It was a good thing that the success of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY helped kill the gore fest horror movies like the SAW franchise. What followed was the return of ghost stories and scary spirits films. Too bad we've had maybe three or four good movies in this genre and the rest have been terrible PARANORMAL ACTIVITY knock offs.
V/H/S breaths new life in the found-footage horror genre. It's a horror anthology film much like CREEPSHOW and TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE. The found-footage gimmick comes into play by the movie centered around a group of hoodlums that go around filming mischief and sell the tapes for $50. The hoodlums are hired to break into a house to steal a tape. The break in is a success but they stumble upon a room with several televisions and vhs players. They split up with some searching for the tape and some watching the tapes laying around the room with the televisions. This segment is the wraparound that connects the anthology together.
The first tape shows a bunch of horny college boys hitting the clubs and bars hoping to get laid and capturing it on video with a secret camera. The boys get more than they bargained for when one of the girls they bring back to their hotel room is a real “woman of the night”.
Part of this segment if not all of it was filmed in Colombia, MO which was cool to notice. The gore was real impressive and accompanied the found-footage ascetic really well. The use of the secret camera was original too. A very strong start for an anthology film.
“Second Honeymoon” the title of the second tape was creepy and kept you in suspense of what was going to happen next. Shocking moments mixed with some dark humor from director Ti West makes this entry pretty cleaver.
I should mention that after every tape the movie goes back to what is happening in the house with the hoodlums. They start disappearing one after one until all whose left is the leader of the crew.
Okay, so now I forget what video actually came third, it might be the one called “Tuesday the 17th” which is about some teens driving to a lake somewhere in the woods. It's a slasher film segment which was good but I felt could have been better.
“The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger” was my least favorite segment. It's Paranormal Activity with Skype and a twist of lime.
The last video “10/31/98” was my favorite. A group of guys go looking for a party at a haunted house. This was the best segment. A lot of crazy stuff happens and it's the right amount of scary and cool.
I highly recommend V/H/S to anyone that loves horror movies. It breaths the much needed new life in found-footage horror. V/H/S could easily be the new October tradition with it's anthology format always leaving the door open for ideas.