V/H/S Review

Movie: V/H/S
By: Maniac E
Date: September 27, 2012

This Collection is Killer

After sitting through several nausea-inducing found footage films and numerous missed opportunities for anthologies, a horror fan is justified to have speculations with a film that combines both techniques. Well, give it one more chance because V/H/S offers a surprisingly impressive and creative example of independent horror filmmaking.

The plot is very simple but very complicated. A POV, found footage horror film from the perspective of America's top genre filmmakers. A group of misfits are hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house in the countryside and acquire a rare tape. Upon searching the house, the guys are confronted with a dead body, a hub of old televisions and an endless supply of cryptic footage, each video stranger than the last.


V/H/S is clocking around 2 hours and I aren't the found footage enthusiast, bottom-line. The movie is split up in 6 parts and each part has its good points although the first 3 are very very similar. There is a plus point to this all and that is that most of the movie parts don't need the biggest character development. Like I said all the parts have some nice aspects and some nice scares but the problem is there aren't enough of those moments. With the time frame and no character building it is hard to keep your mind on the movie. At some point I just got a bit sick of the camera wiggling and jumping up and down, 2 hours are just stretching what can be possible with this effect.


The filmmakers wisely choose to leave many details out, dropping us into stories that have long-since hit the ground running, giving us only enough exposition-laced dialogue to let us form our own conclusions, and often the parts are left partially unresolved. Exactly like you'd expect found footage to be. It's bold and risky, and some will find it confusing, but it couldn't be more perfect for found footage movies. But in the end I expected a lot more of it. But there is a big plus for the male audience almost every female in the movie shows us at least her boobs.


The success of any anthology weighs heavily on narrative variety and pacing. While the storylines don't always need to interweave themselves, a la Trick 'r Treat, they need to be individually surprising and fluid. The narrative structure of V/H/S is well conceived and, without spoiling any of the surprises, offers a little bit of everything for all genre fascinations. There is also a nice balance that is achieved between the usual horror film elements; specifically gore offset by frights and vice versa. Another delightful aspect is the seamless use of practical film and computer generated effects to assist in development of the atmosphere of many of the segments.


If you like found footage movies this is a must see, are you a horror movie addict you can see it, but nothing will be anything new to you. Give it a shot maybe you will like it, for me I am just tired of the found footage stuff. Every time it's the same thing there is just no real point in most of them and it's the same thing with V/H/S. It's a shame but I guess I have to be a bit harsh on this. The parts where it is good, are the parts that you can truly enjoy the movie but its too little too less. Nice try hopefully one day a good found footage movie will turn up.



Image quality

There's really no point here in a traditional "picture quality" review, as the individual episodes were varyingly shot on low-res camcorders, VHS, spy- glasses, and the like. The imperfections and there are many of them are the whole point. Blurriness, fuzziness, dropped frames, sudden glitches, banding, macro-blocking, crushed shadows, soupy gray shadows, dim highlights, blown-out highlights just about every video-related PQ quirk you can possibly imagine is present, and usually several at once. What I'm bummed about is the inauthenticity; many of these "faults" have been obviously and needlessly exaggerated in post-production.


Likewise, considering the film's lo-fi premise, you shouldn't expect the usual bombastic, expertly mixed horror movie sound design from V/H/S' lossless DTS-HD Master Audio track. That said, I'm 100% positive that none of the episodes relied solely on in-camera sound capturing. Instead of going strictly for realism mono audio, or, at the best, stereo each segment is opened up for a full 5.1 presentation.


Some commentary stuff and a little making of is on the disc but thats about it.


The movie it self was a bit of a let down, the bluray disc itself is one that is good but nowhere near great thanks to the way the movie has been filmed.







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