Straight off the bat V/H/S
reeked of yet another over-hyped ‘found footage’ genre piece where crowds at preview screenings were apparently so scared they actually shat their pants, clawed out their eyes and ran screaming into the night never to be seen again. I mean, no shit they’re gonna say that kind of stuff. Would we be expecting anything less and looking forward to anything more? And surely we’ve seen all the wobbly, grainy, lo-fi, supernatural offerings this inevitably wrung out sub-genre has to give, right? Well, thanks to some original thinking from a collective of young directors including Ti West (The Innkeepers
), we’re treated to one more pretty decent drop of hand held horror goodness.
Taking the form of an anthology ala Creepshow
and Tales From The Crypt
with each story helmed by a different captain, V/H/S
kicks off its through line narrative with a group of troublesome youths filming themselves (duh) getting up to no good. Cut to youths en route to a mysterious house in which they’ve been tasked to retrieve an even more mysterious VHS tape. Surprisingly the house is dark, scary and comes with a dead? fat guy in a room surrounded by snow screened TVs and a video machine. The youths split up like good little horror film victims, leaving one to search through a bunch of unmarked tapes and boom, we’re introduced to the five stories.
Throughout the next (bordering on too much shakiness) hour and a bit we’re given a horny flesh-eating succubus, a knifey double-crossing newlywed, haunted Skype-sessions, a nasty multi-armed cult infested house and enough jumpy date-clutching scares to satisfy even the most hardened of horror watchers. And although the suspension of disbelief is pushed to some serious extremes (epic plot holes, stupid characters, nonsensical reasonings like the fact people are still shooting on VHS??), it’s easy to forgive thanks to the throwaway nature of an anthology style flick.
It’s no game-changing opus, but it certainly injects some fresh blood into an over worked genre and if you’re a horror fan or just wanna burn 92 minutes of your life with some mindless fun, then V/H/S
is your ticket.
Three and a half stars