25 Independent Movies You Should Be Excited About in 2013

S-VHS

Directors: Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Edúardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Huw Evans, Jason Eisener
Stars: Adam Wingard, Lawrence Levine, L. C. Holt, Kelsy Abbott, Hannah Hughes
Release date: To be determined

Attention horror fans: There's a new franchise upon us that does not include the words Paranormal or Activity in the title. And it's proving to be the real deal.

Last year, the shaggy, lo-fi anthology V/H/S premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to significant buzz. It consisted of five short segments (as well as a frame story), each directed by a genre up-and-comer, including Ti West (The House of the Devil), David Bruckner (The Signal), and mumblecore vet Joe Swanberg (LOL). V/H/S has its passionate supporters (count us amongst them), but there are also plenty of detractors who've attacked the film for being too long, too threadbare, and misogynistic.

Last weekend, the inevitable sequel, S-VHS, debuted at Sundance, and early feedback indicates that the returning producers—co-writer Simon Barrett, co-director Adam Wingard, and producers Brad Miska and Roxanne Benjamin—have addressed those complaints. A full half-hour shorter (95 minutes this time around), S-VHS has been described as leaner, meaner, and far more ambitious.

Here, a new crop of bolder, bigger filmmakers—Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun), Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project, Lovely Molly), Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption), and Timo Tjahjanto (Macabre)—go for broke with shorts about a cyborg eyeball that records everything it sees, a fresh zombie getting used to its new "life," a sadistic cult, and a Goonies-esque group of friends experiencing a close encounter of the nightmarish kind.

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