Day 11 of the NOFS 31-day horror challenge is found footage. I went with V/H/S 94 because it was found footage as well as something that I hadn’t seen, since it was just added to Shudder last week. I am a fan of the first two of the series but was severely disappointed with the third. I was cautiously optimistic for this because of the talent behind it. I was absolutely blown away with all of the segments.
V/H/S 94 was directed by Jennifer Reeder, Chloe Okuno, Simon Barrett, Timo Tjahjanto, Ryan Prows, and Steven Kostanski. The story was by David Bruckner and Brad Miska. All of the segments were written by their directors. It stars Kimmy Choi, Anna Hopkins, Conor Sweeney, Kyal Legend, Budi Ross, Bio One, and Christian Lloyd. All of the acting blew me away. Kyal Legend is a standout since she is mostly alone in her segment.
There will be spoilers throughout the rest of the review. Please watch the movie for yourself, even if my synopsis will being awkward.
V/H/S 94 is a found footage anthology. It’s anchored by the wraparound called Holy Hell, which is pretty strong and tells the story of a SWAT raid on a facility. The first segment is called Storm Drain in which you follow the reporter Holly and her cameraman Jeff as they investigate reports of a cryptid called Ratman. They go into a storm drain and are eventually attacked by the homeless that live there as well as a local priest. They are both subjected to a ritual but only Jeff dies. The segment ends with Holly killing her cohost on air while saying Hail Raatma. It ends with a commercial for something called The Veggie Masher and it feels as unhinged as the commercials for similar products from the 90s and early 00s. The next segment is The Empty Wake in which Hayley is tasked with sitting through a wake by herself. There’s a storm raging outside that leads to the lights flickering on and off. She hears sounds inside the casket that freaks her out. There’s only one visitor to the wake. Shortly after the final time the lights go out the casket is knocked over and the body is facing the wall. It is reanimated and is missing the top of its head. The segment ends with Hayley wandering out of the funeral home after being attacked during a tornado. The next segment is The Subject which you see the results of Dr. James Suhendra’s experiments. He performs surgery on a male subject, 98, and a female, 99. They about successes but 99 sees a broadcast that mentions her old life, which she recognizes that leads to the doctor trying to do another operation on her. Before he can he is raided by the police. They kill him and try to kill 99, but 98 wakes up and starts killing everyone. 99 survives and is forced to kill other members of the police. The only police officer that treats her like she’s still human tries to get her out of the compound. She’s attacked by the commander who is shot by Jono, who is in turn killed by 98. 99 kills 98 with the last of her battery power. The final segment is called Terror and you follow a group of domestic terrorists as they plan an attack on a federal building. Each day the shoot a man, you eventually see that they’re draining his blood after each execution. They test out the weapon that they’re going to use in the attack, which is the man’s blood. It causes the subject, a bunny, to explode in the sun. The night before they plan on going through with the attack they all get drunk which leads to things going to hell. You learn that the man that’s been held captive is a vampire. The segment ends with everyone dying.
The digital effects in the movie are pretty great. They’re used throughout for screen effects to make it look like it was shown on actual VHS tapes. The digital effects in the actual segments for the effects are great. The practical effects for the monsters are simply amazing and they look just gnarly. The music and sound design are great.
V/H/S 94 is a strong return for the series. If they can keep up this quality they’ll have a series that horror fans will love. This is a Shudder exclusive. I’d give V/H/S 94 10 Hail Raatmas out of 10.