A SWAT team raids a warehouse that's home to a sinister
cult who have captured horrific incidents on videotape.
Written and Directed by Simon Barrett, Chloe Okuno,
Ryan Prows, Timo Tjahjanto, Jennifer Reeder
Starring Anna Hopkins, Christian Potenza, Kyal Legend,
Budi Ross, Donny Alamsyah, Juan Bione Subiantoro,
Christian Lloyd, Thomas Mitchell Barnet, Slavic Rogozine,
Dru Viergever, Kimmy Choi, Nicolette Pearse
Sequel to 2014's V/H/S: Viral
Leave it to Shudder to give us the long-awaited redemption sequel to V/H/S: Viral. While not at all perfect, V/H/S/94 is a welcome return to form and clearly made with far more love and care than its predecessor. The frame story still kinda sucks, but we're making progress on that front, and the four stories that represent the meat of the movie are fairly decent. In my opinion, V/H/S/2 still stands as the best in the franchise, but I'm hoping that V/H/S/94's insane critical success (certified fresh at 95%) will jumpstart a new wave of sequels in this inventive franchise.
Our frame story, "Holy Hell," sees a SWAT team cracking down on a warehouse that's home to a cult that worships real horror on videotapes. We get a bit more after each story, with the ending attempting to bring it all full circle but not really pulling it off. Our first story, "Storm Drain," follows a reporter and her cameraman as they investigate a local legend called the Ratman. Not bad in its execution, but a bit too short. Still, some creepy visuals. The next story, "The Empty Wake," sees a new hire at a funeral home overseeing an evening wake that no one shows up to. She tries to convince herself she's not hearing pounding noises coming from the closed coffin. Again, not a bad concept, but ended abruptly just as it was getting going.
The next story, "The Subject," is by the same guy that did "Safe Haven" from V/H/S/2, so my expectations were high. This one is the most inventive, with a mad scientist kidnapping people and turning them into monstrous cyborgs. The gore is insane and the action is over-the-top, making this one stand out. The final story, "Terror," follows a white supremacist group who have kidnapped a vampire and are planning to use its blood as a weapon against the federal government. Being a big fan of vampires, I really liked this one. I won't go too much into it, as the shock speaks for itself.
Overall, I think V/H/S/94 is a lot better than the third film, but not nearly as good as the first two. There's a lot of potential here that isn't fully utilized. But that doesn't make it a bad film. It's like 3/4 of a good one. Hopefully, as I said before, this leads to more V/H/S films down the road, maybe even an ongoing deal with Shudder. We can dream.