The last movie on the found footage agenda for this week, is sadly the weakest in the lot, V/H/S. I had some hope going in, even though I knew most reviews were negative, but I was still hoping against hope, for some really creepy and gut wrenching stories. We may see some gut wrench, but I don’t see any creepy around these parts…
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: When a group of misfits is hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape, they discover more found footage than they bargained for.
V/H/S is a found footage movie, but also an anthology film and you know how I have anthology films. However, even with 6 stories, the movie lacks any sort of brilliant scares and gives us mostly pointless stories, with predictable and utterly asinine conclusions. Let’s cut each story down individually for easier digestion.
First up is the wrap around story, Tape 56. This story is directed by Adam Wingard and sets up the whole movie. A group of deviants are tasked with finding a certain V/H/S tape, in which once they find it, will be paid a lot for the delivery. So, they take some time out of their busy schedule of destroying shit, to go to the location of the tape. Once there, they find an old dead guy and a bunch of tapes. Each person watches a tape, which are the following 5 stories and once those are done, some strange and dumb shit happens. This one felt pretty lame, but it did an okay job of setting up our stories.
Next up is Amateur Night, directed by David Bruckner. This one I gotta admit I enjoyed. A group of guys, one who is wearing some glasses that have a hidden camera built into them, go on the prowl to find some woman, who they can tape having sex with. The guys pick up two girls, one of them a strange girl, who has a weird fascination with the camera/glasses wearing guy. After some nasty stuff, things take a turn for the completely strange and oddly enjoyable.
Third up is Second Honeymoon, directed by The Innkeepers director Ti West. Another one which I enjoyed, but was let done by the quickie and unsatisfactory ending. It tells of a story of a married couple going on a second honeymoon, when one night, some girl comes knocking on their hotel door, asking for a lift the next day. I can’t really say anymore without spoiling everything. The ending comes up quick and it’s pretty effective at being shocking, but lacks any sort of proper conclusion.
The forth story is Tuesday the 17th, directed by Glenn McQuaid. This is a short slasher, with an interesting killer, but once again, lacks any sort of story, save for a few snippets here and there. The quick gist of the story, is about a group of friends going out to the woods and a killer attacks. I wouldn’t say it was awful, but I think maybe this one would’ve worked a little better, with being a little longer. Also, the acting by some was pretty dreadful.
The fifth story (whew, almost there!), is The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger, directed by Joe Swanberg. Part ghost story, part messed up, this one does have some effective scares, but goes for the completely strange at the end (this movie seems to have a tendency to fall apart at the endings). It’s about a girl, who is chatting with her boyfriend and tells him that her place is haunted. Spooky stuff starts to happen and then even more spooky, yet dumb stuff happens.
The final story is 10/31/98, directed by Radio Silence. It’s Halloween and a group of friends are going to a party. They accidentally end up at the wrong house and the place has some interesting things in store for them, that is until the crappy ending. Argh!
The movie runs extremely long, 116 min, but would’ve been smarter to cut a few of the crappier stories and give us a little more on the good ones. Instead, each one takes a hit and the overall package suffers for it. Do I recommend V/H/S? In a way yes, as some of the stories are worth the watch, but I do have to give a little warning. Don’t expect anything amazing, but do expect to be let down with those shitty endings.