I had thought that I was pretty much burnt out on “found footage” films. But my excitement levels rose after this film got into its second vignette out of the six “mini” films on offer here.
Although the film really falls into the anthology genre, a few horror films do this really well but the ones who can really pull if off are all Asian film makers, who have yet to make an anthology film that could be classed as a stinker.
This anthology of “found” footage horror films had been written and directed by some of the most impressive new names in horror today: Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, and the directing quartet known as Radio Silence.
The film opened January 2012 at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was then released on demand on August 31, 2012. V/H/S then had a limited theatrical premiere in the United States on October 5, 2012, in the UK on January 18, 2013, and in Argentina on February 7, 2013.
I will not go into any of the films except for the one that ties all the segments together. A group of young men are hired to steal a video tape from a house. They accept the job and find that the house is full of video tapes, video players and a dead man. As the film moves forward, the action keeps cutting back to the room with the dead (?) man and all those tape players.
Tapes are put into a player and watched, by both one of the young men and us. The dead body on the chair behind the film’s video watching character appears and disappears. It is a brilliant way to segue the different films together in a cohesive manner.
Each of the six films are entertaining. Each one has a separate theme and they all feature a type of almost “guerrilla” film making. The other thing that the films all have in common, is that they don’t don’t suffer from what I like the call, “The Cloverfield Effect.”
In the 2008 film, Cloverfield, when the character in the film who was “filming” the events put the camera down, even in a stressful or scary situation, the camera was always right side up and always in focus. The found films in the anthology don’t do that. Cameras seemingly wind up where they, “wind up,” if you get my meaning. It doesn’t feel like a “movie” so much as actual found footage.
The news that a sequel is due out this year, actually has me quite excited. As I said above, I thought I was burnt out on this particular genre, but apparently, a well made “found footage” film can still get me excited.
This is a real 5 out of 5 stars as all the stories were original and in most cases, I couldn’t see the twist coming. Of course I might be too obtuse, but as a rule, I can usually see the twist a mile away. Great little film here that won’t disappoint you.
- Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett Talk V/H/S/2, Returning to the Found Footage Format, Why They Enjoy Anthologies, Their Partnership, and More (collider.com)
- Review – V/H/S 2 (2013) (horror-fix.com)
- “Turn the Camera Off” and Other Found-Footage Cliches: A Supercut (gawker.com)
- Found Footage Horror: Thier History and Style (bgubitosi.wordpress.com)
- WILLOW CREEK Movie Review: A Found Footage Bigfoot Movie That Gets It Right (badassdigest.com)
- Exploring Horror Movies (costumesupercenter.com)
- The Best London Horror Films (onefinestay.com)
- Movie Review – The Purge (2013) (lukeowritesstuff.wordpress.com)
- ‘V/H/S/2′ Movie Review (lefthandhorror.com)
- Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett talk V/H/S/2 [INTERVIEW] (thewolfmancometh.com)