When a group of petty criminals is hired by a mysterious party to retrieve a rare piece of found footage from a rundown house in the middle of nowhere, they soon realize that the job isn’t going to be as easy as they thought.
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V/H/S was a pretty cool anthology that didn't force you to spend a significant amount of time with any of its 2-dimensional, unlikable, vapid characters. I liked the way the segments were shot even if its going to result in the movie being a punchline within 10 years.
The wraparound segment jumpstarts this hit-and-miss anthology film well, even if its story isn't interesting in itself. V/H/S only hits with Bruckner's opener, being the only properly constructed and effective short, and is as tense as his section of 2007's The Signal. West's entry ends before it gets going, Swanberg's segment is a good idea turned silly, McQuaid's feels rushed, and Radio Silence's isn't well drawn.
I was surprised! Though I prefer the sequel, this movie still contained some beautifully delivered terror within its glitch/lo-fi aesthetic. Yes, the middle three shorts are a little lame and its pacing is a little off, but it didn't ruin the overall experience. Maybe I'm easy to please but I'm kinda in love with this series!
Studio horror directors would do well to pay attention to this horror anthology, which collects "found footage" short films by Adam Wingard, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, and Radio Silence into a truly creepy package, centered around a group of thugs who break into a house to steal a VHS tape, only to be surprised by what the tapes they find contain. A mixed bag, but extremely effective low budget horror.
I think what works the most for me in V/H/S is the gleefully twisted humor of the contempt for humanity. Despite the inexcusably poor third film and the boring narrative that strings this all along, the horror seems to be more in the celebration of cheese instead of austere handling of what is ultimately nonsensical, absurd garbage. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for 2 hours of trashy hoots.
Kudos for Ti West's segment and the way the whole thing manages to work as a collage of some of the genre's most fun sub-genres. Unfortunately there's not real narrative putting everything together and all in all it's not even that scary. Kind of a let-down.
The opening and closing sequences aren't particularly memorable, while the middle three shorts are quite favorable. A mixed bag. Good style, good directing, but in the scheme of horror anthologies trying to pay homage to the past, I sort of prefered "Chillerama."