V/H/S/94 – Review

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An anthology horror, where Timo Tjahjanto appears with the best segment, which exemplifies how to break the boundaries of madness in a short duration. Not the first time, because in The ABCs of Death (2012) he has done it, even in V/H/S/2 (2013) when collaborating with Gareth Evans (I haven’t watched Portals).

Fortunately, this is not Timo’s stage alone. Seven years after the disappointing third film (V/H/S: Viral), V/H/S/94, it still uses the found footage technique, becoming the most average-quality installment of all its segments, while bringing the franchise back to its core. Top Movie Site

Jennifer Reeder’s Holly Hell acts as a narrative frame that bridges each story. It is said, the S.W.A.T. raided the warehouse that became the hideout of a cult. There they find the damned VHS tapes, containing the four segments we’re about to watch.

Chloe Okuno’s Storm Drain features Holly Marciano’s (Anna Hopkins) coverage of the sighting of a mysterious creature named “Ratman”, which emerges from the sewers. Solid opener. Creature feature meets occult horror, which is made to show off the quality of qualified practical effects, and has the potential to be brought into the feature-length film to criticize America’s social inequality. The conclusion, which is reminiscent of the iconic moment from Scanners (1981), offers gore peppered with tickling black comedy.

Simon Barrett is also one of the returning V/H/S/2 filmmakers. Through The Empty Wake, Barrett presents a campfire story, about a girl named Hayley (Kyal Legend), who is in charge of guarding the wake (the ceremony before the funeral). None of the guests were present, but throughout the night, Hayley heard voices coming from the coffin.

Beginning with the development of tension slowly, before throwing a climax armed with well-packaged effects, The Empty Wake uses a narrative pattern similar to the first segment. Even the big theme is not much different. So, even though it is presented solidly, the impression of repetition is difficult to avoid. Best Movie

Following next was The Subject, a segment directed by Timo Tjahjanto, which immediately sparked interest from the first minute. The audience is taken to visit a secret laboratory, where a mad professor (Budi Ross) conducts experiments on the human body.

What a crazy segment. Timo knows how to keep the intensity up, even keep increasing it to the last point. The point of view is constantly changing, from torture porn through the perspective of the professor, to a first-person shooter like a horror game when the S.W.A.T team. led by Captain Hassan (Donny Alamsyah) invaded, then turned to brutal action, when one of the experimental subjects (Shania Sree Maharani) took the center of the story. Of course, when it comes to gore, Timo doesn’t hold back.

Like the previous two segments, The Subject also uses a lot of practical effects to bring its characters to life. But this is the best. The most total, the most imaginative. Timo had fun, combining the cyberpunk body horror film Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) with video games like Observer (2017), while presenting some of the best horror creatures Indonesian filmmakers have ever made.

Maybe it’s a good idea to put The Subject at the very end. Terror by Ryan Prows, actually not bad. With militiamen preparing for their mission (involving shooting a man’s head repeatedly), despite its supernatural elements, Terror is a true horror portrait of the United States, with all the hegemony of white supremacy. Contains high relevance, but judging by what was previously present, this segment is too “tame” as a cover.

One of the problems of horror anthologies is related to the ups and downs of pacing. After the climax of a segment, the intensity automatically decreases when the next segment begins. The V/H/S/94 is not yet free from that deficiency. However, the quality of each title tends to be evenly distributed. Movie Review

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