If you hate found footage horror films, I think that you can be reasonably certain that you will loathe V/H/S, since it is a horror film composed of a five shorter found footage films. And I think that the wrapper for the short films is found footage too, so we’ve got multiple layers of found footage, a found onion if you will.
The different entries and wrapper are directed by Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, Ti West, David Bruckner, Joe Swanberg, and Glenn McQuaid, so it does have a bit of low budget horror cred going for it.
Here’s the plot summary:
When a group of petty criminals is hired by a mysterious party to retrieve a rare piece of found footage from a rundown house in the middle of nowhere, they soon realize that the job isn’t going to be as easy as they thought. In the living room, a lifeless body holds court before a hub of old television sets, surrounded by stacks upon stacks of VHS tapes. As they search for the right one, they are treated to a seemingly endless number of horrifying videos, each stranger than the last.
While I suppose it makes for more drama that they watch the different videos in the snuff stash, one can’t help wonder why they don’t just take all the films. I mean, you’re paid to break in and snag a specific tape. You find a body and a pile of tapes. Being found with a body tends to be bad for one’s future prospects of freedom, especially when breaking and entering is involved. It would take ten minutes to cart all the tapes into their car, and presumably the run time of the movie to watch a bunch of them.
It would make for a shorter film, but hey a hundred million people read The DaVinci Code and that story would be have been eight pages long if the guy in the prologue just made a thirty second phone call to the female protagonist instead of leaving a cryptic message in his own blood.
Here’s the red band trailer:
Well, it’s hard to piece together anything except individual disturbing images out of that, since there are six different stories being pieced together with little to pull them into a cohesive whole. Then again, it’s also an idea that makes very good use of the found footage concept, and has a feel reminiscent of Barker’s Books of Blood.
After having gotten positive buzz out of the film festival circuit, V/H/S is getting a VOD release in August and a theater release in October.