Friends often ask me to recommend indie horror films on Netflix Instant. (American Netflix, sorry!) Now I can just send…
This collection is killer.
When a group of misfits is hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape, they discover more found footage than they bargained for.
V/H/S blends one of the newer fads in horror - the shaky found footage movie - with one of the oldest - the portmanteau anthology. It is an interesting blend, on paper at least, allowing the hottest new indie directors to flex their creative muscles in shorter form films whilst tackling a range of horror sub-genres. Unfortunately the results are far less interesting than the film’s potential. Rather than utilising the strengths of the portmanteau structure - allowing for wildly different stories with great hooks and twists - it merely accentuates the problem with the current trend of found footage stories.
Although the film works its way through most sub-genres of horror (vampires, stalkers etc.) all the self-contained stories are…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
There is always one thing that makes or breaks a horror anthology for me, and for some people it's probably the most dismissive aspect but to me; the most important. I like to have a decent wraparound story, it doesn't matter if it's tongue-in-cheek and "hosted" with a ghoul presenting each story, a realtor showing houses, a witch in her kitchen or an ominous meeting in the heart of a cemetery, it's the bow on the package. V/H/S managed to present a couple decent segments (despite being found-footage) and had an interesting concept but I really hated the wraparound story. Besides being both confusing and unpleasant, it was unsatisfying. I would have rather seen the punks from the start have…
So basically every story in this anthology plays out in the exact same way:
-Introduction of characters
- A bit of walking around
- Some groovy camera angles to enhance the found footage feel
- The teeniest tiniest bit of suspense
- Some yummie and scrumptious gore
All in all there were two stories I really liked, the third one because it is rather insane and the fourth one because it is actually creepy and weird. The rest is instantly forgettabe.
Usually in anthologies there is a common theme or connecting thread. The only one I could find here is that apparently everyone involved bought crappy cameras and suffered from Parkinson's disease.
I could not believe just how boring this film is. It does not even attempt to be the least bit scary, just gory. I wouldn't even call this torture porn because at least Saw and Hostel attempted to scare you. And when are these found footage movies going to die out.
VHS is everything I hate about modern horror films. Character building is replaced by shallow jump-scares, tension is replaced by boredom, shaky-cam is used to up the fear when in reality it serves to obscure and distract the viewer from the action. I am certainly no horror expert, but at least films like Psycho 2 and Scream 4 attempt to tell a cohesive narrative. VHS thinks that it is enough to just to have a shock nonsensical ending to superficial bite-size anthology segments. Ambiguity and surrealism is not, by itself, enough to make for an interesting story. Unfortunately, VHS is a blood-soaked CGI gore-fest that you will forget immediately after viewing - well I did at least. I also find…
There is a fundamental untidiness which impedes V/H/S; heavily and irritatingly mitigating any piquancy. Granted, it's inherently destined to be disconnected but this shouldn't culminate in a film with erratic levels of finesse and intrigue. However it ultimately does; subsequently equaling a cumbersome product that fitfully capitalizes on its theoretically inspired concept.
Except for the inclusion of found-footage, V/H/S's conceit is unorthodox and therefore immediately deserves praise for not lining up behind many foregoing 'horror' flicks. Strenuously attempting to link an anthology of short horror films to one overarching narrative, the handling may be visibly contrived but still makes for a fascinating and fruitful premise.
To quickly summarise my thoughts on each individual short: the first story is okay, the…
I turned it off. It made me ill. I watched enough to know that it is too much of nothing.
I would recommend most of the Scooby Doo animated films before I recommend this cruddy collection.
Film #10 of the "Scavenger Hunt" Challenge!
Task 10. A film that scares you!
You have the good kind of scary and you have the bad kind of scary. V/H/S falls in the middle of those two descriptions. This is one of many found footage films that tries to tickle the right concept, but for the most part, it's too dull and sexist to come across as a positive horror film.
Recommendation: Strictly for horror fans
Brief Thoughts: I'm only halfway through, but so far the effect is fairly nauseating - I could have swallowed a glass of salt water and had the same experience in a fraction of the time. Watch a bunch of assholes get what's coming to them in possibly the ugliest movie ever made - not entirely sure I'll be back for the rest.
Brief Thoughts Updated: Finished it (though how audiences managed to sit through it on a big screen I can't imagine - I surely wouldn't have made it). The second half is marginally more tolerable than the first, with the relatively steady camera of segment four being a welcome relief after the epileptic thrashing of its predecessors. Segment five…
Quizás inferior a la segunda ya que las diferentes historias son mas irregulares pero esta mucho mas justificado el found footage en esta primera parte y las historias son mas frescas.
Repaso a la saga vol. 1
Vuelvo a las dos primeras partes tras ver la tercera y probablemente última, vista las malas críticas y peor taquilla. Me sigue pareciendo una de las sagas más interesantes del terror contemporáneo (junto a Paranormal Activity), y la prueba de que el found footage es más un medio que un estilo o un género, al que quizá habría que denominar de otra manera para evitar confusiones.
La primera parte permanece como mi favorita: la más experimental, la más cohesionada y la que mejor aprovecha los recursos del medio. Lo más interesante para mí de la idea original es homenajear al VHS convirtiendo sus defectos analógicos y sus usos habituales en auténtico contenido para crear…
Ranking the segments!
1. "Amateur Night" (first segment)
2. "10/31/98" (fifth segment)
3. "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger" (fourth segment)
4. "Second Honeymoon" (second segment)
5. "Tuesday the 17th" (third segment)
6. "Tape 56" (frame narrative)
In what will become a pattern of this series, the frame narrative (titled "Tape 56", according to Wikipedia) is the worst of the bunch. There's nothing blatantly bad about it, but it's almost completely bereft of tension, largely due to the fact that it's split into five pieces, all of which are too short to leave much of an impact. But nobody watches anthologies for the frame stories, anyway. The actual segments are mostly fine, with one real winner ("Amateur Night", the first segment). Even the worst segment, "Tuesday the 17th", has its cheesy fun moments.
V/H/S is something I find pants-shittingly terrifying. Let it be known that found-footage films freak me out.
This movie's biggest downfall is that each segment needs to be shortened by 5 to 10 minutes. It is genuinely creepy and (at times) shocking and definitely fun for a group scary movie night.
Don't watch on too large a screen or you will get sick.
I must confess, I wouldn’t be as much of a movie fan as I am now if it weren’t for…