V/H/S/2 (2013)

Two private investigators come across a collection of dark and macabre video tapes.  Each tape has its own tale to tell and together they may lead to the truth about the disappearance of a young student – or the death of those looking for him.

Picking up where the original “V/H/S” left off, this is another collection of grisly tales.  Two investigators are hired to find one of the missing guys from the first film and come across his own collection of tapes.  The two then follow in the footsteps of their doomed predecessors, with one searching the house while the other watches the tapes unaware of what is unfolding around them.

Like the original, the tales are somewhat uneven, but each has its own unique scares, so there’s something here for multiple tastes.  The tales do get a bit “zombie-centric” however and no one really shines, so overall they are a bit weaker than the stories in the original.  The framing story is also weaker and contains the same sort of awkward and empty setup that the first had – but while the original opening at least showed the viewer exactly where the protagonists were coming from and what sort of guys they were, the opening here simply allows for some gratuitous nudity which has nothing to do with anything.  There’s more of that here as well.

The innovative approach of the original probably doomed this one to being a shallow imposter at the outset, but there’s enough here to make it worthwhile.  Each story has its own strengths and weaknesses: whereas “A Ride in the Park” is a cookie-cutter zombie tale, it offers a poignant ending – conversely, “Safe Haven” is probably the strongest story but runs long and fails at the end.  That’s what this movie is: good ideas with inconsistent execution, which suffer from having been done better the first time.

Stars: 3.5/5


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