Monday, August 19, 2013

V/H/S - QC Review

Directed byTi West, David Bruckner, Joe Swanberg, plus 7 more...
Starring:  Hannah Fierman, Sophia Takal, Joe Swanberg and Daniel Kaufman
Rated: R  
Runtime: 1 hour 56 minutes  
Release Date: October 5, 2012

The horror anthology genre has always been a mixed bag. Usually using the philosophy of quantity over quality, these films rarely rise above even their strongest entry. Going as far back as the Creepshow films, The Tales of the Darkside movie, Two Evil Eyes and countless other multi-story horror film offerings, you will be lucky if you come out of the experience with even one of the short stories being worth your while.

V/H/S is no different in this regard. Besides adding the questionable use of the 'found footage' genre, this particular anthology follows along the same tried and true lines of those other horror "classics", flaws and all. However, that means that out of the 6 different short films offered, you are at least guaranteed one, maybe two good shorts, a decent or at least interesting short and a handful of just plain bad or miscalculated shorts. If those numbers sound good to you, then this should be right up your alley.

While the film as a whole has its fair share of issues, it at least bookends itself really well with the two best shorts appearing at the beginning and the end of the film. The first of which features a group a friends who pick up some girls and take them back to their motel room for an enlightening experience. The short that concludes the film is also about a group of friends, but this time they are searching for a Halloween party and end up at the wrong address which leads them into some unpleasant discoveries.

A least successful short but interesting and strangely effective one is called Second Honeymoon which revolves around this married couple who are on a road trip. There isn't any real story to this one and an ambiguous ending that is more shocking in its ability to be unnerving more so than its ability to be legitimately scary or shockingly violent. This is the one short that will have couples thinking twice random encounters on a road trip.

The other shorts are sadly not up to par. One features a woman who is constantly on video chat with her boyfriend which is hindered immediately by a poor performance from the boyfriend and an overtly silly reveal. Another features a group of friends who go out to a forest and are stalked by a killer which is the only short to be a total failure simply because it is impossible to tell what is going on with the horrible use of shaky cam and casting the worst actors possible. Lastly, the hub story is a total mess and quite honestly the worst one of the bunch, featuring something about these guys scouring this house for a special tape. Horrible and completely underdeveloped.

So there you have it, even after all these years the pattern is still the same. Just enough good to outweigh the bad and none good enough to truly stand on their own. If you are a fan of anthologies then you are likely to enjoy V/H/S for those merits alone, but if you are looking for something with depth and a bit higher quality acting, then you might be better off with a standard single movie feature.




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