Brad Miska, the man behind bloody-disgusting.com brings us this "found footage" anthology showcasing the talents of directors such as Ti West, David (The Signal) Bruckner, Glenn (Stake Land) McQuaid and Adam (A Horrible Way To Die) Wingard, to name a few.
The body of the film, or the 'wraparound', is named "Tape 56", it follows a group of renegade friends who, on a break from their usual mischief have been given a task to break into someone's house and steal a tape......unbeknown to them the tapes will end up being the last thing they will ever want to see! The group watch the tapes they find, which reveal 5 very different stories.
Three friends are gearing up for a heavy night on the town when one of the guys gives a set of spyglasses to his friend to record the epic occasion. The guys proceed to get absolutely hammered and try their luck on a few women. Finally they get lucky and end up taking two random girls back to their room, a decision they will soon regret, when they realise one of the two has a serious appetite. Amateur Night definitely starts the pace of VHS, it has plenty of gore and a handful of nudity (although it's amazing how unattractive someone becomes when they would rather rip your throat out)! This is one of the stronger tales however does have a bizarre ending which detracts from the rest of the short. 3/5
Strange Thing That Happened To Emily
The first paranormal tape involves a couple living a long distance relationship and using Skype to stay in touch, the woman is convinced that strange goings on in her house are from a child entity and tries her best to show her boyfriend the evidence by walking around with the laptop, giving us a live feed ghost hunt! I really enjoyed the start to this particular section as it took a simple concept (although not original...see Paranormal Activity 4), and made it very atmospheric, I could of filled my pants when she was using the laptop to walk around her house! Definitely reminded me of the Fatal Frame video games! Again there's a twist at the end which for me doesn't deliver, it's too farfetched and rather than let us settle for a classic ghost story we end up with an alien twist that disappointed me just as much as 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull'!!!. 2.5/5
Without giving too much away Ti West keeps his part short yet very dark, it involves a couple going on their vacation, where a mysterious intruder likes to keep an eye on them through the night. It's fast paced and without a doubt takes the title for the most brutal scene through the film. 3/5
Tuesday the 17th
A young woman takes her friends out into a secluded spot in the woods, where several murders in the past have taken place. She's not completely true to her friends as to why she has taken them there but they soon find out! An interesting section albeit a little vague, not much explanation is given but it makes for a fast paced sequence with plenty of deaths!! 3/5
10/31/98 - Radio Silence
The film's final section showcases some supernatural events when a group of friends set off for a Halloween party. Instead of finding their party they stumble across a seriously haunted property and its clear to see why when they get a sneak peak of what's been happening in the attic! It's certainly one of the creepier shorts and really ends the film on a high note! 4/5
Overall V/H/S has some very interesting ideas, the found footage genre is riddled with entries but it's safe to say that this is one of the better additions. The idea of an anthology of found footage is original and there appears to be something for all horror genres here. You won't be blown away but it's a clean example of well executed horror.