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V/H/S/2 (originally titled S-VHS) is a 2013 found footage horror anthology film produced by Bloody Disgusting. A sequel to V/H/S, it comprises four found footage segments linked together by a fifth frame narrative. V/H/S/2 features a largely different group of directors: Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans, Timo Tjahjanto, Eduardo Sánchez, and Gregg Hale, and franchise returnees Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard.
The film is presented as an anthology of short horror films, built into a frame narrative which acts as its own short horror film. Each short film is linked together with the concept of found footage (each segment is from the VHS tapes found in the first film).
A college student's mother requests that Larry, a private investigator, and his girlfriend, Ayesha, also a private investigator, look into the disappearance of her son Kyle. After breaking into Kyle's residence, they discover a large number of televisions displaying white noise, stack of VHS tapes and a laptop that is currently recording a video that also contains the tapes from the previous film, including Tape 56. On the laptop recording, Kyle discusses the VHS tapes, saying where he got one of the most recent ones. Larry tells Ayesha to watch the tapes while he inspects the house. As Ayesha picks up a tape, inserts it into the VCR and begins to watch, a figure peers out from the shadows and watches her.
Herman Middleton is sitting in a doctor's office as the doctor examines his camera. The camera is fitted into an ocular implant that has replaced Herman's right eye after it was damaged in a car accident. The doctor informs Herman that the camera will record and monitor everything he does for research purposes and there is no way to turn it off during this time. Herman is also told that he may experience some "glitches" as the implant is still in its experimental stage. As he leaves the clinic, Herman notices a young red-haired girl staring at him intently. Returning home, Herman passes time by playing video games and eventually gets up for tea. He returns from the kitchen to find his game controller far from where he originally left it, followed by the tea kettle crashing to the ground suddenly. Later, Herman sees what appears to be a figure lying beneath the sheets of his bed, but when he pulls back the sheets, the bed is empty. Herman then finds himself face to face with a bleeding man who appears to be dead, causing him to flee to the bathroom. After phoning his doctor to complain about what happened, Herman emerges from the bathroom and encounters the man again, this time with a young girl who also appears to be dead. Returning to the bathroom, Herman is disturbed by repeated banging on the door and ends up sleeping in the bathtub overnight.
The next morning, Herman emerges from the bathroom as everything seems to be normal, albeit his room is in more disarray than the night before. Later, the red-haired girl from the hospital appears at his door and requests to be let in, as she too is experiencing a similar situation. Giving her name as Clarissa, she explains that she was born deaf and had a cochlear implant installed in her ear, giving her the ability to hear new frequencies, including ghosts of dead people. Herman suggests removing the implant to make the ghosts go away, but Clarissa says that doing so will only keep Herman from seeing the ghosts. As Clarissa claims that the ghosts will get stronger and more dangerous the longer one pays attention to them, an overweight underwear-clad man appears behind her. Herman alerts her to his presence, but Clarissa says she already knows he is there and that he is her uncle, who according to her "wasn't a nice person". Clarissa then initiates sex with Herman to divert his attention away from the ghosts.
Sometime later, Herman awakens and sees Clarissa sleeping on the couch. He finds the young girl in his bed and flees, before witnessing Clarissa being dragged into the pool by an unseen entity. Despite Herman's best efforts to save her, Clarissa drowns. Running back through the house in an attempt to escape the ghosts, Herman once again locks himself in the bathroom and uses a straight razor to cut out the implant. The ghosts of Clarissa and her uncle appear in the bathroom as Herman tries to escape it, but he unwittingly runs directly into the ghosts of the man and young girl, with the former throttling him. The man grabs the implant and shoves it deep into Herman's throat, presumably killing him.
Back in the frame story, Ayesha calls Larry into the room, where they discuss the tapes' legitimacy. Larry tells Ayesha to continue viewing the tapes. She continues playing Kyle's video, where he explains that the tapes must be watched in a proper sequence "to affect you." Ayesha finds a new tape, inserts it into the VCR, and proceeds to watch it.
After answering a call from his girlfriend Amy, cyclist Mike Sullivan affixes a camera to his helmet and goes on a bike ride through the woods of a state park. Suddenly, Mike runs into a hysterical, injured, blood-covered woman, begging him to help her boyfriend, before she begins vomiting blood. Mike then sees several zombies approaching them, before the woman suddenly turns into a zombie herself and bites Mike on the throat. After he manages to kill the woman, Mike staggers through the woods, heavily bleeding, before he too vomits blood, collapses and apparently dies.
A pair of bikers, a man and a woman, come across him and attempt to call for help, but Mike reanimates, attacks, and kills the man before proceeding to watch the woman run into the woods. He begins devouring the man as the woman returns, having become a zombie as well. She joins Mike in devouring the man before he too reanimates. Hearing noise in the distance, the three zombies head off towards it. The source of the noise happens to be a young girl's birthday party. The zombified trio invade the party, killing several people, some of whom reanimate to attack others. While trying to attack a man and his three daughters in their car, Mike notices his bloodied reflection in their car window, which seems to subdue his aggressive behavior. When he accidentally pocket dials Amy, he is shocked back to a semi-conscious state upon hearing her voice. Regaining some of his humanity, Mike kills himself with a discarded shotgun.
Back in the frame story, Larry re-enters the room and finds Ayesha staring at the TVs in a hypnotized state with her nose bleeding. After being woken from her trance, Ayesha says she has a migraine. Larry leaves to find medicine as a seemingly entranced Ayesha proceeds to pick up a new tape and insert it into the VCR. As she watches, the figure from earlier crawls out from the shadows and watches her.
In Indonesia, a film crew composed of 4 members (Malik the interviewer, Lena the producer/Malik's fiancée, Malik's best friend Adam, and Joni the cameraman) infiltrate a cult known as Paradise Gates in the hope of shooting a documentary about their mysterious activities with numerous cameras, both displayed and hidden. The film crew are invited inside the cult's compound by a woman known as "Madame". Inside, they find the walls adorned in bizarre symbols, schoolchildren in classrooms, and women dressed in white garments. The crew meets with and interviews the leader of the cult: a man referred to as "Father". During the interview, Lena becomes ill and steps out. While searching for a spare camera battery, Malik overhears a private conversation between Lena and Adam, where Lena reveals that she is pregnant with Adam's child. In the basement, Adam finds a woman with her womb carved out strapped to a chair. The woman awakens and begins screaming and convulsing, causing him to run away.
While Father is being interviewed, a bell chimes, and he suddenly announces the "time of reckoning" over the intercom. The cultists begin a mass suicide via poison and gunshots, while Joni has his throat cut by Father after repeatedly interrupting the announcement. Lena is abducted by several women in surgical apparel, and Malik is shot dead by one of the cult members. As Adam attempts to rescue Lena, an explosion knocks him back. After watching a person crawl across the ceiling, he stands and attempts to advance into the fiery room only to be intercepted by Father, covered in blood with the cult's symbol written on it, who then proceeds to explode into a cloud of blood and organs. Adam finds Lena, who has the cult's symbol carved into her skin, placed on an altar. He kills Madame, but is unable to save Lena, watching as the horned demon the cult worships (which resembles The Baphomet) tears its way out of her body. As Adam attempts to flee, he is attacked by the previously deceased cultists and schoolchildren, including Joni and Malik, who have all turned into zombie-like ghouls. As he finally manages to get outside and get into the car, he drives off, only to be rammed by the demon and seriously injured. As he crawls out of the car's wreckage, the demon looks down on Adam before calling him "Papa". The revelation that the demon is, in fact, his child drives Adam insane. He laughs hysterically before the camera malfunctions.
Back in the frame story, Larry re-enters the room with medicine, only to discover Ayesha is dead, having killed herself with a gun. A VHS tape with the word "WATCH" written on it in lipstick lies beside her. Larry picks up the tape, inserts it into the VCR, and anxiously watches it.
Brothers Gary and Randy attach a camera to their Yorkshire Terrier, Tank, to create videos at their lakeside house. Their parents leave on a romantic getaway, giving them a list of chores in the process. After their parents leave, Gary and Randy invite their friends, Shawn and Danny, to the house so the group can harass the brothers' older sister, Jen, her boyfriend Zack, and her friends. While the group is swimming at a nearby lake, ambushing Jen and her friends with squirt guns filled with urine, they fail to notice a grey alien hiding beneath the water.
Later that night, the group startle Jen and Zack during sex by blaring loud music and flashing lights. A deafening noise is heard, but the group does not notice. In retaliation, Jen and Zack attach another camera to Tank as they catch one of the boys masturbating to a pornographic film. Afterwards, the deafening noise is heard again as the power goes out. Seeing a figure outside the door, Zack goes to grab Gary and Randy's father's gun. Suddenly, Zack is grabbed by the alien from earlier, along with others of its kind, who are revealed to be the cause of the disturbances. The aliens abduct the rest of the group, sealing them in their sleeping bags and attempting to drown them in the lake.
Only Gary, Randy, Jen and Tank escape, running into the woods to hide. After Tank inadvertently alerts the aliens to their location by barking, the group run toward what they believe to be police lights and sirens, but it turns out to be a trap set by the aliens, who abduct Randy. Jen and Gary flee to a nearby barn, where the aliens drag Jen away as Gary and Tank escape up a ladder. As the aliens close in on Gary, he is suddenly pulled into the air by the alien ship's tractor beam. As Gary is pulled into the air, his grip loosens on Tank's leash, and Tank falls down the ladder to the floor, the impact loosening the camera from his back. Mortally injured by the fall, Tank whimpers as he and the camera both slowly die.
After watching the tape, Larry watches the webcam footage and sees Kyle explain that he and his mother want to make their own tape. Kyle then attempts suicide on-camera by shooting himself through his jaw, but survives with his lower jaw shattered in process, and runs off moments before Larry and Ayesha enter the house. As Larry watches it, an undead Ayesha suddenly rises and attacks him. In self-defense, Larry breaks her neck and rushes into the other room as Ayesha chases after him on all fours. Larry hides in a closet and shoots Ayesha in the face when she finds him. Larry hears a strange gurgling sound and explores the closet, only to find Kyle has been hiding in the closet the whole time. Kyle lunges at Larry and strangles him to death. Afterward, Kyle gives the camera a "thumbs up", revealing the plan he and his mother came up with being a success, before turning off the camera.
The film was rushed into production in late 2012, and premiered January 19, 2013 at Park City's Library Center Theatre as part of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, much like its predecessor.
The film was released via VOD on June 6, and theatrically on July 12. Dance punk band The Death Set recorded a song, "6 Different Ways To Die", for the film's credits.
On Rotten Tomatoes, 71% of 66 reviews were positive. The site's consensus is: "It's as scattershot as its predecessor, but V/H/S/2 rounds up enough horror filmmaking talent to deliver a satisfyingly nasty – albeit uneven – dose of gore." On Metacritic it has a score of 49% based on reviews from 21 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "The scares are as hit-or-miss as the filmmaking". Dennis Harvey of Variety called it "rip-roaring good time for genre fans".
On July 10, 2013, Rex Reed was the subject of controversy due to a scathing review of the film in which he admitted having walked out at the end of the first segment. His review does complain about parts of the film that happened after he left the film, but his references are rather imprecise, e.g. describing segment Slumber Party Alien Abduction as "a sleepover invaded by psycho kidnappers [as opposed to aliens] told from the perspective of a GoPro camera attached to the back of a dog" or summarizing segment A Ride in the Park as the tale of "a mountain biker pursued by flesh-eating zombies [rather than turned into one himself early on]".
A third film in the series, titled V/H/S: Viral, was released in the US on November 21, 2014. A reboot of the franchise was announced in 2020 with the working title "V/H/S 94". A fourth film in the series, titled V/H/S/94, was released exclusively on Shudder on October 6, 2021.