Saturday, October 6, 2012
It's time! It's time!
The HORROR SHOW changed clothes, hung the robe on the hook and shock the dust off the outside coat. Slipping into shoes, I ventured out into the world...to see a NEW horror film. In the theater. Outside of the house!
V/H/S. What a wild ride. Felt like...a roller coaster. One where stuff was tossed at you as you ride!
NOTE: If you can avoid watching the trailer, do so. You'll be better off. I found myself wishing I had not watched the trailer...over and over again. :) But, that's the nature of trailers.
We have a collection of stories here. An all "cinema verité" style anthology, so if you get sick from shakes, avoid this one or take your Dramamine before seeing it. There's a whole lotta shakin' goin' on.
We have a classic set up. A group of thugs get hired to go snag a VHS tape from an old man's house. How many tapes? Just one. One, small VHS tape from an old man. How hard can that be? Difficult when there are many to choose from. Which is the right one? Better watch some...and check 'em out.
Five...was it five? Stories. The stories roll and we slip from "watching" various tapes to seeing what our thug buddies are up to in the old man's place. I'm a sucker for this setup when done correctly and V/H/S nails it. The last film I saw that did this brilliantly was the GLORIOUS Trick R Treat.
No, I'm not going to ruin things by going into details. That would be telling.
Suffice it to say that the weakest two shorts in the V/H/S assault are still grand and thought provoking works of creepy goodness. Shocking, twisted, chilling and visually delicious - this is a fun movie that gets a lot of things right for sure.
There are downsides. I should reiterate that this is shot like it was shot on hand held, VHS cams. Small and twitchy. The jerking motion and shakes are rough at times, but it added to the realism. Another thing of note is a strange mix of empowering females and exploiting them. It wasn't bad, but it was noticeable and sometimes...distracting. (At times, in a good way...wink wink, nudge nudge) I did find myself thinking, "Why did she just take her top off there. Kinda odd," a few times, but I got over it when all hell broke loose yet again.
They got a LOT right in this film.
Story was still the main focus. They didn't get too wrapped up in the "See what we're doing? They're tapes. VHS tapes. We're watching them, see?!" gimmick. They came at this film with great material FIRST, then executed - so to speak. :)
They also got the "person shooting with camera" right. Things were not framed perfectly. Things moved like people shooting home movies.
And most importantly, the actors were able to pull off the complex job of acting like they are not acting in all but one case of note. Pretty impressive.
I was hoping that V/H/S would have gotten the same sort of buzz something like PARANORMAL ACTIVITY got. Honestly, I think this is a better film when all is said and done. However, the machine has not latched onto this one like they did with Paranormal. Maybe they just have not gotten wind of it yet? I hope that's the case. I'll do my part to fight the good fight for this film. It deserves it.
V/H/S was a delight. I'm so happy.
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin (as Radio Silence)
Tyler Gillett (as Radio Silence)
Justin Martinez (as Radio Silence)
Chad Villella (as Radio Silence)
(in alphabetical order)