Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Here's the situation as I see it.  Time is short, Halloween is around the corner, you have a film company, you don't have a lot of money and you need a horror movie.  Found Footage!  Hell yes.  Shaky cam, poor lighting, unknown actors and we're golden.  Dammit!  Time is really short.  Found Footage… anthology!  Double hell yes!  Thus we have today's horror anthology, which is all found footage all the time and it's called V/H/S.  We've seen some gawdawful horror anthologies and found footage movies but thankfully, V/H/S isn't one of these awful movies, though as you might imagine some stories are better than others.

Director Adam Wingard (Pop Skull) leads things off with the wraparound, or the base story 'Tape 56' which features some thugs driving around town with a VHS camera filming themselves doing rotten things.   Ultimately these thugs are contracted to break into a house and retrieve a VHS tape, but what they find is an old dude dead in his easy chair surrounded by TV's and damn if these TV's aren't really creepy.  Personally, I'd have left but then I'd realize I'm in a horror movie and I have to stay.  Hey, let's sit in front of the old dead guy and press 'PLAY' on his VCR.

Amateur Night: David Bruckner (The Signal).  Some crazy fratboys are partying and they put of pair of sexy specs on the geeky one of the crew that doubles as a hidden camera.  Crazy... like a fox!  It's  wild night, they find a couple of hotties including the super weird looking Lily (Hannah Fierman) whose eyes look to be far too large for her face, and damn if that's not a special effect because that's just the way this young lady looks.  The party is going good, the ladies look ready to give it up, but one passes out leaving just the quiet, demure but admittedly weird Lily to service the fellas.  I don't want to spoil it for you, but that Lily really knows how to ruin a party.  We liked this story.
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Second Honeymoon: Ti West (The Innkeepers).  Sam and Steph have been together for a while and are taking a road trip to somewhere with Steph videotaping this trip.  Sam and Steph are boring me to death.  At the motel an unknown woman knocks on the door and Sam gets rid of her.  Sort of.  Not really.  Somehow she gets in the motel room and messes with these guys shining the video camera light in their face while they sleep.  Sam and Steph can obviously sleep through anything.  Sam and Steph do some more stuff that bores me until something really strange happens that probably could've used a bit more explanation, but that would mean spending more time with Sam and Steph.  We don't want that.  We didn't care for this one.

Tuesday the 17th: Glenn McQuaid (I Sell the Dead).  Some crazy kids are heading out to the backwoods for some fun in the sun where I'm sure there's no cell phone reception.  We'll mainly concern ourselves with Wendy (Norma C. Quinones) who is as hot as a firecracker, but tells her friends during their walk in the woods that they are all gonna die.  That kind of puts a damper on the whole hotness thing.  Wendy wasn't lying about this, but what is it that's killing these friends of hers?  Beats the hell out me.  We kind of liked this little slasher styled vignette, but the short format wasn't doing this sketchy story any favors.

The Sick Thing that Happened to Emily when she was Younger: Joe Swanberg (Alexander the Last).  Don't know what to tell you about this particular little story other than it was arguably the best one all around, considering the format.  Swanberg used the short format effectively, in the sense I can't imagine this being much longer.  The story was sketchy, of course, but the open ended nature seemed to work because it left some room for the viewers imagination to go wild.  And Swanberg squeezed as many large titties in his segment, and it wasn't gratuitous either.  I mean it was, like the story wouldn't have been any less effective if there were no titties, but the inclusion of titties flowed organically.  Right?  Regardless, this story is difficult to describe so we're not going to even try.

'10/31/98': Radio Silence.  Hell if we know who they are.  This one is the most complete story of the bunch.  No muss, no fuss, straight forward, beginning, middle and end.  Just recognize that if you happen upon some dudes flogging some chick and they yell at you to leave, but they don't attack you for witnessing what they are doing.  Casually ignoring the fact that people are occasionally involuntarily flying around the room during this flogging and the floor often comes alive sucking these people in, chances are this chick is probably deserving of this flogging and rescue should be out of the question.  I'm just saying.  Very enjoyable, if not a predictable little story.

Wingard's story is always in between the other stories, stitching them all together, as one by one these thugs are disappearing in the process.  Personally I wouldn't watch TV in the dark with my back turned to a guy that's allegedly dead.  But again… that's just crazy old me.  'V/H/S' was pretty solid all things considered.  100 minutes worth of shaky cam, bad lighting and suspect acting in spots does tend to grate on a nerve a little bit, but it was still a pretty good watch.
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