Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

WHOOPS - REALITY IS STILL BROKEN... AGAIN



S-VHS aka V/H/S 2 (2013)

Ah the old horror anthology genre. A dying genre for sure - usua
lly you find it most often in movies from other countries. We had a good run from about the 50's to the 80's but it's becoming rarer. This movie works, sort of, simply because there's not much time spent on any one theme so the obvious flaws and dumb stuff passes quickly. And, guaranteed, you will get confused. And maybe sickened. Lots of blood. Lots of gore. A zombie or two. And for a 'real' look the picture is often interrupted or is fuzzy - got a headache from that.

What was that? You've read this exact same paragraph for my review on the movie V/H/S? Now you know how I felt watching the sequel. IT. IS. THE. SAME. THING. Except for a major difference - this one is downright boring with nothing that was original, the wraparound story made absolutely no sense, and it was like they were using a checklist to make sure not to have two of the same kind of short story:

Not-gonna-happen-ever horror? Check.
Zombies? Check.
Aliens? Check.
Foreign Segment With NO Surprises? Check.
Surprising (To Those Who've Never Seen Horror Before) Ending? Check.

In other words, this is an insult to the first movie, which wasn't really that great, but at least had a little bit of originality. A little bit. This has none. But for the sake of the review:

A private investigator team takes a break from filming cheating husbands to take the case of a missing college student. They find his house and going in, it's practically empty except for - yeah yeah, a ton of tapes and lots of TVs and VHRs (and I'm starting not to feel so out of touch for having so many VHS tapes left in my collection). 

There's also a laptop with a recording running so they stop it, and start it from the beginning - it is the missing boy. He talks about the 'strange' VHS tapes. While the male half, Larry, decides to go through the house he tells his partner Ayesha to watch the tapes for clues. Just like in the first movie. Duh. And we begin:

Phase 1 Clinical Trials: I was instantly reminded of the movie Body Bags (1993), an anthology that did not take itself seriously at all. I wish I was doing that review instead of this one. Anywho, in Body Bags one story centered around Mark Hamill playing a baseball player who had lost his eye and received a real replacement. In this sorry piece of trash, we don't know the guy, but he's gotten a computerized eye that is constantly recording everything it sees. He doesn't like that, but the doc says hey, you want to see? We want to see how it works so just deal. 

So he does. On his way out he sees a girl who stares at him - he figures it's because the robotic eye looks... robotic. As soon as he gets home, the typical PA stuff happens - things move, crash, whatever. He starts seeing dead people. Call Bruce Willis, stupid. He sleeps in the tub for some reason and when he wakes, the apartment is trashed.

He gets a visit from the girl who stared at him in the doctor's office. She asks if he's seen anything strange. Duh. She explains that she got cochlear implants and after that began to hear strange noises that she concluded came from... dead people. Noisy freaking dead people. She warns him not to pay attention to them or they get stronger and will hurt him. Massive duh. She then uses sex to distract him so hey, it's not all bad, right? Wrong. 

Next morning she's dead in his pool. Now the dead people are everywhere and they're pissed - at him. Why? Why the hell not? He freaks, grabs a straight razor (everybody seems to have them - in the movies at least) and digs out the eye. There. He's safe. What you can't see can't hurt you, right? One of the ghosties inexplicably is able to pick up the eye and shove it down the mans throat which is the last thing we see and the last thing he feels. D-U-H. Oh and one more thing: How the hell did he, in the space of say two or three days, get twenty years older, at least twenty pounds heavier and a different nose? Hmmm....

Ayesha concludes the tape is bullshit. Can you blame her? Then she watches the student on the computer some more and he says (oh NOW he says) that the tapes had to be watched in a certain order. Oh-freaking-brother. So she picks another one...

A Ride In The Park: We've got the camera-on-the-helmet POV shaky crap to sit through for this one. A guy is riding his bike along a trail when a woman comes up screaming she needs help. Then she starts throwing up and convulsing. As he tries to help her she attacks and bites him. YAWN. Oh, sorry. So of course this guy is now a zombie and we get to watch as he meets up with his other zombie pals and tries to eat everybody he meets. He finally gets hit and run over by a car but that doesn't slow him down much. 

Then he gets a phone call - like all zombies do. It's his girlfriend who tells him she loves him and wonders why he grunts back. Or maybe that's the way he always talks to her, I dunno. Long story short (too late) he goes over to a man who has a rifle. He must retain a tiny bit of himself because he does not want to continue with the intestine pulling masses and manages to blow his own head off. Good man.

Now Ayesha is unconscious with a bloody nose. Bad movies will do that to you. I know I've had my share - not bloody noses, just being bloody annoyed. Larry wakes her up and tells her he's going to buy her some aspirin. After he leaves she put in another tape...

Safe Haven: I don't know if this was the longest segment of the movie, but I do know it was the one that pissed me off the most. Now I was able to guess the gist of the thing, knowing foreign films as I do plus the context was familiar with other cult-type behaviors, but the whole freaking thing is in Indonesian - no subtitles, no translation whatsoever. What. The. Hell. All you can do is watch body language and apply your own knowledge of other cults to try to figure out what's going on. Apparently he is a David Koresh type leader to these people, having sex with everything that moves.

Note: Apparently the copy of the movie I was using did not have the captioning for this sequence - it actually is in the movie - sorry about that. A new review of this segment can be found in the 'Labels' section or just check the date of 10/29/13. 

As a subplot, two of the 'interviewers' are engaged, the woman being pregnant. Since everyone has cameras and the idiots leave their mics on, the fiance' discovers that his pregnant bride-to-be is actually carrying his co-worker's child. Nice. Suddenly the Koresh-type dude makes a pronouncement - we can only assume that 'this is it'. What 'it' is we don't have a bloody clue. But they drink the cool aid, or kill themselves any way they've got. 

The pregnant woman, who apparently herself has started this Armageddon for some reason, is dragged off. The actual father sneaks into a room to find his mother-to-be strapped to a table. There is a ritual that is obviously Satanic and then her stomach starts to move (and we have the 'things that run across ceilings' stuff that is so bloody annoying) and a horned thing bursts from her stomach (ow). Whoever isn't dead by now it kills - as the boyfriend runs frantically to get out of there. 

As he runs he sees that those that killed themselves are getting back up. Great, Indonesian zombies. He manages to get into the car, speeds off and promptly in movie duh style crashes it. Up crawls the demon child who says 'papa' and the man laughs, madder than a hatter, knowing the thing is his. I wasn't laughing.

Larry comes back to find Ayesha dead. There's one more tape with the word 'watch' on it in lipstick. I didn't even bother yelling 'Don't do it!' 'cause I wanted this damn thing over. So he watches...

Slumber Party Alien Abduction: What's more annoying than a bloody hand-held cam making your head split trying to watch the bobbing scenes? A group of boys with the great idea of having a 'dog cam', attaching one to their pet. They're on a farm-type piece of property with a lake and everything that nobody can afford. Mommy and daddy leave for vacation, leaving the brats at home who of course promptly bring in all their friends. There are two groups - the sister and her friends, and her younger brother with his friends. And I'm hoping for swift deaths.

The boy and his friends taunt the older kids (dumb) and of course film everything. When playing in the lake (in the dark, duh) one boy briefly catches some lights over the water that shouldn't be there. A strange face is caught in his view briefly at one point. The two groups torture each other until we get a huge flash of light and a loud horn for some reason. And there's the aliens. 

Now, I don't even have to tell you what they looked like. I say aliens, you draw a picture, you got it right. YAAAWN. So of course they try to get away from these just-like-every-other-alien-movie nasties but of course they're captured. Our last (thank GOD) view is from the pet cam as the poor doggy dies - guess the aliens didn't want him. The freaking end.

Larry is confused. And stupid. So he watches the rest of the laptop recording. The boy says it's time to make his own tape - and blows his own head off. After a moment he 'reanimates' and gets up, walking out of the room (missing his lower face - he didn't aim too well). Moments later it shows Larry and Ayesha coming into the apartment. And they didn't hear the gun blast? Really? Sigh.

Dead Ayesha is the next to 'wake up'. He breaks her neck to prevent her from killing him and hides. After hiding and THEN shooting her he finds... c'mon, do I have to say it? Sigh. He finds the half-faced college kid who kills him, takes the camera out of his cold, dead hands and gives a thumbs up. Or maybe it was another finger. It would have been if it were me.

A good lesson for the filmmakers - when you have an idea that's barely original in the first place you don't make a freaking sequel of it - 'kay?