Sundance '13: Horror Sequel 'S-VHS' is Leaner, Totally Crazier, Scarier
by Alex Billington
January 20, 2013
"Holy sh*t!" was the phrase that kept running through my mind while sitting through this, with my hands at the ready to cover my eyes. Yes, I'm scared of most horror (I'm admitting the truth) but this series, the VHS series, is now one of my favorite horror franchises. I'll watch a new one every year. Last year we attended the midnight premiere of VHS, recording a video blog after that, this year we went back in for round two, attending the midnight premiere of the sequel S-VHS, then recording another "holy sh*t!" video blog after. S-VHS is a leaner, but totally crazier, gorier, scarier, wilder, funnier follow-up to VHS, in every single way.
S-VHS features four individual short horror segments and one wrap-around segment to connect all the VHS tapes/segments. The set of filmmakers this time include: Simon Barrett (writer of You're Next), Jason Eisener (Treevenge, Hobo with a Shotgun), Gregg Hale (Say Yes Quickly), Eduardo Sánchez (Blair Witch Project, Lovely Molly) and Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way to Die, You're Next). As with VHS, it's all shot POV or handheld like found footage, and the thrills ramp up as it goes on. It's best to experience for yourself without knowing anything going in, just prepare for some scares that will make your heart pound.
This VHS franchise just keeps getting better and I will continue to go every year to these midnight shows. The format of this series, allowing filmmakers complete creative expression to come up with a horror short that is gory and insane and scary as all hell (and incredibly funny), is what makes it so good. The results are always thrilling to watch, and impressively well made, some of the non-stop scenes are amazing. It's almost as if they're giving a chance for these horror filmmakers to experiment in any way they want and push the genre while at it. Though I will say the final segment, by Jason Eisener, will scare the crap out of everyone.