Once in a blue moon a horror movie comes along that creates waves in the horror community, this years dalliance into this area is V/H/S a sort of anthology movie that features a host of great horror writer/directors (including Ti West) to tell a variety of tales linked by one common interest.
V/H/S follows a group of thug types as they break into a property looking for a special VHS tape, not really sure what they are looking for they are simply told that “they will know the correct tape when they see it). Having entered the property though they find an old man dead in his armchair in front of the TV. While some of the group scour the house looking for the tape, one of the group stays in the room and starts looking through the tapes on the floor. What they discover shocks them to their very core.
The movie is split into various strands; each tape they look at constitutes a different story, while the searching for the tape creates a forming outer story. The type of story they uncover (all of which are the “found footage” variety), includes a date rape tale with a twist, a couples disturbing retreat, a woodland hack and slash, a twisted Internet chat, and a possession. Each tale the audience sees is slightly more terrifying than the last.
V/H/S is a movie that really works for the most part, the variety of stories, and increased tension and fear all work very well. Some of the stories are very real, some are incredibly far fetched, but this is not to the detriment of the feature. There is much edginess, some cold sweats, and a few laughs along the way to keep things going.
The problem with V/H/S and its only a little one, but its still quite overpowering to some degree is that being a “found footage” movie you have the same ridiculous traits that every one of these sorts of movies has. Most notably that nobody ever drops the camera, even when things REALLY kick off. The second flaw is the fact that the camerawork is just to shaky, try as you might when making a home movie of sorts, you’ll never create anything so shaky, so difficult to watch than every found footage movie has.
Some may find V/H/S difficult to feel, because none of the characters have time to develop, there is that real throwaway mentality, that when a character dies, you cant feel anything.
V/H/S is very much an assault on the senses, numerous deaths in dozens of different ways will keep audiences on the edge of their seat, and you’ll never know what’s coming next. On the whole the movie is a winner, it’s varied, its horrifying, its bloody; but most of all in this particular genre, one that seems to have ben played to death, it does something that nobody thought was possible…. It brings something new to the table, and that cant be a bad thing.
Spencer Hawken @Views From The Edge