Overlooked Film of the Week-#27
Back in July I reviewed "V/H/S/2" a sequel to this movie, a movie I really enjoyed. Now in October, I felt it would be appropriate to take a look at the film that started it all.
As I sat down to watch "V/H/S" for the first time, I thought I was going to hate it. I thought the found footage genre was going downhill and I have never really liked anthology films. I always thought anthologies were dead-end narratives, but I read so many good things about "V/H/S" that I decided to give it a try. I am glad I did too, because it is yet another example of found footage done right. It also allows the anthology film to flourish. Each mini-film is absolutely terrifying, filled with images that will get under your skin faster than you can blink. It also features a wrap-around story that weird yet engaging in equal measure.
At first, it was hard for me to settle into the rhythms of "V/H/S," simply because I had no idea where any of it would go. As the film starts, we keep jumping between a couple making love, a group of thugs assaulting a woman and the same thugs destroying a house under construction. Its strange at first, but we eventually learn that the thugs record their criminal activities and sell them to the highest bidder. The thugs recently get hired by a mysterious employer to retrieve a video tape in an old house. The contents of the video tape is never revealed to the gang, which makes them hesitant at first to look for it. But with big money involved, the gang couldn't resist.
As the thugs break into the house, they see that it is full of old tapes, stacks and stacks of video tapes. They then start looking through each tape to find the one their hired to recover. Which leads us to anthology. Each film feels very unique, and I loved how each film utilizes technology for horror. I never expected tape tracking to ever be involved in a horror film, but it is cleverly used in "V/H/S." I think the first segment, called "Amateur Night," is severely freaky. Jas Sams will haunt your dreams, her work is the highlight of entire movie.
The segments are directed by Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, and Joe Swamberg. The last segment of the movie is directed by the quartet group known as Radio Silence. The film uses the old VHS format very well. The film would have been creepy on its own, but what gives the entire production that extra bit of creepiness is the old VHS look. It works very well and makes this film strong.
October is almost over, so you better track this one down before the month ends.