V/H/S/94 (2021)

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VHS 94

V/H/S/94 (2021)
Available on Blu-rayDVD and digital

In V/H/S/94, we turn back the clock to a time before the internet, smart phones and the rest of the new-fangled tech as the horror anthology takes us into another trip of weird, unnerving cinema.

Every V/H/S release has an overarching storyline and in this one we see a special police unit on their way to a drugs bust at a remote warehouse, with a cameraman in tow. As they investigate the scene of cult activity, they encounter rooms with TV sets and screens, and it’s through them we’re treated to the various stories included in this anthology.

Compared to previous outings, V/H/S/94 is one of the stronger efforts. Even if some of the short films aren’t totally jaw-dropping or shocking, they are well-executed with Simon Barrett’s funeral home horror THE EMPTY WAKE and the Chloe Okuno’s adventures of Ratman in STORM DRAIN segment very effective in how they’re executed. STORM DRAIN also has a hint of humour about it too and manages to capture the old-skool horror vibe in its TV news channel execution.  However, if shock n gore is your thing, then Indonesian filmmaker Timo Tjahjanto’s THE SUBJECT is the standout. His sci-fi, action horror mashup sees dangerous mad scientist Dr James Suhendra take his passion to the next level with his experimentation of creating human-machine hybrids. His previous experiments seem to have been failures, but he’s sure his latest creations will be a success, but it seems the police are hot on his tail. With some incredible effects and effective editing, this short manages to keep the intensity high throughout the segment and is genuinely disturbing as the nightmare scenario comes to life, not just for the police responding but for those who’ve been experimented on. Whilst the other segments felt genuinely succinct in story, therefore fit for this medium of an anthology, THE SUBJECT is one with the potential to be made into a feature length horror.

Rounding off the series of short films, Ryan Prows’ TERROR takes the visual back to the grainy, home-made movies of the 90’s as an extremist group known as the First Patriots Movement Militia make plans to take over a Government building to send out their message. They’re presented as your typical hicks, living on an old farmstead, armed to the teeth. However, there’s a strong disturbing element to the group before we begin to get to even get a sniff of who they are or what their plans are when we see people chained up in a barn before being shot in the head. What exactly is the deal there? What have these people done to deserve such a fate? There’s a lot more to this short film than meets the eye, and even adds a bit of dark humour to the mix. The way it’s been shot and presented wonderfully captures the low quality style of homemade movies as the militia document their plans to dominate and shape their country into a pure nation they can be proud of. Although the segment didn’t really attract my attention at first, likely due to its theme, as the story unfolds it has some interesting surprises up its sleeve.

Between the other short films, there’s a tease of a short, a very tiny one, presented as a TV ad for a veggie masher following the news report style of STORM DRAIN. It’s quite hilarious in nature so it was little surprise to discover that Manborg and Psycho Goreman director Steven Kostanski was behind it, given his ability for witty creations.

V/H/S/94 is thankfully a step up from fellow 90’s anthology V/H/S/99 and delivers a terror tapas that should tantalise any horror fan’s tastebuds.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

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About Bat 4389 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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