Horrorfest 2021 Presents: V/H/S/94 (2021, Timo Tjahjanto, Simon Barrett, Chloe Okuno, Ryan Prows, Jennifer Reeder)


Made years after the disappointing third installment in the series, V/H/S 94 is a welcome return for the franchise. The wrap around is a bit weak, yet I really enjoyed most of the segments and some of them were really strong. Particularly the first one, which could have been a full length movie. In this case the use of the found footage shooting style works very well and is really appropriate since the latest movie is set in 1994, a period where VHS was king.

Storm Drain is the first segment, popping up after we witness a SWAT team raid a cult group compound. This one is my favorite of the bunch and is the strongest one as well. Raatma is terrifying and what happens both scared me and disturbed me. The creature effects are fantastic and I loved how the segment ended. HAIL RAATMA indeed, haha oh God. This is one of those shorts that would be an excellent movie and it would be cool if this would be fleshed out more in the future. Even if that doesn’t happen this remains the most talked about and memed part of the movie.

Indeed!

Next up is The Empty Wake, which I also liked even if this one is a tad vague. A woman looks over a coffin containing a body, yet things are not what they appear. Some of this was creepy, yet the ending is too abrupt for my liking. This one also has good special effects that seemed really practical and thus realistic to me. Which is a nice touch.

Following this part is a really gory, very Tetsuo the Iron Man style part called The Subject. A mad scientist experiments with people, only for a cop team that shows up to stop him. However things go utterly sideways and two of the subjects proceed to battle one another and the police. Even if this feels a bit repetitive I was entertained by the crazy shit happening on screen, and the conclusion was pretty satisfying. Particularly since this one felt a tad out of place with the others all things considered.

IT’S ALIVE!

Terror is the second best one of the bunch, and is really cool and unique to me. How many vampire militia short movies can anyone think of? No other ones come to mind. A group of right wing nut jobs out in the countryside plan to use a vampire’s explosive blood in the daylight to blow up a federal building. Naturally this goes wrong in all of the most graphic and insane ways. The vampire itself once unleashed is properly freaky and the ending is karma itself, really. Messing with nature is never a good idea.

As for the wrap around, Holy Hell, I thought the ending for it was alright. I’m not sure how any of it ties into the other movies, and while it was necessary to have one I wasn’t too impressed with it. Regardless I prefer this film above the first and the third one, with the second one being the best. If they want to do more down the road that would be great, and I salute Shudder for being the platform that it was released on. Man 2021 was a good year for horror, which all things considered sadly makes sense.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Found Footage 3D (2016, Steven DeGennaro)


Even though Found Footage is slow at times, it still has some geniually creepy moments. However it does suffer from the problem all such movies have: why are the people still holding the camera instead of ditching it and heading for the hills? In this case I suppose the movie comes up with reasons why, yet I’ll admit when the shit does hit the fan the people still keep shooting.

I didn’t really care about the film’s attempts at melodrama, and I didn’t recognize any of the main cast either. One of the movie’s standouts abandons the project midway through, and another decent character isn’t smart enough to ditch when things keep going south. Despite this Found Footage is decent enough, and I only watched it in 2D because regular 3D (not Avatar type 3D) gives me a headache.

Horrorfest 2013 Presents: [Rec] (2007, Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza)


Alright so found footage horror movies might be my weakness seeing as I’ve liked every one I’ve viewed so far. However most of them have been easy to defend and in the case this 2007 zombie film that was quickly remade only a year or two later what we have here is a great and scary film. Its been a while since a zombie movie has scared me and this due to the last couple of them being more focused on parody and comedy.

The film’s short run time works in its favor as the movie is intense and goes from being slow to rapid and terrifying. The firefighting crew sent to investigate with a reporter and cameraman in tow quickly discover the awful situation they are trapped in. Things only get worse from there, as the truth emerges and the tenants of the apartment complex begin to panic.

[Rec] has some flaws, sure-I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the last act-yet it is still a great film. It properly utilizes its format and sticks to the found footage style of film making without fail. Also its incredibly frightening to the point where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue. Few horror movies have ever done that to me. I’m amused that they not only remade this film but that both the original and the remake have sequels. I doubt any of them live up to the original yet I still want to check them out regardless.

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