[V/H/S opens in Cleveland on Friday October 19th exclusively at the Capitol Theatre.]
Review by Bob Ignizio
The anthology film V/H/S utilizes all of the most annoying techniques of the “found footage” genre in the service of 6 pointless and unimaginative horror... premises? That seems the best term to use, since none of them are sketched out beyond the absolute basics. Evidently the thinking here was that if all the segments were supposed to be random bits of home movies that someone had collected, there was no need to craft complete stories with actual characters. The gimmick would do all the work, with the “shocks” given impact by the appearance of realism.
Sadly for the filmmakers involved, audiences have already seen THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, THE LAST EXORCISM, and multiple installments of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. Those films certainly have their detractors, but like them or not, at their core each of them had a story to tell and made good use of the found footage technique to tell those stories. V/H/S, despite having 6 shots at it, fails to come up with even one story that would have passed muster in a more traditional anthology film, and further compounds the problem by being just about the ugliest, most unwatchable piece of cinema ever to get a theatrical release.
On top of everything else, the film lasts a full two hours. Perhaps there is an audience out there for 120 minutes of poorly shot and edited random footage of random people they know nothing going about their mundane lives until something awful happens to them. That's what a lot of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT's detractors said about that film, but in that case it wasn't true. There was a loose plot the actors followed in that film, and the way the footage was ultimately put together adds up to a coherent, and for many, effective fright film. V/H/S just adds up to a waste of time. 1 out of 4 stars.