Member Name: angelboouk
Advantages: the odd scare, the idea is good, some okay stories
Disadvantages: some poor acting, distracting camera movements, no story connection
Film Only Review
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.
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.
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 :)
Summary: certainly not the best film that I have watched