Friday, July 19, 2013

V/H/S

Directed by: David BrucknerGlenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, Adam Wingard

Release Date: 2012

Honestly, when I saw this collection of films, the genre became unappealing to me. I thought, "What is the point of putting people through this?" These films were more disturbing for me than Human Centipede. However, the last segment directed by Radio Silence, brought me back into the fold.

Since this collection of films have different segments, I'll review each one on their own.

"Tape 56/frame narrative"
Guys committing mean spirited acts and breaking into someone's home to retrieve a VHS tape wasn't the kind of thing that resonated with me as a horror fan. The whole narrative and even the end result wasn't new or surprising, only more of the same I've seen in other contemporary films. I know horror films are meant to disturb viewers in some way and I understand this concept, however, horror films were also used to convey a subversive message. In this segment, I only saw guys getting their just desserts *spoiler alert* otherwise, I got nothing else. This segment was strike one.



"Amateur Night"

A motel room is the setting for a night to hook up with chicks gone wrong, terribly wrong. The beginning of this segment was intriguing enough to be invested in where this girl from the club is not what the guys who picked her up expected. The just desserts-ish feel to this tale fell flat (no pun intended) and didn't go anywhere that made me say, "WTF did I just watch?" The make up and editing style worked for this short but I didn't see anything I necessarily liked about it but didn't hate either. 


"Second Honeymoon"

A couple are on vacation and we see that someone used the video camera as a voyeur and does things to both pf them. The ending is unexpected with another agenda afoot. This segment made me want to stop watching this movie entirely. The violence alone made me sick to my stomach. This is what we're watching now? These are the kind of horror pictures we're making these days? The content didn't bother me but it was the visceral violence that was disturbing. There was nothing to be learned (for me) from this act of violence other than asking myself the question, "Why do I like horror films again? Because this wasn't it." Strike two.



"Tuesday the 17th"

Three friends go out to the woods with serious consequences. A girl tries to trap a type of killer who had massacred her friends on a previous camping trip. No need to include any spoilers. There is an inevitable ending that any avid horror fan can see coming (at least this fan did) and didn't add anything new to the canon as well. Again, the violence, although I'm used to the prevalence in this genre wasn't alarming, simply old hat. Strike three.



"The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger"

A girl speaks to her doctor boyfriend via video cam and is constantly scratching at her arm. She thinks her home is haunted. Then something completely unexpected occurs, which I never saw coming. Having never seen Joe Swanberg's work before, this short's content was bizarre and interesting. Definitely not a story I'd ever seen executed in this manner before. What worked for this segment was the usage of technology and the actors. They sold this story for me. 



"10/31/98"

Halloween means getting dressed up and going to a party! When three guys happen upon a house that is having a ritual and a girl is being tortured, they rescue her and whisk her away into the night. Only, they don't know what they just did. The surprise ending wasn't completely unexpected and I was impressed. What was missing in this short was the extreme violence that perhaps I'm outgrowing. Knowing all the violence is unreal and only for film's sake doesn't make me like it any less but the lack of extreme violence in this short was effective for this film viewer.



 Overall, I'd say I'd watch three out of the six shorts again but not as a whole ever again.



Watch on your own accord.