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Sundance 2012 Review: V/H/S - Awesome Found Footage Horror Anthology

Movie Review V/H/S Sundance by Joey Paur

I had absolutely no expectations going into V/H/S. All I knew was that it was a found footage horror film involving VHS tapes. Turns out this is a horror anthology featuring five short found footage stories, all written and directed by a different director, and I absolutely loved it! The movie had a great mix of different horror film genres such as slasher films, ghost stories, and urban legends. I'm a huge fan of horror movies, and I couldn't help but enjoy watching this entertainingly twisted flick.

The movie starts off with a group of jackasses going around terrorizing people, and destroying things while filming it. The stuff they film they sell to someone for money. The guy they sell these tapes to offer them a job to break into an old mans home to steal a tape that he wants. When they get there and search the house they come across a collection of VHS tapes and watch them... That's when the movie really gets interesting.

These videos play out like R-rated Twilight Zone episodes. Each one has a great little twist and reveal, but I won't ruin anything for you, I'll just give you the basic set up for each one.

The first video follows a group of college guys going to find some girls to have a good time with. One of the characters is armed with a pair of glasses with a built in camera so he can record whatever happens through the night. They do meet a few girls, and when they take them back to a hotel things get freakin' crazy! This was a great opening and perfectly set the tone for the rest of the movie.

The second video follows a young couple traveling across the country with a camera. While stopped at a hotel a young lady comes to the door to ask for a ride. They turn her down, but as the trip progresses, things start to get a little intense.

The third video follows a group of college kids with a video camera into the woods for a day that is supposed to be filled with fun and relaxation. Of course, that's not what they end up getting after the person that brings them out there tells her friends the real reason behind the trip and the urban legend surrounding those woods. This may seem like something that's been done a thousand times before, but it really does have a pretty cool original twist.

The fourth video takes us into the world of online video chat. A girl has just moved into a new apartment, and strange things start to happen. She thinks the house is haunted and so she enlists the help of her long distance boyfriend to help and support her. When things start to happen she calls her boyfriend via video chat. This story escalates into a very cool, creepy, and unexpected end.

The fifth video was my favorite of the bunch. It takes place on Halloween night, and a group of friends dressed up in costumes head out to a Halloween party spook house. One of the guys is dressed up as a bear nanny cam with an built-in working camera. They get to the house and find no one is there, so they just start walking through it. There are some crazy strange things that start to happen, but they all think it's part of the haunted house spook ally experience... they think it's fake. I loved how this story plays out, it had some awesome genuine scares.

The films were directed by Adam Wingard, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, David Bruckner, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, and written by Simon Barrett, Glenn McQuaid, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Chad Villella, David Bruckner, Nicholas Tecosky, and Ti West.

This was a hell of a fun movie to watch, and if you enjoy watching horror films then you're going to love V/H/S.

Here's the Synopsis:

When a group of petty criminals is hired by a mysterious party to retrieve a rare piece of found footage from a rundown house in the middle of nowhere, they soon realize that the job isn’t going to be as easy as they thought. In the living room, a lifeless body holds court before a hub of old television sets, surrounded by stacks upon stacks of VHS tapes. As they search for the right one, they are treated to a seemingly endless number of horrifying videos, each stranger than the last. 

Bringing together some of the top filmmakers in the game today, this wickedly conceived horror anthology sends the viewer through a gauntlet of suspense, terror, shock, and downright brutality—instantly distinguishing itself from a sea of lackluster found-footage horror flicks. The diverse and deviously creative minds behind V/H/Sshatter any preconceived notions about the genre, making it feel inventive and captivating once again.

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