Thursday 27 September 2012

V/H/S (2012)

This found footage anthology is set up by the first part of the film, which is the main story arc and also returns to it between each of the other stories. So I'll start at the beginning...

Tape 56
Director - Adam Wingard
Writer - Simon Barrett

The tale follows a group of misfits, that seem to have nothing better to do with their time than exposing random women's boobs and smashing up empty buildings all while recording the misdeeds on camera, until one of the men tells them of an offer from an unknown source that involves retrieving a VHS tape from a seemingly empty house.

When they arrive at the house and break in, they search all over and find an old man in an upstairs room, but he is presumed dead so the guys carry on and search the house for the VHS tape.

Although it's not quite that simple, as there are dozens of tapes that they have to sift through and watch to make sure they have the right one before they can leave. This then shows us the other 5 films, all caught on a home video camera. But in between watching each tape, strange things start to happen and one by one the shady characters get more than what they bargained for.

The Cast -
Calvin Reeder as Gary
Lane Hughes as Zak
Kentucker Audley as Rox
Adam Wingard as Brad
Frank Stack as Old Man

Amateur Night
Director - David Bruckner
Writers - David Bruckner & Nicholas Tecosky

Three male friends are getting ready for a night out. One prepped with a pair of glasses which contains a hidden camera. The plan is simple, pull a couple of chicks, get them back to the motel and record themselves getting down and dirty!

The alcohol and drug fuelled evening goes to plan. Two girls three guys, what could go wrong? One of the girls, Lily, is quietly weird though. She has massive eyes and has taken a creepy shine to Clint, who is wearing the glasses.

Back at the motel they try their luck, but Lisa passes out due to the drugs. So Shane tries it on with the weird girl and things get hot and heavy. However, little frail Lily is out for more than a one night stand. Sexual heat turns into heated blood!

The Cast -
Hannah Fierman as Lily
Mike Donlan as Shane
Joe Sykes as Patrick
Drew Sawyer as Clint
Jas Sams as Lisa

2nd Honeymoon
Director & Writer - Ti West

Sam and Stephanie are on a road trip for their 2nd Honeymoon. The couple visit a Wild West themed park where Stephanie receives a prediction from a mechanical fortune teller. The prediction says that she will be visited by a loved one.

Later that night at the motel they are stopping in, the couple is visited by a strange woman who asks for a ride in the morning. Sam declines her request and the girl leaves.

After the lights are off and the couple have settled down to sleep, someone breaks into the room and videos them with Sam's own camera.

With Sam and Stephanie's seemingly perfect relationship, comes somewhat of a stalker, which leads to Stephanie being more than what meets the eye.

The Cast -
Joe Swanberg as Sam
Sophia Takal as Stephanie
Kate Lyn Sheil as The Stalker

Tuesday the 17th
Director & Writer - Glenn Mcquaid

Wendy, Joey, Spider and Samantha, visit Wendy's home town and take a walk in the nearby woods. Along the way, the camera flashes glimpses of bodies.

Wendy starts getting a little strange by telling the group scary and confusing things. There's a rather dark reason Wendy has returned to these woods. She starts to tell Joey about her past and an "accident" that happened involving her friends and a mysterious man, although nobody believed her story.

Set on getting to the truth behind the events of her past,Wendy and her friends are now in mortal danger as an unfathomable figure appears as a glitch on the camera.

The Cast -
Norma C. Quinones as Wendy
Drew Moerlein as Joey
Jason Yachanin as Spider
Jeannine Yoder a Samantha

The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger
Director - Joe Swanberg
Writer - Simon Barrett

Emily and her doctor-to-be boyfriend James, video chat over their laptops with one another. Emily tells James that she thinks her apartment maybe haunted and she also has a troubling mark on her arm that reminds her of her "leg when she was younger."

As she sits talking to James we see strange movement in the background of what appears to be a child. This freaks Emily out so she decides to walk around the apartment with her laptop facing outwards so James can see while she closes her eyes!

What happens next is something disturbing, leading us to think that this has happened more than once.

The Cast -
Helen Rogers as Emily
Daniel Kaufman as Janes

Director & Writer - Radio Silence (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Chad Villella)

It's Halloween and Chad, Matt, Tyler and Paul are in search of a party! Dressed in full costume, the Unabomber, a pirate, a teddy bear (with a hidden camera) and a marine, the four boys head to the address they were given, which is a strangers house. They arrive at the location, but the house is deserted.

They all look around each room downstairs and upstairs. Tyler (in the bear suit), starts seeing things though. Soon after, they start to hear loud chanting coming from the attic. So they check it out only to find a group of men and a bound girl.

Thinking this is just a joke, their minds soon change when one of the men assaults the girl. While the boys try to save the defenceless young woman, the men that have bound her start being pulled to the ceiling by an unseen force. Now they have freed the young captive, the four costumed lads try to escape the house as more disturbing paranormal events occur. Will they get out alive or will this be their last Halloween?!

The Cast -
Chad Villella as Chad
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin as Matt
Tyler Gillett as Tyler
Paul Natonek as Paul
Nicole Erb as The Girl

In this collection of stories, we are taken through found footage versions of various horror sub genres, from the slasher films of the ’80s, to the occult and exorcism films of the ’70s, to the more modern torture porn and supernatural tales of the ’00s.

With some really shaky cam work at times, this might be something haters of found footage wouldn't normally go for, but don't let that ruin it for you as this low budget horror is very cleverly put together with some inventive writing.

The acting is convincing, but the one standout performance for me is from Hannah Fierman in Amateur Night. The directing is spot on, bringing more than just scares, it has some real tension too. The SFX are effective for the low budget and the editing is excellent.

My favourites pieces out of the them all are Amateur Night and 10/31/98.

A couple of the stories might leave you wanting more, but overall this is a solid horror anthology that everyone should give a go.

V/H/S gets 7.5/10

Check out the trailer below...