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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No messages here other than "don't go in the creepy house or woods, and definitely don't try to film yourself all the time."
Positive Role Models
The characters aren't on screen long enough to become role models, and the ones who are have serious flaws (adultery, cowardice). Hardly anyone survives.
Violence & Scariness
In the most intense sequence, a religious cult involves (off screen) sex with young girls, mass suicides (with guns and poison), bloody operations, zombies, and massive amounts of gore sprayed around. Another segment includes zombies attacking, ripping open people's bodies and devouring bloody entrails. Scary ghosts appear in another segment, and aliens attack in the final segment. In the wraparound segment, a man films himself trying to blow his own head off, but he fails, "merely" blowing off his jaw instead. His bloody, gaping mouth and tongue are shown hanging out. Nearly every character dies, including a cute little dog.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two topless women are shown. A woman meets a man in a hotel room for sex; viewers see them kissing and undressing through the window. (The inference is that it's an illicit affair.) A woman has sex with a man to distract him from seeing a ghost. There's a quick shot, through a doorway, of two minor characters having what looks to be hardcore sex: The man's naked bottom is shown thrusting. A woman flirts with her boyfriend over the phone and uses sexual innuendo. A woman is shown to be pregnant from an illicit affair with her boyfriend's best friend. A teen girl starts to have sex with her boyfriend but is interrupted.
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Strong language is constant in the first and fourth segments but less so in the second and third. Many uses of "f--k," "s--t," "Jesus," "goddamn," "t-ts," "d--k," "ass," "hell," "oh my God," and "faggot."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters casually drink beer in the first segment, and teens drink liquor during a slumber party in the fourth segment.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that V/H/S/2 is an anthology horror film that's a sequel to 2012's V/H/S, which did poorly in theaters but well on DVD/streaming. This installment has a largely new cast and crew, though it takes place in the same creepy house. Violence is very strong and gory, including disemboweling, mass suicides, failed suicides (and gaping wounds), ghosts, aliens, zombies, dead bodies, a dead dog, and huge spatters of blood. Two topless women are shown, and two sex acts (one of them is fairly hardcore, though it's very brief). Language is very strong in two of the segments, with multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t," among other words. Teens drink alcohol in one scene during the final segment. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Aside from the somewhat lazy wraparound sequence, the ideas here are fairly inspired. The trick with V/H/S/2, as well as with V/H/S, is coming up with excuses for characters to film themselves just before bad things happen. As with the first movie, low quality is actually the goal, but only in the fourth segment is the hand-held camerawork nausea-inducing. And even then, as the barely visible aliens advance toward the camera, the technique induces queasy panic. Mostly though, this is a surprisingly professional and surprisingly effective movie. There are no real characters to speak of, and it's all about the sensation. The movie's approach simulates a viewer's point of view -- the viewer is the major character -- but it adds an extra layer of terror by removing the option to look away or blink. It can be genuinely scary. Only the extreme gore, which has a tendency to slowly and sickeningly increase over time, could be a drawback for true horror fans.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.