July 12, 2012

V/H/S Review

     On Wednesday July 11th, the Toronto After Dark Film Festival presented a summer screening and the Canadian premier of the horror film V/H/S. The movie was a sellout and it received a great reception from the audience. As of right now there is no Canadian theatrical release planned but it is scheduled for a limited release in the USA on October 5th, 2012, and on VOD in late August.

     The movie is made up completely from found footage, which after the Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity 1, 2 & 3, Cloverfield, Super 8, The Zombie Diaries, [REC] 1 & 2, Diary Of The Dead, Quarantine, The Last Exorcism, Apollo 18, The Troll Hunter, Chronicle and Project X some people may be getting tired of. However, unlike some of the previously mentioned films, the found footage concept is integral to the story of this movie.

     The concept of the film (without revealing any spoilers) revolves around a bunch of scummy hipster d-bags who are hired to steal a VHS tape from an old man's house. While in the house the group finds a bunch of tapes and plays several of them to find the one they were sent to steal. Each tape played is a separate film from a different director who was instructed to make a short (roughly 20 minute) horror movie using the found film genre. During the course of the anthology there are 5 tapes played in addition to the wraparound story that features the home invasion.

     The film works well because unlike many horror films where you sit around for an hour and a half waiting for something scary to happen for 3 minutes, the various directors of the V/H/S anthology only have about 20 minutes each to create their story and deliver the horror resulting in a nice fast pace. Some of the stories are better than others but they are all very good. I won't describe the short films for fear of spoiling some of the movie. The features have a nice mix of horror and some genuinely funny moments to break up the tension.

     I'm not convinced that the film is one that needs to be seen in a theatre as I believe it would be just as effective on the small screen. However, if you are a horror fan I would definitely suggest seeing this movie in some form. I give V/H/S a 9/10

     Check the trailer out!

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