V/H/S/94 on Shudder is the latest installment in the horror anthology that began in 2012. This one has quite a few hits among its stories. And, of course, they take place in 1994. Sometimes this is much more obvious – but not always. Read our full V/H/S/94 movie review here!
V/H/S/94 is the new Shudder horror anthology. And, as the title reveals, it’s also a new installment of the V/H/S anthology series that began in 2012. Because I love short films, I am usually a fan of horror anthologies. Also, I fully expect both hits and misses. It’s both a matter of personal preference and the difference in production quality.
However, aside from these elements, I did feel that they were all too long. Short films never tend to get better by being closer to 20 minutes than the 5-minute mark. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with short films being a bit longer. They just need to have enough plot for it. These often don’t. Still, none of them are “misses” either, so you’re in for a treat overall.
Continue reading our full V/H/S/94 movie review below and look for it on Shudder.
The best of V/H/S/94
Personally, I was extremely impressed by the gruesomeness of the “The Subject” segment. And also the gorgeous effects and visuals. However, and this is important, it also stood out as being the sharpest visually. As in very digital rather than the VHS feel. Most of the other segments featured the gritty VHS tape noise, which makes sense, but also gets a bit irritating.
Also, I have to highlight “Terror” as a story that worked really well for me – I could see that one be turned into a feature film. There was much more to that story and when it comes to short films, I like it when I’m left wanting more. It’s a sign that the story hit a sweet spot.
Finally, the humor and campiness of “Storm Drain” is something that always works for me. From the opening to the closing of that segment, I was completely on board. It did get a bit too long for me though – and included an infomercial that felt very familiar (Oats Studios had an episode with something very similar and it was from 2017).
Also, in terms of straight-up creepy horror, “The Empty Wake” definitely made an impact. In a good way!
For the record; Simon Barrett made “The Empty Wake” segment, Chloe Okuno made the “Storm Drain” segment, Ryan Prows made the “Terror” segment, Jennifer Reeder was behind the “Holy Hell” segment, and Timo Tjahjanto made “The Subject” segment.
The wrap-around segment
The wrap-around segment for these horror anthologies can be a hit or miss. I was not a fan of the wrap-around segment for this Shudder horror anthology. That’s not to say that it was bad. It just felt flat and I was very indifferent to it.
Sometimes, feeling indifferent is worse than disliking something, so I’m not sure it’s actually better than if I had flat-out hated it. For a horror anthology like Galaxy of Horrors, I almost preferred the wrap-around segment (also known as the “tie-in” story).
YOU MIGHT LIKE
However, if you only enjoy the story that brings all the segments together, it just makes for a very long movie-watching experience. In other words, I do prefer getting good segments rather than an enjoyable wrap-around story. Still, why settle for anything less than both?!
With the really solid horror anthology The Mortuary Collection, I really enjoyed both the wrap-around and the segments. That just goes to show that you can actually have it all! And yes, The Mortuary Collection is also on Shudder.
Watch V/H/S/94 on Shudder!
The writers and directors behind the segments and wrap-around elements of V/H/S/94 consist of some pretty hardcore names, as mentioned earlier. Simon Barrett (wrote You’re Next), Jennifer Reeder (Knives and Skin), and Timo Tjahjanto (May the Devil Take You) are all directors that we’ve been following for a while.
Sure, they may not always make movies that work for me, but they do have a certain style and level of quality. Simon Barret’s Seance being a strange exception from his usual style (for me anyway). Then again, so was Neill Blomkamp’s Demonic which just goes to show that misses can come from those that usually make hits.
Also, while it needs to be obvious that these short films take place in 1994, it does vary a lot. Sometimes it’s much more obvious than in other segments. Ultimately, I can’t help but recommend that you watch V/H/S/94 because it does have a very high level and stays very true to the form of the V/H/S/ horror anthology franchise.
V/H/S/94 will be out on Shudder on October 6, 2021.
Directors: Chloe Okuno, Simon Barrett, Timo Tjahjanto, Ryan Prows & Jennifer Reeder
In V/H/S/94, after the discovery of a mysterious VHS tape, a brutish police swat team launch a high intensity raid on a remote warehouse, only to discover a sinister cult compound whose collection of pre-recorded material uncovers a nightmarish conspiracy.