Written & Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Tyler Gillette, Justin Martinez, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Chad Villella, Ti West, and Adam Wingard
Starring: Adam Wingard, Calvin Reeder, Kentucker Audley, Lane Hughes, Joe Swanberg
A POV, found footage horror film from the perspective of America’s top genre filmmakers. A group of misfits are hired by an unknown third-party to burglarize a desolate house in the countryside and acquire a rare tape. Upon searching the house, the guys are confronted with a dead body, a hub of old televisions and an endless supply of cryptic footage, each video stranger than the last.
V/H/S is a perfect formula. Take a few up and coming writer/directors and turn them loose to make a found footage horror anthology – everybody wins. Sticking tight to its indie roots, V/H/S reminds us how intimate and effective this genre can be if done correctly. This film doesn’t pull the camera away when the big moments hit. The cameraman doesn’t scream and flee in terror, instead we get a disturbing firsthand look at it. No punches are pulled and I love it. Horror fans are always so thankful when the film makers don’t dumb shit down or go with cheap thrills. Want to really mess with our heads? Make us think, make us put ourselves in the protagonists’ shoes.
Three small time crooks are hired to break into a house and steal a special vhs tape. Once they arrive, they find a dead man in a recliner surrounded by televisions. One at a time the tapes are found, compelling our burglars to frame the film with their story within a story. Something as innocuous as the blue screen of a television and the white text of PLAY can get your blood pumping. The segments include a wide range of horror, spanning everything from douchebaggy college guys getting more than they expect in a gore-soaked double date gone wrong, to a classic cabin in the woods tale that gives us a new spin on the crazed camp murderer scenario, to a “haunted” Skype session that is too comfortable with betrayal. Evil is definitely going on.
For the most part, I really enjoyed the six heart-pounding segments, some were better than others, but don’t let a couple that wear out their welcome discourage you – V/H/S is a fantastic anthology that helps perfect the roots of the very genre they pull inspiration from. Required fall viewing. Don’t forget to adjust your tracking.