SUNDANCE 2013

Sundance '13: Horror Sequel 'S-VHS' is Leaner, Totally Crazier, Scarier

by
January 20, 2013

S-VHS

"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.

Returning at 2AM from the screening, Germain Lussier from SlashFilm and Ethan Anderton from FirstShowing and I met up to record a video blog with our thoughts on anthology horror sequel S-VHS:

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.

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  • Greg dinskisk
    I've heard remarkably positive things about S-VHS!!! I'm very excited about this one for some reason!
  • DAVIDPD
    This is such an audacious film project, in the best possible way.
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000140641322 Danita Lynn Hamer-Castillo
    The Horrorholic in me CANT WAIT!!!
  • Kwaz
    I'm so excited to see this even more now.
  • clinteastwoodscloset
    Alex any chance of you guys seeing Escape From Tomorrow? From what I've read that is getting the most buzz of anything at the festival so far.
    • http://www.firstshowing.net/ Ethan Anderton
      I'm seeing it on Thursday, and if the buzz is to be believed, it sounds like Disney might sue the filmmakers, which means this could be the only place to catch it.
  • zey
    Didn't like VHS, but your enthusiasm has peaked my interest...
  • Marcus
    Thanks for making the video! I really wasn't a fan of V/H/S, but loved Ti West's segment in it. The trailer for this one looked a bit over the top for me, but may have to check it out in theater if the reviews keep looking as solid as you fellas are making it out to be.
  • http://djkento.com/ Kento
    Ethan looks like a large french mime. <3
    • http://www.firstshowing.net/ Ethan Anderton
      *sigh* Well, shit.
  • quazimoto
    The fact you mentioned S-VHS tries to create a plot around the tapes is exciting in its own right. I enjoyed VHS, but it was pointless outside of trying to show stand-alone shorts that have nothing to do with each other. I also agree several of the shorts from VHS were not as "strong" as others (Radio Silence set a pretty high bar, glad they were the last short there). Exciting to hear this new film has some inventively creative things to offer the audience. I will definitely be watching yearly if they go that route.
    • Scopedog
      Still hoping to catch VHS on On Demand...is it worth watching? You mentioned some faults of the film, but it overall, it seems that you liked it.
      • quazimoto
        I did enjoy it, more than I honestly think I should have. The movie has no point, no plot, it's only purpose is to attempt to give a reason to watch an anthology of horror, and its morbidly entertaining. Its not a great, or even a good movie. Just inventive fun with horror. Once you get past the retardedness of the first 15 minutes, and a particularly bad short called 'Tuesday The 17th' (hands down the worst of the bunch, very ill conceived), VHS is a lot of adulterated fun. Especially the final short, which is what sold the film for me. Well worth a look if just for that short alone.
        • Scopedog
          Thanks for this--I will definitely try to see it.

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