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…
Not entirely sure what I just watched, but I think that may be the point. Definite nightmare fodder. Thanks for the recommendation, Netflix, you fucker.
crap on crap on crap on crap the only part worth watching is the final story
The first of its kind (well, maybe not in the anthology sense) and it did a good job of drawing you in. Some segments are stronger/better than others but overall it holds up and is worth watching again.
The stories were more shock factor type scares than creepy scares, which isn't my favorite. Overall worth a watch but the"found footage" was headache inducing and hard to watch. I did enjoy the variation in stories, and I think the anthology idea kept the movie interesting and watchable.
Anthology that has it's moments but not really worth the hype or the time.
V/H/S is a crazily original horror movie. While the quality of the shorts varies, the overall package is awesome. My favorite segment would have to be Amateur Night. It goes from sexyish to insanity in 2.5 seconds. And the ending is crazy. V/H/S overall is a crazy fun ride. It makes good use of the tried and true found footage genre and makes something special out of it.
Tape 56 - 2/5
Amateur Night - 3/5
Second Honeymoon - 1.5/5
Tuesday the 17th - 3.5/5
The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger - 4/5
10/31/98 - 4.5/5
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Thanks to Letterboxed user, Finn, whose favorites list contains this horror anthology.
While not linked together, this is a series of found-footage horror films with fairly good scares, gross out moments and acting. Personally, I think the genre is tired. After Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity, not much is worth mentioning but V/H/S does a good job probably because the segments are short.
My two favorites involve a creepy Vampiress ("I like you" ) and a fun romp thru a haunted house on Halloween. The wrap-around story is weak and most of the characters in the movie are stupid, college-aged douches ("show me your tits!" - don't older, more mature people get in these situations?) which just shows the audience…
If the title of V/H/S evokes a video format prevalent in the 1980s, then its extraneous 'slashes' point in two opposite directions, suggesting both the horror subgenre most closely associated with the Reagan era, and the conventional punctuation of a URL. The film itself, an anthology of short pieces by different filmmakers, similarly marries the clashing sensibilities of Generations X and Z – for while each of its episodes is shot in a first-person POV style that is voguishly contemporary, and shows characters using hidden minicams, smartphones, Skype and other signifiers of our post-millennial age, at the same time all this material purports, without explanation or apology, to have been preserved on now redundant VHS cassettes.
Contains every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the letterboxd database.
If there is any…
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