On Saturday, January 19, 2013 I attended the gala World Premiere of V/H/S/2
) at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The sold-out screening was held in the ironically sedate 486-seat Library Center Theatre. The film was a selection in the Park City at Midnight section.
The found-footage horror anthology V/H/S
premiered at last year's Sundance Film Festival to great acclaim. I attended the midnight screening at SXSW in Austin, Texas in March. That film combined the brilliant talents of some of our most revered genre filmmakers, including Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, and Radio Silence. The segments were written by Simon Barrett, David Bruckner, Nicholas Tecosky, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, and Radio Silence (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, and Chad Villella). The project was produced by Gary Binkow, Roxanne Benjamin, and Bloody Disgusting co-founder Brad Miska with Tom Owen and Zak Zeman as executive producers.
For the sequel V/H/S/2
, the same production team is back, adding Jamie Nash and Kyle David Crosby as producers. Barrett and Wingard also have Executive Producer credits this time around. But the writing/directing team has been revamped. Wingard is the only V/H/S
director back among the helmers. Barrett, who wrote two of the pieces on that movie, is back as a writer as well as director and executive producer. The rest of the new directing team includes Edúardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Evans, and Jason Eisener. Barrett, Tjahjanto, Evans, and Eisener also wrote their segments. Additional writers include John Davies and producer Jamie Nash.
Horror anthologies work best when the short films within are connected in some way, wrapped in an overarching narrative and bookended by a defining incident. This was the case with V/H/S
, and V/H/S/2
continues that format. I enjoyed V/H/S
, as did many genre fans. Naturally, there were ups and downs and, unlike traditional features, it was easier to pick it apart and praise as well as criticize certain aspects of the project due to its structure. Those reactions worked to the team's advantage this time, as returning filmmakers Barrett and Wingard were able to tailor the sequel in response to feedback they received after the first picture -- from the public as well as journalists. V/H/S/2
, as a result, has limited or eliminated much of what viewers disliked about V/H/S
while adding or enhancing more of what audiences applauded.
The result is a much more satisfying film that, as the team intended, drops what didn't work and expands on what did from V/H/S
. Simple but brilliant. The relatively self-contained stories maintain a level of stunning visuals and breathtaking reveals throughout. All are impressive achievements. Like its predecessor, V/H/S/2
was acquired by Magnolia Pictures for distribution through their genre arm Magnet Releasing.
Writers/directors/executive producers Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard (who also stars in his own segment) took the stage for an entertaining Q&A after the screening. They were joined by a plethora of cast and crew, including producers Brad Miska and Roxanne Benjamin, writer/director Jason Eisener, and director Gregg Hale.
Here are some pictures I shot during the Q&A:
Q&A GALLERY (37 photos on 2 pages)