V/H/S/85 Review: A Chaotic Tapestry of Horror

The sixth installment in the V/H/S franchise, V/H/S/85, dives into the chaotic world of found footage horror once more, embracing the anthology format with segments directed by David Bruckner, Scott Derrickson, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Natasha Kermani, and Mike P. Nelson. With a collection of diverse stories, the film aims to terrify, disturb, and intrigue its audience and it mostly does a pretty good job of that. Read on for my V/H/S/85 review.

V/H/S/85 Review Is Spoiler Free

“No Wake,” directed by Mike P. Nelson, kicks off the anthology with a lake-bound nightmare. The premise of the dead coming back to life after swimming in a forbidden lake sets an eerie tone, blending supernatural elements with a vengeful twist. This segment successfully captures the essence of classic horror tropes while incorporating an intriguing resurrection concept.

“God of Death,” under Gigi Saul Guerrero’s direction, introduces a unique take on ancient Aztec mythology amidst modern chaos. This segment stands out for its creativity, seamlessly blending historical folklore with contemporary horror elements. Guerrero’s visual storytelling skillfully paints a picture of doom, culminating in a chilling revelation about the cause of a devastating earthquake.

V/H/S/85 (2023).

Natasha Kermani’s “KNOGD” explores the intersection of technology and spirituality, diving into the consequences of playing god in a digital realm. The segment’s thematic depth shines through, offering a critical commentary on society’s obsession with virtual reality and the blurred lines between the real and the simulated. Kermani’s narrative prowess and thought-provoking themes elevate “TKNOGD” above mere shock value, making it a standout entry. It’s probably my favourite segment in the entire film. There’s a certain sense of uneasiness to it that makes my stomach feel… strange. It sends goosebumps all over my arms.

Delivers a thrilling and diverse horror experience.

“Ambrosia,” directed by Mike P. Nelson, takes a different route by delving into a disturbing family tradition. The concept of ritualistic murder within a seemingly ordinary family gathering adds an unsettling layer to the anthology. Despite its unsettling nature, this segment fails to explore its potential fully, leaving viewers with a sense of unfulfilled dread.

Scott Derrickson’s “Dreamkill” delves into the dark corners of premonitions and fate. The story, centered around a man who dreams of heinous crimes, raises intriguing questions about destiny and free will. Derrickson masterfully weaves a complex narrative, laced with psychological horror and suspense. The segment’s eerie atmosphere and mind-bending plot twists keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

V/H/S/85 interweaves these stories with interludes involving Rory, an enigmatic character whose connection to the events unfolds gradually. These interludes add an overarching mystery to the film, tying the segments together with an enigmatic thread. The film’s climax, set within the confines of Stamer University, takes a dark turn, exploring themes of manipulation and obsession, leading to a twisted, yet fitting, conclusion.

V/H/S/85 (2023).

Despite its varied quality, V/H/S/85 manages to deliver a thrilling and diverse horror experience. While some segments excel in creativity, others fall short in execution. The film’s ability to experiment with different horror subgenres and themes keeps the audience engaged, even if not every story hits the mark. For fans of the franchise and those seeking a rollercoaster of horror styles, V/H/S/85 offers a worthwhile, albeit uneven, journey into the macabre.

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  • Acting - 7.5/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 7/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 7/10
  • Setting/Theme - 6.5/10
  • Watchability - 6.5/10
  • Rewatchability - 5/10
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About Caillou Pettis

Caillou Pettis is a professional film critic and journalist as well as the author of While You Sleep, The Inspiring World of Horror: The Movies That Influenced Generations, and co-author of Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters. He has been writing in the entertainment industry for over seven and a half years professionally. Throughout the years, he has written articles for publications including Gold Derby, Exclaim!, CBR, Awards Radar, Awards Watch, Flickering Myth, BRWC, Starburst Magazine, Punch Drunk Critics, Mediaversity Reviews, Vinyl Chapters, Northern Transmissions, and Beats Per Minute.