Thursday, August 23, 2012

Who uses vhs tapes anymore?

V/H/S (2012)

Greetings, your pal Kendrick K. Bucklesworth here.  Okay, so I know that to this day there are still quite a few people who continue to use vhs tapes.  I for one made it a point to start buying up dvds as soon as they had gotten big.  Not necessarily to be cool, or keep up with the times.  I just didn't trust vhs tapes, or the vcrs they went into.  I had many tapes get eaten up by vcrs, which got a little too frustrating. 

Oh, it's amazing how I slightly lose track of the topic and start talking about things that relate to my past.  You're all here to hear about movies, and whether or not you should watch them.  Well, let's dive in then.  This is the review for V/H/S. 

This is of course the first of two trailers I mentioned in my Trailer Trash #2 post a little while back. The film was first showcased at the 2012 Sundance Festival, where it had a huge effect on people.  There were reports of fainting, vomiting, and even a guy collapsing into a seizure from watching it.  Since I had nothing of the sort happen to me, it's clear that I'm almost disturbingly desensitized to horror. 

So, to the plot: a group of small time criminals are hired to break into a mansion to steal a vhs tape.  They are told that they'll know which tape it is, but they find that there are a number of tapes in the house.  Since none of the tapes seem to stand out, the burglars decide to watch each tape in hope that they'll find the correct one.  Thus beginning the anthology part of the flick.  Oh, I should point out that in front of the tv is a dead guy sitting in a chair (presumably the owner of the house) , and one of the guys decide to sit on front of the corpse and watch the videos.  Now I understand that in the real world, the dead don't come back to life (at least not yet), but I would still feel very uncomfortable with a dead guy in the room.  I'd have to at least move him out into the hallway, or the closet, or somewhere that's not the same room I'm watching videos in.  But hey, that's just me.

So, the anthology itself consists of five different stories (not counting the main story of searching for the right vhs tape), and as I mentioned in the T.T post, each story has a different director attached.  And it shows, as each story definitely has its own unique feel to them.  Here is a quick description of the stories: 

#1)  Three friends go to a bar to get drunk and pick up some women.  The plan goes smoothly at first, but their night turns into blood-soaked insanity.

#2)  A couple taking a road trip to the Grand Canyon is having a pleasant enough time.  But a stranger knocking on their motel room door and leaving late one night is just the beginning of strange things happening.

#3)  Four friends who take a trip in the woods are threatened by an unseen presence.  (As we all know, according to Hollywood nothing good ever comes from being in the woods).

#4)  A woman who believes her house is haunted, attempts to record proof through her webcam to show her boyfriend (who's away in medical school) via Skype.

#5)  Friends on their way to a stranger's Halloween party find when they arrive that nobody appears to be there.  As they search the house they discover that there is someone there, but not who (or what) they expected.

I enjoyed the hell out of this movie.  As I expected from the trailer, it was genuinely creepy.  And while I found video #2 to be probably the weakest of the anthology, it didn't really take away from the overall fun.
There was also some pretty creative ideas here and there (such as video #4 done entirely in Skypevision). 

Complaints are few.  As you'd expect from a found footage flick, there is a fair amount of shaky cam action.  And even though I've ranted about shaky cam, in a movie such as this it's kind of expected.  I mean, the first video had the camera hidden in a pair of glasses.  Another thing was that they did quite a bit of those tracking lines you would see in vhs tapes back in the day.  It was cool to try and make it accurate, but they kinda went a little overboard here and there.

So, in the end, you need to go and see it.  It's on Video on Demand starting August 31st, and it has a limited release in theatres on October 5th. Until next time.

Movie scale: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Found footage/anthology scale: 4 out of 5 stars

-K.K.B, still not liking vhs tapes.

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