The Best So Far!
V/H/S made my Top Ten for the entire year of 2012, but for everything our first installment established, V/H/S/2 absolutely went bigger and better. More risks, badder kills, larger ideas, better production, and a more focused delivery that gave our writers/directors a longer time-frame to flesh out their ideas – and then properly de-flesh them for all to see. While I’ll admit not every segment was equal parts fantastic, Gareth Evans and Timo Tjahjanto have created an insta-classic with their segment “Safe Haven.”
The other segments (a first hand account of the zombie apocalypse, a man who starts seeing dead people with his bionic eye, and an alien abduction at a slumber party) all have their shining moments, but “Safe Haven” absolutely embodied everything that these filmmakers are challenged to do. It had everything – over-the-top effects, proper use of the found-footage method, an absolutely dynamite performance by Epy Kusnadar as Father, and an ending that brings everything home with one simple word. Seriously, if you need any reason to see V/H/S/2, it’s “Safe Haven.”
Continuing on a sadistically funny note, writer/director Conor McMahon’s killer clown horror comedy Stitches weighs in at my number four spot, blending brutally inventive kills with the comedic stylings of stand-up veteran Ross Noble as our titular slasher villain. An unknown talent to this point, Conor McMahon absolutely broke onto the horror scene in a huge way with a slew of lovably cheesy one liners from Noble and a display of brilliantly cartoonish kills that consistently one-up the last.
Telling the story of an undead children’s party clown resurrected to seek vengeance on the bratty kids who got him killed in the first place, Stitches crashes the then birthday boy’s party as he celebrates his birthday once again with an open house years later. The party antics are jovial, Stitches’ chaos is the perfect mix of horror hilarity and gory awesomeness, the kills spare no gross detail, and we’re given a slasher film that absolutely understands how much fun this genre holds. Trust me, this clown has a few tricks up his sleeve, enough to the point where Noble’s performance makes our red-nosed bastard one of my favorite slasher villains in years.