Honestly, I feel like reviewing this movie is like picking on the blind kid at the playground; he can’t help running face-first into the wall, but you’d think after doing it 30 times he’d learn his lesson.
A group of trouble-making twenty-somethings, who are just really terrible people, have been hired to break into an old man’s house to steal a videotape. When the old man is found dead in the house, each hoodlum decides it would be a good idea to watch as many VHS tapes as possible to reveal which one they’re looking for. The tapes are all revealed to be snuff films, or accidental snuff films, and one by one the hoodlums go missing. That’s the main plot, anyway. The movie is 2 hours long but 90% of it is watching the VHS tapes.
So, unlike other reviews, I’m going to be reviewing the VHS tapes as sub-plots in the movie, since they are what is supposed to make this movie scary. This is obviously very low budget filming so I won’t discredit the filmmaker’s for lack of trying with what they had to work with.
Having said that…
1. The first snuff film we see is a handful of college kids getting ripped apart by a gargoyle. I have to give them credit that the actress chosen to play the “gargoyle” looks creepy as hell, it’s just hard to take the concept seriously. If you can’t take the movie seriously, it’s impossible to find it scary. By the time this scene was over I was beginning to think the entire movie was just an excuse to get women to take their tops off. There are more random titties in this movie than “Game of Thrones.”
2. The second VHS is a newly-wed couple taking a road trip to the Grand Canyon, where his wife’s lesbian lover stabs him in the throat. That’s really the whole scene. They seem like normal people who love each other, but one night in the hotel a woman shows up and cuts the dude. Again, not scary. While this is obviously on a VHS tape in the old man’s house, it was recorded from a digital camera as shown when the camera man faces the mirror.
3. The third tape shows a few college kids getting stabbed by a pixelated ghost in the woods. This might be hard to believe but the worst acting in the whole movie is from the kids in this scene. One girl has brought three of her friends to die in the woods, because a while back she brought three of her friends and they died in the woods. Now she’s seeking revenge on whatever the hell that pixelated thing is supposed to be, using bear traps, holes in the ground, and walls of spikes taken straight out of a medieval torture movie. Obviously she fails, after which the “ghost” plays around with her small intestine. Great.
4. The fourth VHS is shot entirely from a webcam, and shows a dude in another state talking to a woman on (skype?) and the woman keeps seeing ghosts in her house. The ghosts eventually knock her unconscious and the dude she was (skype-ing?) with is revealed to be living in the apartment above hers. He rushes in the room and stabs her in the back, pulling out what looks like a small fetus or a kidney, and talking to the ghosts about the tracking chip in her arm. This might be the biggest “What the hell?!” moment of the movie. I don’t care what kind of budget you have, you don’t need millions of dollars to make a movie make sense. Secondly, how was the webcam video recorded on a VHS tape? Nevertheless a VHS tape that wound up in this old man’s house that the hoodlum’s are now watching.
5. The fifth tape shows four college kids going to a Halloween party, stumbling upon a redneck family doing an exorcism in the attic, and eventually getting hit by a train. This scene would have been so much better without the shitty attempt at special effects. Personally I find backwoods country people frightening enough, you don’t need to spice up the scene with arms coming out of the walls (yes, just like in that famous YouTube video), or floating furniture that looks like it was created in MS Paint. When we finally come back to the hoodlums in the old man’s house (I know, I forgot there was a plot, too), the old man is revealed to be a zombie and eats all the hoodlums.
In closing, I feel like I deserve a reward for making it through two hours of unwatchable, shaky camera, nausea-inducing garbage. The writing sucks, the budget sucks, the story sucks, the ending sucks. This movie represents the epitome of Horror-ble. ‘V/H/S’ might as well be a step-by-step guide of what not to do when making a horror movie. I noticed this on Netflix, and thought “What the hell? It sounds good.” This review is to protect the other curious minds out there that come across this trash. If you’re browsing horror movies and think about watching it, take my advice: Keep looking.
Cheers and goodnight.