Movie Review: V/H/S

Genre fans have heard a lot of buzz about V/H/S. The movie created quite a stir at Sundance when it premiered and horror fans have anxiously awaited its arrival in theaters in early October. But for those of us with a PS3 or Xbox360 at home… We can enjoy it right now!

Okay, many people hate found-footage movies, so first off it should be stated: V/H/S is an unapologetic found-footage movie. Now, I understand not everyone enjoys this style of film making. I’m usually one of those people. However,  when done right, the experience can be thrilling and somewhat worth the nausea and headache that follows after the final credits roll.

All personal animosity aside for the found-footage genre, V/H/S is one of the best found-footage horror movies made in recent memory and perhaps the best (if not better) since the originator of this horror sub-genre, The Blair Witch Project.

What makes V/H/S unique is the structure of the film. Instead of following along with the same people and being made sick to our stomachs by a spastic camera for 90 minutes, V/H/S breaks its story telling into a series of vignettes (or shorts). The main story follows a group of hooligans that are asked to break into an old man’s house and find a “specific” tape which has serious monetary value. Once inside the house, well, business really picks up.

For reasons unknown, perhaps enthralled by the idea of watching a movie in 4:3 aspect ratio again, each member of the group watches a videotape and on each videotape a fresh and unique scenario plays out.

Each short is effective in its own right. V/H/S  treats the viewer to a super sexy she-devil who chews and claws her way through moronic frat boys, a well crafted revenge plot against a waste of space husband, an homage to the ubiquitous serial killer in the woods, a cyber-tastic ghosts in the house story (serious twist in this one) and of course, the grand finale, an exorcism.

The first and last stories of V/H/S are by far the best in the anthology. Open strong, end strong. V/H/S totally adheres to this formula.

Best of all, every story features plenty of gore, boobies, scares, and funny dialogue. It’s also nice to see a horror movie being made by directors that clearly love the genre just as much as fans. I can’t see any horror fanatic being disappointed by this movie, there is something here for everyone. And if you pay close attention! It’s fun to try and spot all the little homages to classic horror movies of days gone by the directors have tossed in.

V/H/S isn’t the perfect horror movie though. A couple vignettes run long (not a good problem to have when you’re a short) and some of the acting is spotty, and are there plot holes? Oh yeah. But V/H/S is so damn fun and genuinely creepy it’s worth forgiving its faults and thanking V/H/S for all the things it gets right: Being a cult classic in the making.

V/H/S is directed by Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid , Joe Swanberg, and Radio Silence

Distributor: Magnet Releasing

Run Time: 115 minutes

Rated: R for bloody violence, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, pervasive language and some drug use

 

 

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3.5

One Comment

  1. Gil says:

    Thanks for reviewing V/H/S! I went online Friday afternoon and rented V/H/S just before leaving my office at DISH. It was loaded on my Hopper and ready to watch by the time I walked in my door. Found footage can be hit or miss, but I love a good horror anthology. I agree that some of the shorts went a little long, but I think V/H/S was a decent film. My only complaint would be the shaky cameras; a movie hasn’t made me this nauseous since the Blair Witch

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