Movie Review: V/H/S

Found footage and horror movies tend to go together quite well, but V/H/S does something that is still a little bit unique since it attempts to unify a handful of apparently unrelated tales that are brought together by a frame narrative that interjects between each story. What happens is that the movie does take on a kind of disjointed feel to it, even though the anthology is rightfully creepy and delivers a few stories that might make a lot of people wonder just how crazy things are going to get. The framing narrative features a group of men that are about as despicable as can be since they tend to tape the awful things they do, including assaulting women and damaging property for their own enjoyment. When one of them convinces the others that there’s a source that will pay them a large amount of money for delivering a single videotape, the group decides it’s worth the risk and heads off to retrieve the tape. Upon entering the house where the tape is supposedly kept, however, they encounter an unexpected weirdness, including an old man, apparently dead, seated in front of several TV sets on which static is currently visible. 

As the rest of the group heads off to search the house for the tape, the old man disappears and reappears throughout the movie as the story returns to the framing narrative, with each of the thugs being unaware of the old man’s movements, or where the others have gone when they disappear. The first story that plays out on the screen sets the pace in a way that might be a bit tame and kind of cringe-worthy at first but becomes a bit creepy when three friends go out in search of women to take home to entertain. The trick is that one of them is wearing a pair of glasses with a camera set into them, to film the act without the women being wise to it. When one of the men notices that the creepy woman that has only said “I like you” has scales and claws, he has second thoughts and heads for the bathroom. 

Not long after this however the woman reveals a wicked mouthful of fangs as she sinks her teeth into one of the other men that were attempting to have sex with her, tearing him apart as the third friend, who the woman detested, runs into the bathroom with the first man, shouting at the top of his lungs as the sounds of their friend being torn apart can be heard out in the room. Eventually, the demonic woman kills the man she didn’t like as the first man goes running. At some point, she finds him and lifts him into the air, at which point the glasses fall to the ground. And that’s the first story of the movie, meaning it sets the pace in a big way as the next few stories roll forward and continue the madness as one of them features a couple that is plagued by a mysterious stranger who turns out to be the wife’s secret lover. 

Another tale depicts a group of friends that travel to a location in the wilderness where one of the women has been before, and where several murders took place. She eventually reveals that she’s been there before, came back to find the killer, and was using her three friends as bait. When two of the friends are killed almost immediately after heading into the forest, her other friend is killed by the Glitch, the killer that the woman was looking for. Eventually, after trapping the Glitch more than once, the woman is killed as she then starts to become the Glitch. The next tale is just as odd as it involves a man who video chats with his girlfriend and eventually is revealed as working with a group of aliens that are implanting embryos in humans. Throughout this movie it becomes obvious that blood, gore, and WTF moments are the common thread that holds them all together as each tale becomes a little more twisted, keeping the trend going until the end when the last of the thugs finds that his friends have all disappeared.

Upon searching the rest of the house the last thug runs into the old man, who turns out to be a zombie. The others have been killed, and things have turned out for the worse. This is the kind of horror movie that might leave someone watching just because they want to make sense of it and discover a unifying plot, but the thing is that V/H/S is more or less an anthology that is meant to terrify people and leave their jaws agape as they wonder what in the hell they just watched. It does a fairly good job to be sure. 

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