***Warning – may contain spoilers***
V/H/S seems to have created quite the buzz in the horror community and I myself could not wait to check it out. I watched it last night with a group of friends. Here are my thoughts.
I will be honest and admit that I find anthologies tough to summarize but I will do my best here. This movie is a nice kick in the ass for the genre and I am crossing my fingers that it will gather even more attention and recognition. The main thing I hope is that through its limited theatrical release it scares the shit out of movie-goers.
The main story involves a group of degenerates going around causing all sorts of mischief, including breaking into different properties and molesting women while video taping their twisted perverted acts. These dirt bags eventually break into a home where they know an old man resides. They find the man dead on a chair and find a bunch of video tapes which contain the different stories within this film. Between stories, this main story arc continues and things get real interesting towards the end but I won’t spoil it for you. The film makers of V/H/S did a fine job of keeping the main story flowing well and making it interesting in between the different videos.
The first entry titled Amateur Night has three guys armed with a secret spy cam in one of the guys’ eye glasses in order to film “upskirt” shots of women when they head out on the town, with the ultimate goal of taking these women back to their room for some amateur porn action. Things get absolutely crazy when one of the women they pick up seems to be more than slightly disturbed even when they first meet her. Thus the line that will one day be considered iconic in the world of horror fandom was born: “I like you.”
This entry was easily my favourite of all of the ones in V/H/S. Hannah Fierman who plays the character of Lily absolutely steals the entire show with her stunning performance. I hope to see her in many more roles in the future.
The second story, Second Honeymoon, sees a married couple going on their second honeymoon. A stranger visits them at night and the twist that occurs at the end of this video was shocking and bloody as all hell.
Tuesday the 17th, the third video, is a neat title but to me it is probably the weakest entry in V/H/S. The setup for it seemed like it was headed into a fun, straightforward direction, but it left me feeling like more could have been done with it. The characters and environment they found themselves in were cliche-ridden, but this is not why I thought it was less interesting than the other entries, I just found it to be slightly predictable.
The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger, provided plenty of chills and a real sinister twist. The web cam communication between a couple was done well, with the background hauntings executed beautifully, providing some of the scarier moments in V/H/S.
10/31/98 contained two elements I have always been a fan of in horror films: Halloween season and exorcisms/demonic possessions. What they thought was going to be a fun Halloween house party, turned out to be a hellish night of extreme terror. This one capped things off strongly before the main story arc’s conclusion.
All in all I must say V/H/S met the expectations I had heading into it. It shows that there is quite a bit of life yet remaining in found-footage horror; this one being right up there as one of the best, if not, THE best in this sub-category. I’m cheering loudly for this to do well and get the props it deserves.