V/H/S - 1 out of 5
I look forward to the day when the "found footage" genre comes to a close because this movie--which can only be described as a union of Paranormal Activity and Creep Show mixed with a thick base of unsavory rapist men--only showcases how truly awful, generic and cheap this genre can be.
|Wait a second...is that Dane Cook's douchier clone?|
V/H/S is an anthology of "found footage" stories that begins with the main story arc of a collection of douches (and that term is justifiable) who spend their free time filming crimes and sexually assaulting women. Well, an unseen individual asks them to break into a house to steal a specific V/H/S tape from it. For you youngsters, a V/H/S tape is like a DVD only with awful quality, no special features and you have to rewind it in order to watch it again.
|Thrill as a man looks through stacks of tapes!|
Well, these douches break into the house (filming it, of course) and find a dead man and thousands of tapes. The guys start to investigate the house and start watching all the cassettes. And so begins the anthology portion...
|"Hi mom, we're in a bad movie!"|
We are now treated (and by treated, I mean abused) with a series of "found footage" short stories that have one thing in common: all men are pervert voyeurs who desire to molest/objectify/rape all women when they have a camera in their hands.
|That chair was the best actor in the entire movie!|
One story sees a group of guys put a pair of spyglasses on their friend in order to make a sex tape with an unknowing inebriated female. One sees a married couple hit their second honeymoon and once the guy has the camera, begins to try and make a sex tape and creepily try to film his wife getting naked. Another sees a group of young adults hit the lake...all the while a guy with a camera is zooming in on a girl's boobs and his fellow guy friend is talking about how he plans on "hitting that." Thankfully, the finally story offers no statutory undertones as some friends head to a Halloween party in a real haunted house...and they film it for some reason.
|This was the least scummiest objectification of women the movie offered.|
Still pretty scummy though.
All the problems that bog down your average "found footage" film doubles down on this one. If you've ever seen one of these snoozers, you know you are forced to deal with an unbearable amount of filler scenes that do nothing but pad out the film to a running length and does little for character and story development and absolutely nothing for setting up the predictable scares the movies try to give us and fool us into believing what we just saw wasn't laughable at best. Usually, this needless footage eats up the first two acts (and part of the third) and then the action gets going--or as going as it can get in a "found footage" film. In V/H/S, you have to deal with 99% unnecessary footage in every story and then are dealt a measly excuse for frightening activity after all the creepy rape stuff is done.
|Boy, doesn't this movie look exciting?|
I'll only touch on the acting department because in an American-based "found footage" film (believe it or not, there are some good foreign ones in this shitty genre) you only get unknowns in the roles because the filmmakers are either out to try and create realism by putting fresh faces in the cast so the viewer believes what they are watching is real and having Robert Downing Jr. in one would be distracting or they're just out for cheap workers and talent matters not.
|Someone obviously obeyed the "Get out of my dreams and into my car" rule.|
Off all the actors, I recognized only three. Jason Yachanin was in the story about the kids going to the lake and I've only seen him on a YouTube commercial and an awful Troma movie. However, I found it cool that the final story had Chad Villella and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin in it. Who are these guys, you ask? Matt and Chad are two young filmmakers who make hilarious skits on the internet and have worked on films hoping to make the jump from behind the camera to in front of it. I'm a fan of their work and found it cool to see them in a real movie. Too bad it was a shitty one. But they still gave us this gem...
Most "found footage" movies put me to sleep with their bad acting and lack of spine-chilling scares. V/H/S could have been capable of such if it didn't piss me off with its themes of rape, molestation and disrespect of women. Maybe these themes were used to distract the audience from the fact that 99% of what you are seeing being filmed makes no logical sense as to why it was being filmed in the first place.