Shudder’s V/H/S/94 Hopes to Revitalize Found-Footage Horror

Shudder’s V/H/S/94 Hopes to Revitalize Found-Footage Horror
A spooky glimpse at V/H/S/94. (Image: Shudder)

V/H/S is one of those horror franchises that’s kept going but may be off the radar for all but the most devoted fans — after the 2012 original, there’s also 2013’s V/H/S2 and 2014’s V/H/S: Viral, plus a spin-off and a miniseries that was released on Snapchat. But the found-footage anthology series, which taps a wide variety of different directors to create its different segments, is about to make a high-profile return thanks to V/H/S/94, a new instalment heading to Shudder this fall.

Today’s San Diego Comic-Con @ Home panel teased what’s in store for the horror franchise’s newest chapter. Panelists included co-creator Brad Miska, producer Josh Goldbloom, and all the segment directors, including two who’ve worked on the series before — Simon Barrett (whose story takes place in a funeral home and follows a young employee tasked with supervising an overnight wake) and Timo Tjahjanto (whose segment is about a “Dr. Frankenstein-like mad scientist” who runs afoul of local law enforcement). Plus newcomers Jennifer Reeder (who directed the “wraparound” story; more on that below), Ryan Prows (whose story is about an anti-government militia group who happens upon some supernatural weapons, and “scary hilarity ensues”), and Chloe Okuno (whose tale involves a TV reporter investigating a spooky underground legend).

In a new twist for the V/H/S series, all the segments in V/H/S/94 — which obviously takes place in 1994 — will end up building toward a larger story. Barrett said the end result will satisfy fans of the series, while “still surprising them with a fresh approach.” A first look sneak peek was also part of the program, which featured each director talking about what inspired them as they were working on their segments. For Reeder, it involved a lot of the most sensational news headlines that broke in the mid-1990s, like the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan assault, the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase, the Waco siege, the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide, and more. Watch the whole panel below; the sneak peek begins at 27:15.

Shudder’s acquisition of V/H/S/94 was first revealed earlier this summer via an emailed press release, which sketched out the plot as follows: “After the discovery of a mysterious VHS tape, a brutish police swat team launch a high-intensity raid on a remote warehouse, only to discover a sinister cult compound whose collection of pre-recorded material uncovers a nightmarish conspiracy.” Goldbloom spoke more about the project as part of the June announcement. “We shot the film entirely during the pandemic, building sets in hotels, conference rooms, and in the spirit of the series punk rock roots we even ventured underground into a sewer,” he said. “Our team channeled the misery of this past year appropriately, so rest assured it’s the biggest, baddest, and most bloodthirsty batch of tapes yet.”

At the SDCC panel, Miska added on to that idea: “Horror is cathartic. It gives you a lot of inspiration and ideas of how you’re thinking about what’s going on in the world and how horrific it is, the dual-edged sword of it all. With horror, it’s just fun to sort of play around with that. For me, I don’t like it when the commentary is too heavy and on the nose. But it’s in [our film], it inspired us.”

V/H/S/94 arrives this spring on Shudder.

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Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.