The V/H/S movies didn’t work for me the first time I saw them when they came out, so I did what any self respecting horror fan would do….. I waited seven years and bought them all on blu ray! I just finished the first and my opinion didn’t really change. I like about half of it? Maybe? The wrap around story instantly turned me off. I found all the characters so dislikable and uninteresting that when ever we got to it I just wanted it to end. Also found the spot where they grab a girl of the side of the road and lift her shirt up for the camera to be totally unnecessary and definitely pushed me away from the film.
The first segment ended well, but watching some dude bros try and film a threesome with a hidden camera just completely turned me off.
The second story wasn’t bad, but the whole thing just kind of ran out of steam and ended. It sort of felt like the story was written just to fill a specific time frame instead of following the stories natural progression.
Third section just felt like friends goofing around in the woods. It was fun, but nothing special.
I think I ended up enjoying the fourth segment the most? “The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger”. It was basically a series of video chats between a guy and a his girlfriend as her house appears to be haunted. It was a simple story that didn’t get as crass as some of the others and had a nice ending.
The last one with the guys running around on Halloween was just kind of okay.
It disappoints me that I don’t enjoy this more. I like so many of the filmmakers that made it, but ultimately it just doesn’t work for me. 2 stars…. which is up from my initial viewing. Upon the rewatch my opinion kind of went up and down. What I liked I like more, what I disliked, I disliked even more.
V/H/S 2 2013
After the disappointing outing that was V/H/S, I’m following it up with V/H/S/2. I have to say, I enjoyed this one so much more than the first one. Much like the first, the wrap around is the weakest part, but at least you don’t instantly despise everyone this time. It felt really pointless like it just existed because the film makers thought they needed one.
Adam Wingard directs and stars in the first one about a guy gets a mechanical eye replacement that allows him to see dead people, and the dead people really don’t like it. Mostly first person, but the few times you do see Wingard aren’t bad. It’s a pretty basic story that doesn’t do a lot new, but that’s okay. It works.
Second story directed by Eduardo Sanchez and Gregg Hale of Blair Witch Project fame was really simple and effective. A guy in his bike in the park is bitten by a zombie and mayhem ensues. It didn’t bring anything new to the genre, but it was fun to spend a few minutes watching zombies run around wearing go pros. It was fun a fun segment and it felt like the filmmakers were enjoying themselves and just goofing around on a Saturday afternoon.
Third segment was easily my favorite. Gareth Evans and Timo Tjahjanto direct a story about a documentary film crew interviewing the leader of what is basically a doomsday cult, and doomsday appears to erupt around them in the middle of the interview. Lots of blood and amazing what the fuck moments with a great ending. This segment would get 4 out of 5 stars on its own.
Jason Eisner directs the final story about a group of kids home alone for the weekend having fun and goofing on each other, but then aliens invade. It was a cute, fun little story. My second favorite in a collection that really didn’t have a lot of dead weight.
I think what I enjoyed most about this one is that it wasn’t as crass and mean as the first one. Yes, we pointlessly saw breasts in the first five seconds of the movie, but the movie wasn’t mean spirited about it. This one had a lot of heart and I’m glad I grabbed it and gave it another shot.
3 out of 5 stars. Would have been higher but the wrap around hurt it.
V/H/S: Viral 2014
Took some time, but I’m finally finishing these up. I was very low energy on this one because everyone was really down on it and I remember disliking it immensely when I first saw it. I don’t know if I mellowed, or if I just didn’t give it a chance the first time, but I really enjoyed it this time. It was fun and had some pretty good moments.
The framing narrative worked so much better than I remember. I remember being annoyed with it and thinking it went on way too long. This time though…. at least I didn’t immediately hate everyone like the first one. It didn’t always work, the party segment felt pointless, and the longer it went on it the more trying it became, but it was mostly fun. The framing was an actual story this time, not just an excuse to have people sit around watching video tapes. As a story it was fun, as a framing device though…. it did nothing to tie into the episodes.
The first story was silly and I had some fun with it. It’s shot sort of mocumentary style, I have a soft spot for mocumentaries, about a magician who found Houdini’s cloak and is performing real magic with it. Catch is the cloak requires regular human sacrifice to work. It was a fun silly little piece. Solid C.
The second section, directed by Nacho Vigalondo I remember being my favorite, and it still stood out. A scientists creates a doorway to another dimension and discovers a world he at first thinks is exactly like his, but quickly learns it’s very different in a horrible way. This one was really fun and a cool idea. I liked it a lot. Stand out of the film.
Third second was my least favorite, which is a bummer because I love the directors, Benson and Mooreheads other work. Basically a group of skateboarding idiots accidentally summon a demon and fight some cultists while trying to make a jackass type video. Sadly…. it’s not nearly as cool as it sounds. C-
I’m going to give this one 3 stars. I found it to be solid middle of the road entertainment….
Taking the series in as a whole, middle of the road entertainment is slightly disappointing. These three films had some amazing talent behind them. These should have been so much better, but I’m not convinced they were trying to make good films here. It feels like they spent three movies goofing off with the cameras and having fun and weren’t overly concerned with the end product. If you pick through the series I think you could make one amazing anthology.
V/H/S Viral Gorgeous Vortex
Finally one last piece of the V/H/S series…. Gorgeous Vortex was cut from viral because it’s not found footage, but I really enjoyed it. It probably would have bumped Viral up a half star to a star. It was an interesting little piece, a 16 minute long dialogue free art film. It was fascinating.