Striking a strategic balance between its finely interwoven segments. V/H/S revives the steadily declining form of found footage in horror with gloom, grit, and gore. With a wide variety of scares ranging from paranormal to psychological. V/H/S has no shortage of disturbing originality. Throwing in a few sequences with that classic horror feel and a sustained fluidity of fresh, terrifying monstrosities. The directors leave the audience licking their chops, foaming at the mouth for the next nightmare to unveil itself in all of its bloodthirsty glory. Discarding most of the inevitable dissatisfying moments that hamper most anthologies. V/H/S has very little letdown from thread to thread. Featuring shorts directed by Ti West, Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, and the quartet known as Radio Silence. V/H/S has no problem getting all of its toxic minds onto the same page.
Amateur Night: 7 out of 10.
Three friends rent a hotel room with intentions of bringing woman back to have sex with. They have rigged one of their friends glasses with a hidden camera so they can capture all of their exploits. Travelling from bar to bar, the group finally discover a few girls willing to hang out with them named Lily and Lisa. Throughout the night, Lily continuously mutters “I like you” to Clint, one of the three friends. When they return to the hotel room, Lisa passes out from the heavy drinking. What ensues when Lily reveals her true self is unbelievably terrifying.
Second Honeymoon: 6.5 out of 10.
Sam and Stephanie are a married couple who head out west for their second honeymoon. After renting out a sleazy motel room, the couple attend various local attractions. On the first night, a mysterious girl knocks on their motel room door and asks for a ride the next day. In the middle of the night, someone breaks into their motel room and records herself as she rubs a switchblade over Stephanie’s thigh. Returning to the motel after visiting a canyon during the day, the two head to sleep. That night, the woman enters the room again.
Tuesday the 17th: 6.5 out of 10.
Three friends, Joey, Spider, and Samantha accompany their new friend Wendy on a camping trip. As Wendy leads them through the woods, she tells them that her friends were killed by a murderer last year in this forest. Brushing it off as a joke, the group proceeds to have a relaxing weekend. But when Wendy tells them she has lead them here so she can capture the murderer, things take a turn for the worse.
The Sick Thing That Happened To Emily When She Was Younger: 8 out of 10.
Emily and her boyfriend James video chat consistently. One night, Emily complains of a strange bump on her arm that reminds her of a similar incident when she was younger. When strange occurrences begin to happen in her apartment, Emily claims it to be haunted. Later, Emily begins to dig under her skin with a scalpel. When the disturbances occur more violently and frequently, Emily seeks James for assistance in a matter that is getting out of hand.
10/31/98: 7.5 out of 10.
Chad, Matt, Tyler, and Paul are dressed up for Halloween and ready to attend a party. When they arrive at the house, it appears to be deserted. However, they manage to sneak in to the house. As bizarre events and paranormal hallucinations begin to occur, the group think it to be a practical joke. As things become more serious and frightening, the group makes a startling discover that threatens their existence.
As you start to feel those tiny droplets of sweat trickle down your forehead and cheeks, squint your eyes a bit to soften the blow of being shocked, and begin to get the jitters through your extremities, that’s when you realize the animosity of V/H/S. It may not be as potent as some of the top end, great, or even classic horror films. But for its low budgeted, inventive complexity, V/H/S has plenty of fright and makes good use of every second of screen time.
Wether it’s a penis being tossed at the camera, hands reaching out from the walls, or a living glitch, V/H/S delivers the scares and balance most horror anthologies can only have nightmares about.
V/H/S: 7 out of 10.