V/H/S review: The buzz was way more exciting (and likable)

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19 Responses to “V/H/S review: The buzz was way more exciting (and likable)”

  1. Emo Pinata says:

    I understand that character criticism. I know that the horror genre loves the “they deserve it” cast of characters, but there has to be something likable about them to care when they die (or survive). Those stakes matter. A lot. It seems to be more and more extreme lately too.

    Also, who puts a Skype call on VHS?

  2. For the most part I agree. The end-caps were not good. I did like the first story with the guys that pick up the girl at the bar. Mostly because it ratchets up the tension well. And then aside from that it was mostly not good, with a few decent parts. Not sure why someone would record skype sessions on their mac and then transfer them to VHS tape…

    And the one in the woods was just AWFUL. 

  3. “Who puts a Skype call on VHS?” Haha, I was posting the same thing at the same time. That really bugged me. 

  4. jandrese says:

    Every time I hear a story about some horror movie where “previous audiences passed out with freight”, I know the marketing department is in full BS mode.  They used to go crazy with claims like that back in the 60s and 70s, but thankfully the industry as mostly moved on.

    • Emo Pinata says:

      To be fair, my grandmother literally ran home in fright after seeing the 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame at a theater. She was 8 or 9 at the time though, and I think Raiders of the Lost Ark scarred more kids than most horror movies could.

  5. welcomeabored says:

    Nope, you haven’t put me off V/H/S; I love to watch films where delinquent ne’er-do-wells die horrible messy deaths. I make bets with my husband as to who will die first.  And if the movie is funny too, all the better.  I loved ‘Tucker and Dale vs. Evil’. 

  6. UncaScrooge says:

    This is a legitimate criticism — some people watch scary movies to be scared and some people watch scary movies to see douchebags die horribly.  I understand the appeal of the latter, because, in real life, douchebags live eternally and never meet their day of reckoning.  Not my personal preference, however.  I’d rather be chilled alone in the dark by a scary movie, than trading barbs about it with drunken friends.

    I just had an unintentional double-feature of “Cabin In The Woods” and “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil.”  Both of these movies were trying to achieve the same ironic commentary on Nut-With-Knife movies, but “Tucker & Dale” was the winner here.  I enjoy Joss Whedon, but his characters were necessarily iconic teenage slaughter-fodder and I disliked everyone in the movie immensely with the exception of the monsters.  “Tucker & Dale” had the same hateful teenage douchebags, but gave us an affectionate portrayal of the title characters.  I actually cared when they were threatened.  I even gasped once.  It’s a better film, in my book.

    • Tucker & Dale is hilarious but I thought Cabin was better. The conceit that the people in every horror movie you’ve ever seen were actually victims of a high-tech group feeding ancient Gods is awesome. 

  7. Hah! I was the Unabomber for Halloween in 1998! Even won my school’s costume contest (pre-Columbine, back when schools as a rule didn’t have sticks up their asses about such things)!

  8. Paul Harrison says:

    Now now, these characters all sound like well adjusted economic agents. This isn’t about good characters for horror or torture porn or whatever, this is about our ideals as a society. Our ideal person is one of perfect individualist hedonism. I mean, psychopathy has somehow gained poor connotations, but it expresses the idea quite well. You have to live your dreams. You have to pursue your lifestyle. The system demands that you be a hermetic module, isolated, perfect, relocatable and substitutable. Pursue the Buddhist ideal of freedom from love.

  9. Tony_Moore says:

    Magnet had a pretty cool promotional idea for the film that i was lucky enough to be a part of, which was to commission a series of poster images from comic book creators, a new one for each segment of the film. I really enjoyed working on it, and was in top-notch company with great artists like James Stokoe, Jason Latour, RM Guera, and Esad Ribic. Click the link below if you’d like to check ‘em out!

    http://news.moviefone.com/2012/09/18/vhs-poster-horror-movie_n_1894401.html

  10. Jon Bakos says:

    Wanting them all to die horribly?  It’s the Prometheus of horror films!

  11. Boundegar says:

    The last person on the internet who likes things does not like V/H/S.

  12. Philipshade says:

    Poster reminds me of Noah Scalin’s Video Fan Skull
    http://skulladay.blogspot.com/2008/05/339-video-fan-skull.html

  13. Doug Nelson says:

    I’m trying to remember the last horror anthology film that had likeable people in the wrapper. As established in Dead of Night and continued by Amicus, they all feature dispicable people and the stories are about what happened to “punish” those people. V/H/S breaks from this a bit, in that the people in the wrapper have nothing to do with the stories, but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re never supposed to like those in the wrapper.

    I’d like to hear other suggestions for a wrapper story that could frame several found footage shorts while still qualifying as a gruesome short of its own. I’ll grant the wrapper was the weakest part of V/H/S, but I’ve known people like that, and dug the part where the guy’s head moves to the side and we see the corpse isn’t in the chair anymore.

    LATER: After quick perusal of the IMDB “50 Best Horror Anthology Films”, only “Trick R Treat”, “Cat’s Eye”, and “Twilight Zone: The Movie” had likeable people in the wrapper.

    I don’t know if it applies universally, but William Gaines (EC Comics) explained that showing the gruesome fates as “punishment” helped them skirt some of the loudest objections to the genre. So V/H/S also departs a bit by having bad things happen to blameless people, but that’s much more common.

    • I saw Sinister last night, and while I’m glad it wasn’t a found footage, guy moving into a house and finding a box of movies would make for a fine wrapper. 

      Sinister was great, by the way. First time I had trouble sleeping after a movie since the first Paranormal Activity. 

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