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V/H/S 2013

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When a group of petty criminals are hired by a mysterious party to retrieve a rare piece of found footage from a rundown house in the middle of nowhere, they soon realise that the job isn‚t going to be as easy as they thought. In the living room, a lifeless body is slumped before a hub of old television sets, surrounded by stacks of VHS tapes. As they search for the right one they are treated to a seemingly endless number of horrifying videos, each more terrifying than the last.

Starring:
Adam Wingard, Lisa Marie Thomas
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 56 minutes
Starring Adam Wingard, Lisa Marie Thomas, John Walcutt, Sophia Takal, Calvin Reeder, Kate Lyn Sheil, Lane Hughes, Joe Swanberg
Director Adam Wingard, Joe Swanberg, Ti West
Genres Horror
Studio MOMENTUM PICTURES
Rental release 28 January 2013
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 56 minutes
Starring Adam Wingard, Lisa Marie Thomas, John Walcutt, Sophia Takal, Calvin Reeder, Kate Lyn Sheil, Lane Hughes, Joe Swanberg
Director Adam Wingard, Joe Swanberg, Ti West
Genres Horror
Studio MOMENTUM PICTURES
Rental release 28 January 2013
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I must admit, the horror genre is, for the most part, a swirling vortex of dross. As a result it seems that the excellent VHS isn't getting the exposure or recognition it deserves. It's a shame because this film really should have found a wider mainstream audience.
In fairness, there's nothing particularly new here- Hammer horror were doing portmanteau films back in the sixties and the found-footage/fake documentary thing has become a cinema standard since Cannibal Holocaust. However, VHS has a subtlety, simplicity and off-kilter sense of humour that lifts it a cut above the rest. The short film format works particularly well for the crudeness of horror, allowing the tales to be unsettling and ambiguous. Plus, the framing scenario of these videos being found & viewed by some looting bozos casts doubt over the validity of each one, which conversely adds a layer of realism to the whole thing. True, a lot of the characters are obnoxious morons but the acting is fine, the dialogue naturalistic and the special effects are exactly the way they're meant to be.
On the downside, the fourth story (about a medical student talking to his girlfriend via webcam) is pretty naff, has the most gratuitous nudity and doesn't really fit with the overall feel of the film. Also, the jerky cameras can be a bit annoying. Apart from those niggles, though, VHS is an unsung classic.
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Format: DVD
V/H/S is a weird and strangely fascinating film that takes the found footage genre up and raises it up a notch, as it's basically a found footage movie built upon a number of different found footage videos, with everything tied together with a twisted little bow. For the first 15-20 minutes, you're a little unsure about what you're watching; by the end of the first little sub-story, though, you know you're in for an uncommonly wild ride through a gauntlet of dark and gory horror thrills. Those who give up on V/H/S too early don't know what they're missing.

The main storyline has us tagging along with a bunch of twenty-something hooligans who go around filming all of their acts of vandalism, robbery, assault, and other nefarious deeds. Then one of them says he has a job that promises a most satisfactory payoff. All they have to do is break into this old man's house and steal a certain video tape - they have no idea what is on the tape, but the third party that wants it says they'll know it when they see it. So off they go, video camera in hand, to burgle the old guy's house. The job seemingly gets a lot easier when they find the old man dead in his chair, facing a wall of TV monitors and video players. That gives them the chance to go through the video tapes they do find to try and find "the tape." As it turns out, though, that's where they make their big mistake.

This is when things start to get good. Each tape features a group of strangers filming their own little adventures. The first one, for example, features three guys who go out on the town to pick up chicks - with one of the guys wearing spy glasses to capture all the fun on video. They manage to get a couple of girls to go home with them, but things don't go as planned from that point on.
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Format: Blu-ray
VHS is an anthology movie, very much in the style of the old '80s cheese-ball horrors where a 'framing device' of a group of old men would sit around trying to outdo each other by telling horror tales that would then segue into the 'tale' itself.
In this case, 5 tales are loosely connected by the framing plot that a group of antisocial petty criminals have been hired to ransack a house to find a specific tape, and discover tales of terror on random VHS tapes as they search. I say loosely connected, because the 'framing storyline' (known as "Tape 56" and directed appallingly by Adam Wingard) doesn't work. The opening sequences of the movie are so choppily edited, anarchic and incoherent, and the youths searching for the tape so utterly detestable and devoid of character that I found myself not just utterly uninterested in anything that happened to them but actively wishing something bad would. Worse, "Tape 56" itself doesn't seem to care, as its filming is so amateurish and careless that the fates of several characters are utterly unexplained, and the framing device fails to work as anything more than a poor excuse because instead of book-ending the other plots, it ends before the fifth 'discovered tape' even starts.
Luckily the 'discovered tapes' are much better.
David Bruckner's "Amateur Night" follows a trio of horned up buddies on a clubbing night out, and explores what happens when low morals and an excess of alcohol lead them to invite strangers back for some fun...the effects are excellent, the acting of Hannah Fierman captivating, and the writing is tense and inventive.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Yes we are all getting a bit tired with 'found tapes' type films but this is sort of different. First a group of really unlikable hoodlums are hired by an unknown third party to break and enter an isolated house (they are usually isolated with no phone cover aren't they) where they have to steal a VHS tape, they are told they will know which one it is. Once they get inside the house they discover the corpse of an old man in an upstairs room facing a bank of televisions.

Then they discover that there are quite a few VHS tapes in the house already and will either take the lot or sort through them. Well they start to play one and it is a found tape itself which ends in a nasty way, still unperturbed they put on yet more and the footage gets worse.

This is different as I said as it has been written and directed by 10 different people, this reflects that all the tapes are mini horrors in their own right and they are all pretty much seasoned in their art both the writers and directors. The concept also allows for the quality of the camera work etc to change and yet never affect the continuity of the actual plot. The various `tapes' are segued perfectly by the goings on back in the spooky house.

It is scary in places and I found myself saying `turn the lights on already' on more than one occasion as the on screen victims seem to have never heard of a light switch. Still that is par for the course and all adds to the fun. There is a fair smattering of nudity but none of it really sexy and bordering on gratuitous some could argue. Some scenes are hard to watch which is a very good thing for a horror film and it has been so well received that a follow up, imaginatively called `VHS 2' is already out in the USA. A must for most horror fans - recommended.
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