Written by: John Edward Betancourt
Some things in this life just go perfect together. Ketchup and mustard, zombies and brains and when it comes to nostalgia; horror movies and VHS tapes. VHS, in my humble opinion, is one of the biggest reasons that horror films found their staying power during the 1980s and most of the 1990s. A simple trip to your video store and the world of horror was at your fingertips.
So it only makes sense that someone decided to combine these two elements and the ever popular found footage sub genre to create something that quite frankly I have never seen in horror...the aptly titled V/H/S.
A group of vile thugs have received what they consider to be an easy task. They are to break into a house and swipe a VHS tape for their client. But this easy task quickly becomes a terrifying experience. For within the walls of the house they not only find a fresh corpse but a strange television setup complete with a vast collection of VHS tapes, full of disturbing images, and each time one of these tapes is viewed, something within the house seems to become more aware of their presence.
I have to hand it to this movie for providing us with a truly fresh and original take on the found footage genre all while paying homage to the horror greats that came before it. Part Creepshow, part The Blair Witch Project, V/H/S is a unique little twist on the genre. In fact we are given five tales of terror and the randomness of each works quite well with the video cassette theme since we never quite know what we will get when the next tape gets popped in.
Sadly, the stories are a mix of awesome and just...okay. I don't want to say any of them are outright terrible, because they're not, they are just inconsistent in the scares. Each one is special in its own right, but truthfully the first and last stories; "Amateur Night" and "10/31/98" are the cream of the crop for this film. But regardless this movie is worth a watch. For those of us who grew up on VHS horror it's a great throw back and the movie is flat out entertaining. There is no philosophy and commentary to be found here and that's okay, because there is nothing wrong with a little popcorn horror and V/H/S delivers in that department.