The effectiveness of social media, especially Twitter, has increased in the last 5-6 years. If Twitter had been as strong and active in 2012 as it is now, we would probably have placed the VHS series among the legends. That’s right. Unfortunately, it’s still an underrated series. Even most horror fans are unaware of the VHS series. That’s why 94 is so important. Because VHS94 will most likely make a name for itself, decorate the end-of-year horror lists, and cause the series to be discovered. The last link of the series comes after 7 years and proves once again that it is still a genuine project/idea, even if it is a little late.
I wrote the first 3 movies of the series in my article above. The 94 is not as innovative as the top 3. Not as impressive as them. One of the main reasons for this is that a lot of time has passed, and the first 3 movies are original. VHS was revolutionary when it was first released in 2012; It was the first step in a new generation of Horror that combined technology with the genre. The 3 films, released one year apart, did not let the warmth go away and were remembered as ostentatious works for that period. But 7 years is a long time. Many notable and exquisite horror films intervened during this time, and technology developed. Returning after such a long break, it lost both the warmth and the vibe of being the precursor.
Still, VHS94 is a movie worth the excitement it created. After 7 years, watching a horror movie with the same taste and style felt like medicine. VHS’s unique setup, visual design, and subject choices differ. We see no change in style; VHS is still in the vintage mentality. Although time puts apathy in between, I am sure that a possible sequel to be released next year will be watched with love again and again.
Now, with your permission, I would like to go over the episodes one by one as I did before.
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Holly Hell; One of the classic VHS openings directed by Jennifer Reeder. All 3 films in the series have progressed on the story’s theme within the story. A military team from outside enters an uncanny, relatively disquieting environment, and these people encounter some tapes inside. During the story, we watch the events in the house and the short films we meet. VHS94 has made a sharp change in this regard. While there is a strong connection between the outer story and the tapes in all three films, that keen connection has disappeared in this film. Although Holly Hell is quite interesting in design, the fact that the tapes were not fully connected to the police in the raid which spoiled the classic atmosphere of VHS. Especially in Viral, the way the stories were connected was quite deftly. Still, the story and setting design – although not tied – has complete VHS universe mayhem.
Storm Drain, directed by Chloe Okuna, is one of the episodes that makes the series’ spirit live most deeply. VHS’s sharpest features are the eerie environments and the low-quality footage of VHS made in these creepy environments. A journalist chasing news goes deep into the sewer and encounters Rat Man, and Rat Man’s design is exactly what I was looking for from VHS. Again, one of the details that makes VHS beautiful is the touches in the editing. Movies often do not reach a conclusion. It ends before reaching a conclusion, or the film’s ending is left open. Holly Hell is a vigorous episode that does this perfectly, cuts it on the spot, and puts advertisements in between, making its absurdity speak. The David Cronenberg-Esque brutality in the finale was also spectacular.
The Empty Wake is an episode directed by Simon Barrett that keeps the spirit of VHS alive to the fullest, but the reason is unclear, yet enjoyable to watch. The question of why became out of place in VHS episodes over time. A style was born that feeds on the chaos that happens without any reason. Storm Drain does this very well and introduces us to a macabre creature. Even though it takes place in one place, the design, shooting, editing, and story are scathingly fantastic. Body parts are one of the favorite details of VHS. The Empty Wake also managed to satisfy me, at least, by delivering more than it promised.
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The Subject is a complete VHS movie directed by Timo Tjahjanto, who also did a legendary job in the second movie. The director’s episode of Safe Haven on VHS 2 might even be the best of the four films. But of course, I didn’t expect him to get over it after such a crazy movie, but I can easily say that The Subject was around. The episode, which is pure mechanical action porn with a theme reminiscent of Tokyo Gore Police, is by far the craziest and most rollicking part of the movie with its grandeur shots, gonzo action, and mechanical gore scenes.
Terror, is about an American redneck cult that loves guns like a child, directed by Ryan Prows. At the end of the film, where we see the training camp of a flock of ignorant people obsessed with religion and weapons and the weapons they prepare, an intruder is involved in the subject and punishes the sect for their ignorance. Even the creature’s clothing design is in a pattern unique to the VHS universe. As I mentioned above, the course and the final happen again without answering the “why” question, ending murderously as always. Even though it’s the weakest part of the movie, but still amazed by the terror that the fat-cult-member inflicted with a heavy machine gun and the bullets he took to his head.
To sum it up… VHS94 is a movie with all the series’ features and offers terrific and unique manias. The only problem is internal and external stories don’t connect. In the first three films, the outer story and the tapes make a sharp connection, but unfortunately, this time is not preferred. Another problem is not related to the movie itself. The coldness arose in our relationship after the 7-year-gap, and the fact that dozens of horror movies have intervened caused us not to see VHS as innovative and pioneer as the first three films. Despite this bias, all the shorts in the movie have the exact VHS theme, and again, they’re pretty cool. The VHS94 that came as a surprise in 2021, when we were shooting a quality horror movie shortage, seemed like medicine to me; at least, it gave me those uncanny environments, eerie attitudes, and weirdness that I was looking for and hungry for.
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