[Interview] ‘V/H/S/2′ Director Jason Eisener On Aliens, ‘Fire In The Sky’ And Loving Kids Movies

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V/H/S/2 hit VOD last week and I’m loving all of your reactions. You can find the iTunes and Apple TV link here. Other outlets carrying it should also include Amazon (link link here), AT&T UVerse, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Google Play, Playstation 3, Sudden Link, Time Warner Cable, Verizon Fios, VUDU and Xbox Zune. Look around! There’s also a theatrical rollout set for July 12th.

In the film directed by Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Gareth Evans, Eduardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Jason Eisener and Timo Tjahjanto, “Inside a darkened house looms a column of TVs littered with VHS tapes, a pagan shrine to forgotten analog gods. The screens crackle and pop endlessly with monochrome vistas of static—white noise permeating the brain and fogging concentration. But you must fight the urge to relax: this is no mere movie night. Those obsolete spools contain more than just magnetic tape. They are imprinted with the very soul of evil.

Earlier this week I spoke to director Jason Eisener (Hobo With A Shotgon) whose segment, “Alien Abduction Slumber Party”, is one of the film’s highlights. It’s youthful, exuberant and fun and I can definitely see him making a Goonies type film someday. Head below to check it out and be sure to write your review here!!


V/H/S/2 is considered to be more colorful and cinematic than the first one, and your segment certainly contributes to that. Was the more cinematic approach discussed with everyone ahead of time, or was it a coincidence?

We would have a big group talk over the phone, which sometimes felt like a nightmare because there’d be 20 people on it. We just sent each other our scripts so we could go through them and make sure that none of us were doing the same thing. They pretty much gave us free reign to do whatever we wanted. The main thing is that we never wanted the audience to ask, “oh why didn’t they just turn off the camera?” That was really the only guideline.

When I first pitched my idea to Brad and told him I wanted to do something with aliens he was like, “oh my God! I’ve always wanted to do that!” He greenlit it right away.

Have you seen ‘Fire In The Sky?

Oh yeah, that’s the movie when I was a kid that ruined my life for a couple years. It kind of triggered my fascination with aliens and I slept with a baseball bat under my bed.

Working with the kids in your short, was that hard to take them through all of that?

It was interesting because none of the kids had never acted before except for the main kid, Gary. I just wanted kids that reminded me of me and my friends when we were kids. I would always be asking them questions – what would they do? What kind of pranks would they pull? The tough part was trying to escape the 30 person crew. Sometimes we’d come up with an idea and run away from the production and I’d just put the camera in the kids’ hands and let them go to town. Some of those moments are my favorite, they feel really genuine.

I’m a huge fan of Goonies, The Monster Squad and The Sandlot and have always wanted to do something in that world. That’s always been one of my dreams, to make a fun kids movie.

We only see the aliens fleetingly, were the suits super detailed or did you have to make sure you didn’t show too much of them?

The aliens looked pretty good. It was a couple of my friends and we made the masks for them and these gloves they used for hands. Then we just painted their bodies all white. Luckily it was summer. When I was writing it there was a new Jaws special edition that came out and I was watching the documentary and thinking about that movie a lot while writing and I was really inspired to do something with kids, something on the water, and also deal with a monster that we don’t really get to see that much of.

It’s kind of based off of my recurring childhood nightmares of being chased by aliens. The aliens would come into my home and try to abduct me and my friends and we’re just running. In my dreams the aliens are always kind of distant, and by the time they get super close to me the dream is over. When I was researching aliens I just kind of based the images on everything I saw and my nightmares.

 
  • Aaron Emery

    V/H/S/2 is amazing. Just want ya’ll to know.

  • Protecious

    cheap plug for this websites’ involvement in this film…v/h/s/ 1 & 2 are OKAY, but the biggest problem with them is their overuse of tracking and other overuse of glitches to make it look as if they are from a real videotape, stories are okay, vhs 1 & vhs 2′s best segments are the final ones.

  • flesheater24

    VHS 2 is awesome really good stuff. I loved it better then the first, the gore in 2 was insane, it was more scary, creepy, and intense too. I am hoping #3 will be even more scary, creepy and intense. But what I don’t get is why are they watching these tapes ? is it like a ring sort of thing. I think the next one should be a prequel that explains why these VHS tapes are being made and why they have an impact on the people and make them go crazy. That’ll be solid.

    • weresmurf

      Hopefully in VHS 3, the final 20 minute story will actually be the reason behind all these tapes. Loved VHS2 though, the zombie one and the indonesian cult one were brilliant. The Alien one really reminded me of the old Amblin films Spielburg used to do, even moreso than JJ Abrams ‘Super 8′ which tried but ultimately didn’t quite get there…

      • flesheater24

        That’ll be an awesome idea. I loveeee the indonesian one a lot too. The zombie one was really stellar too, but my personal fav were deft the indonesian one and the alien one that one was just really freakin scary do to the creepy noises and all. I hope they make the 3rd even more intense and bat shit insane. have you seen THE ABC’S OF DEATH ? that movie was fuckin nuts too :0)

      • magicjaguar

        Definitely felt the Amblin vibe in “Alien Abduction Slumber Party.”

  • KingJamesRichard

    But did they really have to kill the dog? I mean, really?

  • Mickmayi

    I horrified of alien BECAUSE of fire in the sky, my brother made me watch it when i was like 6….great i can tell this movie is gonna be great for me :(

  • magicjaguar

    This movie is just leaps and bounds over the first (which I enjoyed immensely in its own right). Not a disappointing segment to be found though. My mouth was left agape nearly the whole film. So much awesome. I think “Safe Haven” was probably my favorite.

    • weresmurf

      This was a great example of ‘Go large or go home’. They ramped up every single aspect of this film. Something I ESPECIALLY liked, was the detective story surrounding it. The first ones story of the criminals made ultimately no sense, this one, though brief at what, 7 minutes length or so in total, had a beginning, middle and end that made sense (of sorts) and had a good payoff. Absolutely enjoyed VHS2, can’t wait for 3!

  • Milk

    Yup. The first one I did not enjoy but the second vhs was tons better.

  • Kwonkicker

    So looking forward to this!!

  • evilfairydust

    I gotta say, I was disappointed by the first one AND this one! They’re both OKAY, but just didn’t live up to the wonderful reviews I heard. Safe Haven was the best concept of V/H/S/2, but I feel like it wasn’t really wrapped up properly.

  • osvd

    imo, the first one was way more scary and creepy(fav), the second one was just full of gore, second heaven was awesome with that “papa” line, hope the 3 combines both aspects..