V/H/S – Raw Review

Old School Horror That Surprises.

Horror movie anthology where robbers view video tapes with death, monsters, murder, and killers.

I have to admit, I stayed away from seeing V/H/S for a long time. The volume of ultra-terrible low budget horror out there makes it difficult to sift through everything in search of those rare nuggets of gold. Guess I’m just getting old. I know it’s always been this way but time is more precious than it used to be, mainly because there isn’t as much of it to watch movies.
V/H/S surprised the hell out of me. Adam Wingard is credited with directing one of the short films, and given the awesome job he did on You’re Next perhaps it’s not as surprising this film has some genuinely good moments.

The movie isn’t perfect, or even great, but several of the mini-stories are really well done and mindblowing. The film is an anthology. We the audience follow a group of scumbags as they burglarize a house.

sex blood murder monster college party guys get eaten by naked girl

The house is creepy (which doesn’t seem to bother these guys at all, making them even scummier) and as they look for the item they’re to steal they come across a room full of TVs and VHS cassettes. Naturally the groups first notion is to sit and watch the tapes, presumably in the hope of finding something of value.
haunted apartment with horrible little alien monsters and a plot twist that  is killer
From there we get a series of short films, all hand-cam. This is where the movie really shines. We get a series of stories ranging from sex monster to homicidal lover to serial killer to alien something or other and haunted house. Some of the films are better than others but each has its own unique style and voice. All of them are violent, and all of them are bloody.

So is it worth seeing?

Surprisingly, yes. Yes it is. The arc story isn’t done very well and one short story is too long and boring for the payoff, but the sex monster, serial killer and haunted house clips are well worth your time.

serial killer who cannot be filmed kills college kids in woods with a knife

What’s an anthology?

A collection of stories. In this case short movies. It works well in V/H/S because flash horror doesn’t require structure, logic, or resolution. We don’t know where the tapes came from or why, we just enjoy the them.

Is this a good date movie?

V/H/S actually could be a good date movie. It’s hip and fresh, has a lot of young college characters in it, and a nice blend of sex/nudity/violence.

So is the whole movie hand-cam (shaky-cam)?

Yeah it is, and I’m sure that will turn some people off, but if you can handle hand-cam (even if it’s not your favorite filming style) and like low-budget horror that’s fun then give it a shot.

college party group stumble into a haunted house with human sacrifice and horrible death
“Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…”

Is there CGI?

Probably, but all the blood and gut scenes looked like props and latex to me. Bonus points for that!

What the hell is a V/H/S tape?

It’s like Betamax only larger and with less quality. VHS won the video cassette format war… Just like Blu-ray won the HD disc war against HD DVDLaserdisc?
I’m getting too freakin old.

2 thoughts on “V/H/S – Raw Review

  1. You've hit on the key aspect of all three V/H/S films — the interesting anthology stories marred somewhat by a weaker wrap-around delivery package. But when those individual films work, they make up for other shortcomings. I've seen all three of these films, and they all carry the same positives and minuses. Some of the special effects are quite good, very similar to those used so effectively in Chronicle, Afflicted, and Wer. And yes, House of the Devil is another very good little indie genre film.

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