Let me start off by saying I’m a junkie when it comes to the crack of the anthology horror genre. Nothing says serious fun like a bunch of terror tales sewn together for maximum enjoyment. That being said there’s a lot within the compilation inspired "V/H/S" that’s frankly not so good, but for fans there is eternal hope that with each story the flick will raise the horror bar – it doesn’t.
Some ruckus kids with an affinity for chaos get hired by an unknown person to burglarize a desolate house and find a rare VHS tape. But when they arrive they find a slew of tapes and what do you do when that happens? You begin to watch them one by one, of course!
I can't possible describe this one with a straight-laced paragraph, as the idea is a tad inane. The kids are obnoxious, can't hold a camera without major movement and all are dumb as stumps. (Think Jackass – minus the brains!) So what about the actual stories on these tapes? How do the plethora of indie horror directors fare? The tales themselves are a mixed bag, with some bearable, but most with an affinity for going nowhere new. Every fad of late is represented and not always in a good way; the gal you shouldn't have picked up, a trip to the woods and even some paranormal internet fun. But the best of the bunch to come out of "V/H/S" is the eerie tale titled 10/31/98 about four friends who head out to a haunted house that turns out to be real. (The house effects are creepy!) Sadly, the worst within is a lame potboiler via Ti West (who I’m a fan of – what happened?) about a couple who gets terrorized during their honeymoon – letdown is an understatement.
I used to goof on folks that complained about the overuse of the whole first person camera and found footage thing, but after sitting through "V/H/S" I’m starting to understand their plight. I well aware that this is a horror film and a shaky cam and recycled ideas may scare the tots, but for those of us old enough to remember the actual famed rectangle home video format nothing beats an original and good-looking ghost story with minor tracking problems.
"V/H/S" OPENS OCT. 5 IN THEATERS FROM MAGNET RELEASING.
Cast: Joe Swanberg, Jas Sams, Jason Yachanain
Running Time: 116 Minutes
Release Company: Magnet Releasing