Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews - By Fans For Fans

V/H/S/94 ****


Directed by Simon Barrett/Steven Konstanski/Chloe Okuno/Ryan Prows/Jennifer Reeder/Timo Tjahjanto.
Starring Anna Hopkins, Brian Paul, Sean Sullivan, Kyal Legend, Conor Sweeney.
Horror, USA/Canada, 103 mins, cert 18.


Released in the UK on DVD & Blu-ray via Acorn Media on 26th February 2024.


The concept of the V/H/S franchise has always been a strong one – video tapes getting discovered of various atrocities and being watched by characters in a framing story – but the results have generally been a bit mixed. V/H/S/94 is the fourth instalment and was originally released as a Shudder exclusive back in 2021, its sequel V/H/S/99 having already had a Blu-ray release last year.


Which brings us up to date, so how does this collection of found footage shorts stand up compared to the rest? Very well, it must be said. In fact, this could be the strongest collection so far, as the POV-style has been utilised to great effect in all the segments and there are shocks and glorious gore peppered throughout to keep things exciting.


But it is the scripts that usually let these things down, and there is only one segment that could be called a disappointment, which is luckily the final one.

First story STORM DRAIN follows a news crew as they report on an alleged rat-like ‘superhero’ that lives in the sewers. It sounds silly – and it is – but it is executed with an appropriate level of terror once the comedic TV reports and commercials are dealt with, resulting in a very entertaining creature feature that wouldn’t have been out of place on a video shop shelf back in the early ‘90s.


Next up is THE EMPTY WAKE, where a young female mortician is tasked with keeping watch over a corpse during a stormy night. Naturally, things don’t go as planned as she discovers she isn’t the only body up and moving about. Classic haunted house-style execution using only three different perspectives to build tension before a final few minutes that are terrifying and reminiscent of some of the more notable horror-themed video games.


And that video game theme carries on into third segment THE SUBJECT, which is the craziest and bloodiest story here, as a mad scientist is creating cyborgs out of people he has kidnapped. The weird visuals of the first half – including a fantastic human head on a robotic spider body creation – give way to a first-person shoot-‘em-up as a SWAT team burst in and all hell breaks loose. The CGI is a bit shoddy, but as the movie is trying to replicate the 1990s it all fits to make an insane amount of carnage that ranks as one of the best segments in the whole series.


Which leads into TERROR, the weakest segment, that sees a group of white supremacists come up with a plan to blow up a government building using explosive blood. Great idea, and very on the nose when it comes to depicting rednecks trying to ‘take back America’, but it drags on for too long and meanders to an unspectacular finish.


The wraparound concerns a group of soldiers infiltrating an underground cult and a pile of dead bodies, which results in more carnage and fits into the overall concept well, ending on suitably grim note which makes V/H/S/94 a very enjoyable trip through another round of short stories, only this time there are more hits than misses, and even the weakest one isn’t that bad when put up against anything from the travesty that was V/H/S: VIRAL. More like this, please.


Chris Ward.


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Film, DVD, Blu-Ray & Streaming Reviews
By Fans For Fans