I have a weird love of the ramshackle, often uneven, but undeniably interesting V/H/S franchise. I love a good horror anthology anyway, and the found-footage gimmick has waxed and waned in effectiveness over the years, but has remained a hallmark of the series. After the first three theatrical installments, the series took a hiatus until horror streaming service Shudder picked it up in 2021. Each of those has had the extra gimmick of taking place in a specific year. V/H/S/94, V/H/S/99, and now, going way back for its latest entry: V/H/S/85. Take a look at the first trailer below!
This latest installment is the sixth mainline entry since the original in 2012. And like all the films, it has a pretty impressive roster of filmmakers giving us the different shorts. David Bruckner (The Night House, Hellraiser) was one of the original directors back 11 years ago, and he returns in V/H/S/85. Joining him are The Black Phone director Scott Derrickson, Gigi Saul Guerrero (Bingo Hell), Natasha Kermani (Lucky), and Mike Nelson (Wrong Turn).
The charm of the V/H/S movies has always been the handcrafted ingenuity. Some of the segments are truly impressive, both in what they attempt and what they achieve. Standout segments over the years include: Amateur Night and 10/31/98 in the first film and Safe Haven and Slumber Party Alien Abduction in the second. I didn’t much care for V/H/S Viral if I’m honest. But, the Shudder-era movies have great bits. For me, the best are 94‘s The Empty Wake and The Subject, and 99‘s To Hell and Back. I can’t wait to see what we get from V/H/S/85.
The Shudder premiere of V/H/S/85 is October 6, 2023. Spooky season, ho!