Road Rash Reviews

V/H/S/85 Review****-

Cert 18 | 120 mins | 2024

4 star gory and imaginative found footage horror.

V/H/S/85 is a 2023 American horror anthology and the sixth instalment in the franchise. As with the previous films, it is comprised of various segments, tied together by a central framing story. This is my personal favourite of all the V/H/S films, capturing the spirit of the year in which it is set perfectly.

It is available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Platforms from 4th March 2024, courtesy of Acorn Media International.

“At first glance, Rory was as American as a happy meal. We know now that perception would change, not only for the scientists who took on his case, but also for the world at large.”

The framing story for this film is “Total copy, written by Evan Dickson (Totem) and directed by David Bruckner (The Night House). It tells the story of Rory, a strange creature being studied by a group of doctors. In charge of the project is Dr. Spratling (Jordan Belfi – Nefarious), who has thrown caution to the wind, much to the consternation of fellow scientist Dr. Sarah Grayson (Kelli Garner – What Josiah Saw).

The first segment is No Wake, written and directed by Mike P. Nelson (Wrong Turn) and telling the story of a family who head off to a lake on vacation. Ignoring all of the No Swimming signs, they head out for a bit of water skiing. Things take a horrible turn when a sniper starts picking them off one by one. Even stranger, it seems that everyone who went in the water is experiencing a very odd side effect. Rob (Alex Galik – The Curse of Rosalie) and Robin (Anna Sundberg – Farmer of the Year) vow to take revenge.

The next segment is God of Death, written and directed by Gigi Saul Guerrero (Aztec, Bingo Hell), dealing with the strange and brutal events that occured in the aftermath of an earthquake in Mexico. We see a local TV studio and follow the fate of cameraman Luis (Ari Gallegos – Satanic Hispanics) and the team of rescuers searching the building.

Next up is TKNOGD, written by Zoe Cooper (V/H/S/99) and directed by Natasha Kermani (Lucky). In this segment, we see Ada (Chivonne Michelle – Shaft) on stage giving an impassioned performance about technology and religion.

The fourth segment is entitled Ambrosia, written and directed by Mike P. Nelson again, telling the story of Ruth (Evie Bair), who is the star of a party celebrating a very strange family tradition. This ties in very nicely with No Wake.

Last but by no means least is Dream Kill, written by Robert Cargill (The Black Phone, Doctor Strange) and directed by Scott Derrickson (Devil’s Knot, Deliver Us From Evil), which tells the story of Gunther (Dashiell Derrickson –  The Colosseum), a troubled young man who sees his dreams and nightmares recorded as premonitions of murder on a Betamax video recorder.

“There are many, many questions. What is he doing? Why is he here? How long has he been here? These are all fundamental questions.”

V/H/S/85 is a very enjoyable watch and by far my favourite of the franchise so far. This time around, it feels like everyone was on the same page and each one perfectly fits the brief.

The attitudes, clothes, makeup and most importantly filming styles are all deeply evocative of the mid eighties and provide a sense of nostalgia to go along with the blood, guts and horror that unfold before your eyes.  This was an era with a very specific feel to it, with new technologies constantly being discovered and more people with access to recording equipment and this is all captured here.

A great addition to the found footage genre too and well worth a watch.

“He was a brilliant man in many ways, but he never knew when to not pick up the snake. He found something that could mimic anything it laid its eyes on.”

V/H/S/85 is available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Platforms from 4th March 2024.

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DirectorMike P. Nelson, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Natasha Kermani, Scott Derrickson, David Bruckner
StarringJordan Belfi, Anna Sundberg, Ada Lovelace, Evie Bair, Kelli Garner
Available to buy on : Own V/H/S/85 on DVD Own V/H/S/85 on Blu-Ray
Category: Review