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V/H/S (DVD)

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Actors: Lane Hughes, John Walcutt, Lisa Marie Thomas, Kat Slatery / Directors: Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Adam Wingard / Format: PAL / Language: English / Subtitles: English / Classification: 18 / Studio: Momentum Pictures Home Ent / DVD Release Date: 28 Jan 2013 / Run Time: 116 minutes

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    2 Reviews
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      28.11.2013 16:46
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      Oh goody- just what we needed...another fake 'found' footage film.....

      VHS is a brave movie that got very mixed reviews upon release but that apparently did well at The Sundance Film festival and has had some critical acclaim. Amongst the ordinary film goers however, many people seem to support this reviewer's opinion in that it is an okay horror but really all just a bit, well.....blah.

      The film begins with a group of boys pulling silly pranks that border heavily on sexual molestation and are definitely criminal in nature and filming the results on camcorder. We then get glimpses of a naughty home video indicating that the events we are about to witness have been taped on someone's personal camcorder over an old tape.

      The boys are seen next breaking into an old house where they have been told to locate a missing VHS tape that is going to be used for blackmail purposes presumably. What they find is a dead guy in a chair and lots of tapes and televisions all playing static. Whilst the others split up to check out the rest of the house, one of the guys starts playing the tapes to see what is on them.

      The film is then split into five short horror tales, each new one being another piece of handheld footage as recorded on one of the tapes in the room. Each one supposedly more horrifying than the last....

      The problem I have with this is that none of the films are that scary. They are quite nasty and gory in places but that does not mean they are good and the whole 'found' footage thing has been done, and better, countless times before! They don' t interlink, have no connection to each other and just come over as a bit....we'll random.

      Firstly we se a group of guys out on the pull. One of them has a recorder hidden in his glasses with the idea that he will tape the boys all having sex without the girls knowing. But one of the bunch is not all it seems....this is about as good as it gets.

      Next up we see a group of teens out in the woods, one of which is a survivor of a brutal attack the year before. She tells the camera person "you are all going to die up here" and from then on the viewer is under no illusion about what is going to happen. In fact, it's all a bit predictable really...

      We then get a film about a young couple out on a road trip. In the night someone 'borrows' their camcorder and tapes themselves watching the couple sleep, steals money from the guys wallet and rubs a knife along the girls panties. When the visitor returns the next night several miles distant, this time the visit ends a lot nastier...

      Next up is a cam recording between one guy, a doctor, and a dear friend of his presumably who has no hesitation about flashing her breasts across the ether but is complaining of a strange bruise on her arm. When she starts to pick at it, you will be quite literally left squirming but that's not all. Strange events are happening in her house that she cannot explain....

      Finally we get another tale about a group of boys out for a good time. They end up at the wrong house whilst looking for a Halloween party, one of them is dressed as a bear with a nanny cam inside hence the footage, and decide to enter anyway. Cue lots of strange happenings leading to a quite brutal ending....

      Back at the original house, the last of the guys comes upstairs looking for his friends. They are all gone including the dead guy in the chair. All that is left is the televisions still showing static and the rest of the videotapes. As he goes looking for his friends, we the viewers are given our final scare in the story that frames this anthology .....and I use the term scare loosely. Let's try another like predictable twist instead....except it's not really a twist if you kind of know what's coming....

      I had heard a few things about this film and loved the concept. The cover screams out how terrifying this is and I expected something in the level of {rec}. No chance - that is setting the bar way too high! Think something along the lines of a gorier nastier Blair witch and you are closer. There is nothing truly original here, the film gets tedious around the half way mark, if not before, and it really isn't well executed at all.

      Apparently the sequel is better but this is just like paranormal activity all over again with lots of separate stories just building up to familiar scares! I have seen similar stuff filmed so much better than this that the whole thing is a bitter disappointment.

      The idea behind the central plot is a good one in theory and clever - in reality though it doesn't pay off. It is also the only original bit about the film....

      Will I bother with VHS 2 ? Maybe is the answer to that but only if it is cheap. This cost me £3 and I almost begrudge that!

      Scary - no. Original - yes in bits. Nasty - well sometimes and it is not for the faint hearted as there is graphic horror violence and swearing depicted.

      But is it as good as it wants to be? Definitely no!

      Watch this only if you have nothing else to watch. It's okay....but not what I could honestly call good and still hold my head up high as a reviewer.

      3 / 5 for the concept and attempt at originality.

      But to give this more would be a mis carriage of reviewing!!!!

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      • More +
        03.09.2013 15:44
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        certainly not the best film that I have watched

        Film Only Review

        ~V/H/S~

        Released : 2012
        Certificate : 18
        Running Time : 116 minutes
        Main Directors : Ti West, Adam Wingard and Glenn McQuaid

        V/H/S is based around a group of guys who are fond of filming their crimes on video tapes. The group are hired by an unknown person to burgal a house and steal a specific V/H/S tape which but when they arrive, they discover a dead guy in the house and a lot of tapes. The tapes are watched one by one and the group discover that the tapes are actually short 'horror' films illustrating some disturbing behaviour. All is not as it seems.

        The cast features a lot of unknown (to me personally) actors but I will name a few here..

        *Calvin Reeder - Gary (tape 56)
        *Hannah Fierman - Lily (Amateur Night)
        *Drew Moerlein - Joey (Tuesday the 17th)

        This DVD can currently be bought from Amazon priced at £4.75.

        ~My Thoughts~

        I will keep this quite brief as to be honest, this film wasn't brilliant but it wasn't awful either. As a horror/thriller fanatic, I decided to watch this with my fiance a few nights ago but I did feel a bit deflated after it was finished. The film is mostly filmed on various hand held video cameras which is rather annoying. I'm not really in to amateur movie type films to be fair and didn't really know to expect this when I switched the film on. The camera work is very shaky throughout which I personally find distracting and difficult to watch. The video jumps around quite a bit too.

        Anyway, this film really wasn't what I expected. The group of criminals aren't particularly likeable as you would expect. The start of the film shows them in action commiting petty crimes including trashing buildings, graffiti and harrasing young women by groping them in public and filming it. There is a lot of swearing from the beginning and also some sexual scenes hence the appropriate 18 age certificate. V/H/S is a very slow starter and I was quite bored and unimpressed with the first 30 minutes or so. It did pick up pace when the group reached the house and discovered the tapes but to be fair, I spent most of the film wondering what was actually going on.

        The anthology of horror films leave a lot to be desired and there is little to no connection between the stories which makes the film even more confusing. I think the plot idea may have been good but it wasn't executed very well at all and the acting wasn't amazing. There are five tapes (excluding the actual group footage) in total featuring different actors who I have personally never noticed any other 'decent' films before. The tapes vary in length and there is someone different watching each tape as the previous watcher is no where to be found. The video tapes are all self-filmed in different settings including dingy motel rooms.

        'Amateur Night' focusses around three guys who want to have some sexual fun in a motel room with two girls. Clint, a rather geeky addition to the group, is seen recording the event with a hidden camera in his glasses. One of the girls, Lily, is not as she seems. I had a feeling that something wasn't quite right with her from the moment the guys met her but I was quite shocked by the event that follows. This was probably one of the better stories but quite difficult to watch. There is a full frontal sexual scene so not something you would want to watch with your parents. The acting in this footage is so-so. The guys are typical American Jocks with one thing on their mind - sex.

        'Second Honeymoon' features a married couple staying in a hotel but their second honeymoon doesn't go to plan and we soon discover that it is not a truthful relationship. Nothing particularly special and a little confusing in the end. 'Tuesday the 17th' is quite poorly acted in my opinion. Wendy encourages three friends in to the woods with the idea of using them as bait to lure an 'unseen except through a camera lens' killer. The acting is so poor and fake. Very unrealistic and boring to be fair.

        'The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger' - more poorly acted footage. Emily is convinced her apartment is haunted and discusses this with her boyfriend James over webcam. Within saying too much, this is not your average relationship and is quite disturbing to see what could be right under your nose without you actually realising it. The acting is rubbish especially the so-called 'scary children'. Just awful. Finally we have '10/31/98' which wasn't too bad but could have been better. Four guys are off to a house for a Halloween party but interupt something more disturbing. Thinking they are doing a good turn to help, they are met with a terrible fate.

        ~Final Thoughts~

        By the time the final video had finished, I was rather bored as was my fiance. With the mysterious disappearances of the guys in the house, I had a pretty good idea of how the film would finally end and I was right as it had became very predictable. The idea of different short horror films is appealing to me in general but it simply didn't play out on this film. If there had been a more noticeable connection between the stories then I feel the film would have been better. There is nothing particularly gripping about this film which is disappointing. There isn't really any soundtrack to speak of and the film appears to be very cheaply made and put together.

        The stories weren't long enough for me to build up any sort of feeling for any of the characters which is negative aspect as I like to get to know a films characters but I just couldn't get engrossed in this film well at all. It isn't the worst film I have ever watched as there were a few scare moments but it could have been much better. I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again but it may be worth just the one watch if you are interested and could pick it up second hand or mega cheap.

        I feel that two stars is a little harsh as it isn't awful so three stars is a bit fairer.

        Thanks for reading :)

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