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review by Bobby Blakey

In 2012 Bloody Disgusting and producer Brad Miska unleashed the anthology found footage horror flick V/H/S. The film has since spawned three sequels with V/H/S/2 in 2013, V/H/S: Viral in 2014, V/H/S/94 in 2021 and V/H/S/99 in 2022 as well as a spin-off feature Siren in 2016. Now the franchise is back once again with V/H/S/85 featuring segments directed by David Bruckner (V/H/S, Hellraiser), Scott Derrickson (Sinister, Doctor Strange, The Black Phone), Natasha Kermani (Shattered, Lucky), Mike P. Nelson (Summer School, Wrong Turn), and Gigi Saul Guerrero (ABCs of Death 2.5/Satanic Hispanics).


V/H/S/85 follows an ominous broadcast that brings viewers forgotten nightmares of the 1980s: a disaster recovery crew unleashes the wrath of an ancient god; a lake that brings the dead back to life; a performance art piece makes contact with a creature from the beyond; an all-guns-out undead bloodbath, and a disturbing vision of videotaped murders.


I love the creativity of these films. You never know what you are going to get and they don’t stick to any fixed theme with each story more messed up than the next. There are always some that work better than others, but all tend to still entertain. This time around is no different and while I still loved the film I think it is the weakest of the franchise so far. It’s not because it is bad, but more just the tone is different and less horror and more thriller this time around.


As with all the previous outings in this franchise they are all brought together by a singular video this time from the broadcast. It has less humor than the previous film and even less gore overall but have no fear it is there although the last shot is pretty funny. The various stories are engaging and keep you interested to see where they are headed with some chaotic and fun and others just strange. One of my least

favorites has one of the better endings of the stories. I love how some of the stories actually ended up crossing over in an unexpected way and answers mysteries that didn’t need to be answered but works perfectly.


The strength to this one is the ongoing stories including one that leans more into the horror sci-fi element and is constantly evolving with each segment. It spoon feeds you small bits before going full creature feature and a fun retro watch. The entire film perfectly fits into the tone and stylings of the 80s complete with some familiar commercial segments and videos that us from the time will find fun.


I hope this franchise never dies and we keep getting more entries and chances to witness the visions of these awesome storytellers. Much like SAW and Paranormal Activity before it let’s keep these as being the ongoing October release every year and all the creative storytelling unleashed for the fans.  


Decide for yourself and check out V/H/S/85 streaming now on Shudder.

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