As soon as you hear the title “V/H/S/94” it has the power to make you think “Oh, of course!” The horror anthology series that launched in 2012 with a very specific kind of found footage aesthetic has always been built on the raw, grainy power of lost tapes playing in faraway VCRs, and if you grew up in the 1990s, you know that magic all too well. It makes perfect sense to marry that particular time and place with the overall approach of the “V/H/S” franchise, and that means that by virtue of its title alone, “94” has its hooks in a certain kind of viewer even before they press play.
After you press play, what you’ll find as you dig into the five new segments inhabiting this dark new chapter in the anthology is a film that very much lives up to the promise of that title, for better or for worse. If you weren’t around in the mid-1990s, or you’re lacking a certain cultural awareness of the period, certain segments might not land as well as others for you. If you remember what the era was like, though — for mass media, for horror filmmaking, for cultural fears in general — what you’ll find in these tales is another batch of darkly comic, deeply disturbing horror shots that fit perfectly into the “V/H/S” approach while delivering fresh shocks that make you cheer as often as they make you cringe.