror, and lots of blood and guts fans of the franchise, and horror in general will be pleased greatly. The performances in all the stories shine, and every brings their own level of personal fear and shock to each story creating new elements and worlds of terror for the audience to sink their teeth into. V/H/S/94 is the perfect Halloween watch, with new terrors and thrills that are sure to make audiences scream!

9

Amazing

My earliest movie memory, outside of my home theatre in my basement, was going to the local Video 99 and wanting to rent ET only to be told by the shop owner it was playing down the street in theatres. My love for cinema has been alive for as long as I can honestly remember. I would frequent the cinema minutes down from my house daily. It was a second home. Movies are an escape from the everyday world, a window into the soul, a distant friend. If I’m not watching a movie, I’m probably watching a tv show, if I’m doing neither I’m asleep.

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