Thursday, March 9, 2017

Zombie POV GoPro, or Thoughts on V/H/S/2

The sequel to V/H/S (2012), V/H/S/2 (2013) delivers more of the same; creepy videos along with the implication that watching these films are corrupting, dangerous and presumably cursed like in The Ring (2002, or Ringu/リング 1999 if you’re a traditionalist and a film snob like me).  The framing narrative, known as Tape 49 from director Simon Barrett follows a private investigator and his partner searching for a missing college kid.  They find a stack of videos in his abandoned house, along with banks of white screen TVs and open laptops with running webcams.
Here’s what’s interesting from an audience perspective; we watch these movies alongwith the detectives but at this point the movie is no longer found footage, it has slipped seamlessly into a traditional narrative that uses found footage and POV editing styles.  I’m not complaining, it’s a neat trick that allows the viewers to trust the filmmakers, rather than the inherent frustrations of pretending that the actors are actually making the movie like in Paranormal Activity (2007, I’m still mad at Micah).
Phase 1 Clinical Trials, from director Adam Wingard of You’re Next (2011), and the Blair Witch (2016) has an eyeball transplant patient whose new implant allows the poor fella to see dead people, or opens a dimension to the spirit world.  But my favorite entry, A Ride in the Park from director Eduardo Sanchez from the original The Blair Witch Project (1999) answers the age old question of what would happen if a guy was riding in the woods with a helmet cam and was attacked by a zombie, reanimated, and then went off biting people?  What would that footage be like?  I especially enjoyed the birthday barbecue scene.
Safe Haven from Welsh director Gareth Evans from The Raid: Redemption (2011) follows a news team’s investigation of an Indonesian doomsday cult.  It starts out as a documentary with hidden cameras and ends up with mass suicides, zombies, demon summonings, and very likely, the end of the world that the cult leader played by Indonesian action star Epy Kusnandar predicted.
Slumber Party Alien Abduction by director Jason Eisener of Hobo With a Shotgun (2011) features a teen lake house party with a GoPro strapped to the family dog.  There are some seizure-inducing alien lights in the sky, and the aliens themselves are the traditional X-Files Grays.  It’s the weakest of the 5 videos, or maybe I just wasn’t interested in seeing a bunch of spoiled kids being terrorized by aliens and ending the movie on a sci-fi note.
Director Adam Wingard would complete the series with V/H/S: Viral (2014) a year later.

my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).