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…
Yet more found footage in the horror genre (when will it end?).
This film was OK when considering the low budget, but I did kind of enjoy the grainy, retro style to it.
While this film held my attention and I liked elements of some of the stories, I found the obnoxious characters, the overly-shaky camera, and the frequent voyeurism off-putting.
When the found footage genre is done right it can be tense, claustrophobic and convincing, when it’s done like V/H/S though it’s inconsistent, aggravating and repetitive. It’s not entirely without merit as the conclusions to (most) of the short films at least show some visual inventiveness and creepiness but the cumulative good amounts to less than fifteen minutes and in a film that’s nearly two hours that’s simply poor form. Also for a film that has the unifying thread of a VHS tape it cheats its own gimmick by having multiple short films made with modern video equipment which just feels lazy.
Second time watching this since it came out and I've gotta say it's much more enjoyable now I know what to expect. Amateur Night is my favourite segment but I'm not sure the upcoming feature length version is necessary.
La historia que une los diferentes cortos es bastante tontorrona y poco interesante, y el found footage empleado, en vez de acentuar el efecto de realismo, hace que una gran parte de lo que se muestra sea desagradablemente confuso e incómodo de ver.
This film reignited my interest in found footage horror. I stayed away from them for a while because I was often left nauseous from the shaky camera work but I've mostly gotten over that. With found footage I've noticed that I appreciate the minimal music, the limited perspective, and the realism.
So this movie was pretty good. I'd own it. I didn't like every story in this anthology equally but I liked most of them. I thought Amateur Night, Tuesday the 17th, and 10/31/98 were the best.
My only complaint is how all the stories were presented. I got a sense that they will tie together but I didn't figure out how by the end. Maybe I missed something. Maybe the stories were meant to stand on their own and that could have been more clear. Either way I'd watch this again to figure that out.
Utterly derivative horror anthology, which does have a few scares but is over populated by the most annoying vacuous characters.
The biggest surprise how similar each segment, directed by a different director, is to each other. It's the same thing over and over.
Contains every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the letterboxd database.
If there is any…
I must confess, I wouldn’t be as much of a movie fan as I am now if it weren’t for…