Lets Talk: “V/H/S” Meanders with Few Effective Chills


The month of October is a great time to watch a scary movie and the multiplexes are filled with them. I enjoy being haunted by a creepy movie this time of year. As the “Paranormal Activity” franchise grows tiresome, genre fans will want to look elsewhere to find the next big thing. “VHS” isn’t quite that, but promises much more then it delivers. 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. We as the viewer are able to watch what they watch.


All the short films conclude with mixed results. There are some throw away stories including, “Tuesday the 17th,” when co-eds are stalked in the woods by something more similar to the Predator then Jason Vorhees. “Second Honeymoon” has two newlyweds being stocked by someone while getting to know one another. There’s a good gasp at the end. “Amateur Night,” features sleazy guys who pick up women at bars and take them to their hotels face their . “V/H/S” saves the best story for last with the Haunted House tale “10/31/98” about four friends who stumble upon a few ghoulish surprises. It was a way to end the movie with suspenseful, somewhat campy high note.


Vignettes of horror “V/H/S” has some scary jumps and moments of intensity featuring a few ghastly twists to shock the viewer. However, a found footage movie that runs almost at two hours is asking a lot from the shaky cam style. Overstaying its welcome, this drags almost to the point of being tedious. I felt like 10 minutes would’ve been removed from the movie due to lackluster pacing. We don’t need character develop here because we are suddenly introduced to them. What more can we learn from them? A movie like “V/H/S” is a horror film for fans of the genre only. Debuting at the Sundance Film Festival just like the original “SAW,” this is something that wont convert many followers nor have mainstream appeal.


V/H/S Opens today in select theaters and currently available on V.O.D.

Comment with Facebook

About Kenny Miles

Whether something is overlooked by Hollywood or whatever business trend has captured the Entertainment Industry’s attention, Kenny Miles loves to talk about movies (especially the cultural impact of a film). He covers various aspects of movies including specialty genre films, limited release, independent, foreign language, documentary features, and THE much infamous "awards season." Also, he likes to offer his opinion on the business of film, marketing strategy, and branding. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and is a member of the Denver Film Critics Society critics group. You can follow him on Twitter @kmiles723.

Leave a Reply