The V/H/S series has long been a favorite of horror fans out there. It’s been dormant for seven years, but now thanks to Shudder, we have a new installment. V/H/S/94 takes us back to the past when a SWAT team finds video tapes inside a death cult’s hideout. The tapes show five stories, some more grotesque and horrifying than others. The magic of the V/H/S series is how we get stories from directors and filmmakers around the world. This time around we have Jennifer Reeder, Chloe Okuno, Simon Barrett, Ryan Prows, and Timo Tjahjanto.

Starting off with the “frame” story in between our stories, Reeder handled these. They’re nothing super special but do the job of getting us between the stories. The SWAT team stumbling upon these horrifying tapes is interesting enough. These get us to where we’re going and no more.

Retro Inspired, More Like 2004 Movies

The whole found footage genre saw it’s rise after 1994, with the release of The Blair Witch Project. Movies before like The McPherson Tape might’ve invented the genre, but the Blair Witch popularized it. The first three V/H/S films all follow that same formula. It’s either found footage with VHS tapes, or in the case of V/H/S: Viral it was phones. For them to go back to this well, was an interesting choice. But we all know that horror is cyclical, what was dead, rises again. Is it time for found footage to make a comeback?

Seven years might not be enough time to bring back the genre. People who hate that genre, are not going to like V/H/S/94, they just won’t. The stories here follow the conventions of that genre to a “T”. The stories all have the same grimy and gummy look to them. While it might be jarring at first, this won’t make you ill watching as films like Cloverfield might have. They find a happy medium between looking like an actual production with the camera movement and the characters “holding” the cameras. For that, people who get motion sickness, thank you.

For found footage films, the question is always “why in the hell are people still filming this?”. V/H/S/94 gets around that question in inventive and interesting ways that make you think about your own life and what you would do in a situation like this. If you’re here for gruesome gore, detail, and tech of the time, this one is for you.

Saw and Hostel With More Dread

Credit to: Shudder

These all look and feel like that mid-2000s era of horror. Everything was coated in something sticky, it was grimy, gory, and blunt. The stories go like this: “Holy Hell” is our “frame” with the SWAT team. “Storm Drain” is Okuno’s story surrounding the urban legend known as the Rat Man. A TV reporter and her cameraman follow him into the sewer, but find something even stranger than a Rat Man. “The Empty Wake” from Barrett is about a woman filling in the night shift at a, thought to be empty, funeral home. Yes, it’s terrifying. But this one takes a while to get going. “The Subject” from Tjahjanto is the best of the bunch. A Frankenstein inspired bloodbath that’s the longest of our stories here. This one takes the cake and is worth watching the entire film for. Seeing monsters and hybrid creatures absolutely decimate the authorities will never get old.

Finally, we have “Terror” which is from Prows. This one gets the unenviable slot of following up “The Subject”. It’s a shame, because it’s not a bad story, but following up that episode would be impossible. A terror group has a “superweapon” and is going to unleash it on a federal building. You’ll have to see this one to believe it, and it does a good job of closing the proceedings, even if “The Subject” should have that honor.

Depending On Your Horror Love, Give V/H/S/94 A Shot

Credit to: Shudder

V/H/S/94 is an enjoyable experience that highlights the series. It’s five stories might be the best that we’ve seen from the whole saga. This is pure nostalgic horror, anyone can find a story they like. If you’re into monsters and gore, “The Subject” is for you. If you want some Saw-inspired frights, “Holy Hell” could be for you. Slow-burn horror? Then you might be into “The Empty Wake”. There’s something for every horror fan, and you would be remiss to not at least give this flick a watch. There are plenty of stories to tell in this V/H/S universe, and 94 shows that we have plenty of filmmakers to give us those stories.

It might not revitalize the found footage genre, but it provides a bit of nostalgia from every era of horror, even that much maligned mid-2000s genre.

You can watch V/H/S/94 on Shudder.

For more on horror, check out Fright-A-Thon, the two month long horror marathon, or stay tuned to That Hashtag Show.