16 Feb 2013

Review: V/H/S (2012)

DVD, You got competition


A gang of delinquent men break into a house and 6 V/H/S recordings in search for a tape they need. In stumbling across these tapes one by one, they reveal that there are more darker and sinister things that lurk in life, and in the house. 

First, let me just start off by saying how the hand-held documentary style horror has basically dug it's own grave; like seriously, how many paranormal's has there been? How many rip-off's of paranormal activity been? (Aka Paranormal Entity), how many Blair Witch impersonations went straight to DVD because they were tearing the sub-genre to pieces. In-fact, the POV horror seems to be the studio's only green-light and they will continue to make them until they go bankrupt, if they continue to make films like 'Chernobyl Diaries' 'The Last Exorcism' 'Paranormal Activity 4' 'The Devil Inside' 'Episode 50' 'Paranormal Entity' 'Diary of the Dead' then the studios will crash and burn. I never really thought there would be much hope at this stage for the sub-genre, considering nearly all of the horror films that are to be released for 2013 have all gone back to the basic way of filming but what ever way you look at it, negatively or positively, V/H/S is bringing some new life and hope back into the sub-genre. 


I didn't know what to make of V/H/S when I first watched it as it just seemed like a big mash-up of weak horror conventions that don't appear on our screens for a reason. When you review each tape individually you will see that most of them are ineffective or un-interesting, but when you look at the film as one piece you will see that it is actually quite impressive and original. Sure, some of the tapes do reflect on the hand-held sub-genre right now and on how bad they are but others are new, fresh and quite scary. 

'Tape 56' is the first tape we are introduced to, is ironically the worst one of the worst of the bunch. I'm aware that its soul purpose is to present the other tapes but they could have at least made it more stylish, or even scarier and more thrilling than what was presented to us. Pfft, next 'Tuesday the 17th' was one that I found quite enjoyable. Because of the title you would expect it to ride along the lines of a serial killer who 
hides in the woods, which it does but in a different and unique way. When I say "unique" I don't
 mean in a 'Cabin in the woods' type unique, but more of a 'All the Boys Love Mandy Lane' type
 of unique. The villain is different, in a good way and the characters have personality, despite
 only being on screen for less than 15 minutes. The best of a rotten bunch. 




The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily when she was Younger' was one that I found the scariest but not the most shocking or even the most thrilling. Fair enough, the scares were piled out in a 'Paranormal Activity' style, which took away from the overall thrill as we have all seen the ghosts-in-the-house routine one to many times. But other than its strong resemblance to Paranormal Activity it still proved a pleasant twist at the end. 

The Last but certainly not the least was '10/31/98', the best damn part of the entire film. I definitely wouldn't have predicted this is the best film of the bunch but it was. What made this tape so exhilarating were its constant twists and unpredictability that was presented in many different shapes and forms. It takes the classic Haunted House tale and mixes it with exorcisms to deliver a spine tingling final act that gives purpose to why you are watching V/H/S. Thank god for that! 


VERDICT: I didn't really expect much from a film named "V/H/S" but to be honest i was suprised with the delivey. although there were a few stinkers in this film most of them were enjoyable and frequently scary. Would it be the best film of 2012? NO! is it close? maybe.



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