V/H/S/94 continues the tradition of all its predecessors in bringing an assortment of stories that will fuel some nightmares. Enlisting new as well as some alumni directors to host different stories into the anthology series.
The main story "Holy Hell" directed by Jennifer Reeder, is about a S.W.A.T. team investigating a series of VHS tapes left in a warehouse. Things start out as a simple raid, but the further in they get the closer they get to figuring out a big conspiracy. V/H/S/94 feels like the first entry into the series that actually feels like each video (minus one) is recorded on a tape. We truly get the era of video quality films back and captured gracefully.
The first tape found is "Storm Drain" by Chloe Okuno, which follows a news reporter and cameraman exploring, you guessed it, a storm drain. This is one of those moments where when you hear something moving in the darkness you should turn and leave. Things take a turn when, of course, they find people and a monster living down in the darkness. This starts strong but the story quickly fizzles out from being scary when the creature Ratman actually shows his face. The mystery of what the monster could look like is way scarier in the imagination for this story. It is still a solid entry and great storytelling in this tape told by Okuno.
Next up is "The Empty Wake" directed by Simon Barrett (You're Next & V/H/S). Probably one of the most terrifying ways to spend your first day on the job is to be working a wake alone, during a thunderstorm, and no one shows up. Adding to the fear is that the body is presumed to be dead but actually decides that death isn't good enough and rises as a zombie. This is terrifying and built up well, because at first, things aren't clear if the person is actually still alive and just sealed in this coffin. The pacing of the story is what helps with the tension in this story but compared to the next two it feels overshadowed and forgotten by the end of the film.
This next one is definitely the one that feels the least like it was filmed in 1994.
"The Subject" by Timo Tjahkanto (V/H/S/2 & The ABC's of Death), who is no rookie to anthology stories in films tells the story about a woman kidnapped by a crazed doctor and is experimented on to make some type of cyborg weapon. The camera quality was amazingly clear which stood out but, so did the monster when you finally see it. Honestly this was the most fun and off the rails of this entry. Ending with a Doom type of shooter sequence, while the kidnapped woman attempts to escape the warehouse she was held in. By far the best story although not sure how the camera quality was supposed to be from the 90's.
Finally, we have the last and oddest tape to end with. Ryan Prows directs "Terror," a group of white terrorists plan to attack the government with some type of supernatural biological weapon. A lot of this entry is about the terrorist prepping and drinking, while executing people in their bunker hidden in the middle of nowhere. Although this segment does make things uneasy and very tense, it doesn't feel it is paid off well by the end. Yeah, the terrorists all died at the end by the hands of their own weapons (pretty sure it was a vampire), but you felt it had to happen.
All in all, it was a great entry into the franchise of found footage anthology. Out of all the V/H/S movies this probably ranks in the upper tier of the four. If the order of the films were shuffled around just a little bit then some of the shorts would have been remembered more by the end. Great directors, with great storytelling though and can't wait to see what will come of this cult classic franchise.
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