V/H/S (2012)

Posted: September 14, 2012 in Movie Review
Tags: , , , ,

VHS

Directed By: Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Radio Silence

Starring: Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Adam Wingard, Hannah Fierman, Mike Donlan, Joe Sykes, Drew Sawyer, Jas Sams, Joe Swanberg, Sophia Takal

Subgenre: Anthology

Synopsis: A group of thugs break into a house looking for a secretive VHS tape and get more than they bargained for.

Thoughts: Anthology movies are hit or miss; so are found footage movies; which makes V/H/S an ambitious venture to say the least. The premise is pretty great, with a group of miscreants breaking into a house and finding  stack of video tapes each showing some pretty crazy things.  Even though some of the videos didn’t make sense on VHS (really, who video-tapes a Skype conversation?), the idea is to scare the hell out of you, and V/H/S accomplishes that on more than one occasion.

The actors are all unknowns for the most part, and I didn’t really recognize any faces, but they came through in their roles.  I think it is a bit easier to be convincing in a found footage movie like this, but there was really only one person that I thought underperformed, and that was the boyfriend in “The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger.”  The guy seemed like he was readying from cue cards.  Other than that, there were some pretty great performances.

The Direction as a whole was well done too, with some being better than others.  The anthology premise makes it hard to critique the movie, but I did have my favorites.  I made it a point not to know who directed which segments going in because I did have my favorites.  Interestingly enough, my most anticipated director ending up delivering my least favorite segment.  I really enjoyed Ti West’s The Innkeepers and also enjoyed House of the Devil, but I found The Second Honeymoon to be pretty bland. Two of my favorites were 10/31/98 and Amateur Night.

V/H/S is far from perfect.  It took the initial story arc and Amateur Night a while to get going during the onset especially, but I thought that it delivered above average scares on more than one occasion.  I had heard some below average reviews going in, so I was pleasantly surprised with what I watched.  I suggest checking it out and judging for yourself.

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