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This found-footage horror flick resolutely ignores any sort of "be kind, rewind" senisibility....
Magnolia / 116 Minutes / 2012 / Rated R / Street Date: December 4, 2012
It's perhaps unfair to go easy on a narratively loose (to say the least) found-footage horror film like V/H/S because of love of format, but simply experiencing a movie in faux-videocassette fashion provides more than just a nominal thrill here. Yes, this episodic gore-fest of a flick pretty much covers the same ground as a hundred other horror pictures do, but as someone who cut his chops on the whirring pan-and-scan wonder of VHS, it was fun to see the antiquated beast represented so thoroughly here.
In the movie, a team of rejects who usually just coerce dumb ladies to flash their boobies at their low-rent cameras get an invite from a rich, mysterious gentleman who hires them to storm a house out in the woods to steal a tape he says is his.
Our bumbling heroes find the place and break in, but what they find is a dead dude in a chair, and a mountain of TVs with VHS players plugged into them. As they watch each new tape, they're led into deeper and deeper worlds of weirdness - and of course while they're not watching movies, evil forces in the house start picking them off.
Having different directors helm each of the segments in V/H/S is a novel idea - filmmakers like Ti West, Joe Swanberg, and Glenn McQuaid all contribute - but as a full compilation, this one misses the mark a bit, especially considering the geeky retro slasher fun at the heart of its concept. No, the unfortunate thing about V/H/S is that at the end of the day, it plays like every other found-footage horror flick that came before it: there's potential here - and maybe even a couple legitimate scares - but the movie never makes good on it.