Haiku Revu: V/H/S
21 Apr 2013 - Nic Ho Chee
My haiku review of V/H/S:
five house breakers and,
A long dead man in a chair?
Horror film engage!
A found footage skit opens to a group of broken souled child-men trying to shoot first person violation videos through the assault of random women in car parks. After uploading the captures to their website they are given the chance to make more money by invading a house and stealing a mysterious tape for an unknown benefactor. On breaking in they find a long dead man polluting a La-Z-Boy chair and rooms full of dusty cassettes which they must sift through to uncover their payout. Putting the first tape into a player they create the medium of delivery for the horror anthology to play out.
Split across five short stories, V/H/S shows us images of a world where dark winged fiends feed in suburban bars, strange alien chameleons stalk people that should know better, road trips go wrong, people can Skype the dead, and finally a search for a party can turn into terror filled escapes from many-angled ones. All the while, the child-men are whittled down until we see the conclusion of their money grabbing cassette hunt.
The horror story anthology format has delivered some strong films over the years, with pieces such as Creepshow and Black Sabbath making my list of Top 50 Horror movies. Given some of the blog coverage before release I'd been hoping for something that hit the high points of a Black Sabbath. There were certainly some amazing touches, at one point there is a panicked flight from a possessed house which reconfigures itself to hamper the escapees that has to be one of the best executed scenes I've seen in a flick. On the whole however, I was left a little disappointed; the interstitial story of hoodlums ransacking a dead man's house was tepid and didn't suit the chosen found footage format, with the first and last stories which were noticeably stronger, bookending much poorer efforts from Ti West and Glenn McQuaid. Its a shame as the lead in showing a bar crawl gone wrong worked superbly, if all the sections were of this calibre the film would be a corker.
As horror mix-tapes go, you may want to fast forward through the middle section. I'm giving this an-unfortunately-average-but-definitely-check-out-the-bookends no thumbs up.
Red band trailer, so lots of swearing and a lickle bit of gore.