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Thread: V/H/S

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default V/H/S

    This horror flick just came out in limited release. I had been curious to see it when I heard about it (it's a hand-held / found footage anthology-style movie), it had scored high on Rotten Tomatoes at first, but now is just in the high 50's. Unfortunately, it was not showing anywhere in Baltimore; however, I happened to see that my PS3 had it out for home rental, and I was bored last night, so....

    I understand why it was in the high 50%'s. Parts of it were intriguing, but on the whole it was underwhelming. I wouldn't say portions of it weren't worth seeing though.

    I don't want to spoil the details of the movie. Basically there's a video sequence that is continually revisited, and there are five other segments (all shot by different directors, with different casts) that are within the larger overall arc. However, one weakness of the movie is that -- despite that framework -- none of the clips are really related to each other. I think the movie would have been more interesting if there had been a thru-line of some sort that tied together all the clips.

    Another weakness is that, maybe each on their own, the clips would not seem repetitive; however, there's only a certain number of times in a row you can watch characters get mangled and killed by creepy crap. They all seem to end poorly. (My favorite segment was the first clip, with the guys who go out to pick up girls while wearing the spectacles camera. ) The writing and directing seems to vary in quality from segment to segment.

    Finally, I have to bitch about the hand-held cam on some segments -- it's probably the most jittery and unstable cam shots I've seen in a movie, to the point of making the opening sequence almost unwatchable. At some point, you need to sacrifice realism for actually telling a story; the camera's lack of focus and bouncing all over the place did not help the audience feel like they were "there in the story," it just felt like crappy camera-manship and made it really hard to watch the first ten minutes of the movie. I was glad when things settled and other directors started doing their clips.

    But let's get into strengths. Although they overdid the bouncy cam in spots, the movie generally played into the "found footage" genre strengths -- a few of the directors really knew how to use it to their advantage, how to limit lighting, control what the audience could see and not see, used distortion appropriately, etc.

    Also, having shorter clips means that they could hit an idea and then drop it within a short period of time, rather than letting it go too long. Some of the ideas aren't worth a whole movie; however, they worked well in the shorter format.

    Finally, most of the actors were at least competent for being no names. And there is one actress in particular (and you might notice this in the first minute or two when you see her) who was perfectly cast in terms of appearance and ability, and is as creepy and intriguing as hell. I don't know who she is, I've never seen her before, but she played her part perfectly. She was just very unsettling. It was one of those performances where she didn't even seem to be acting, she seemed to actually be her character -- very unnerving.

    Anyway, I wouldn't pay money for this in a theater. I think it's definitely a Redbox thing, if you're into this kind of horror flick.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    I read about this movie several months ago.
    I want to see it, so I'll probably download it (illegally).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duck_of_Death View Post
    I read about this movie several months ago.
    I want to see it, so I'll probably download it (illegally).
    Free, it's definitely worth it.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    I'm looking forward to seeing Adam Wingard mind blossom.

    I'm really excited about The ABCs of Death.

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    Just finished watching it. Lame.
    Then again, I'm not a fan of the horror genre.

    However,

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    Screw VHS, Betamax all the way!

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    Thanks for starting this thread, Jennifer. I saw this over the weekend and have been hoping to discuss it with someone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I understand why it was in the high 50%'s. Parts of it were intriguing, but on the whole it was underwhelming. I wouldn't say portions of it weren't worth seeing though.
    I'd say this is a pretty accurate assessment. The first segment (not the frame story, but the first actual vhs tape) was probably the strongest, followed by the final one. I think for the rest the set-ups held potential they simply didn't deliver on. The film suffered the most from pretty severe overhyping in my opinion.

    Sinister seems to be our One Last Hope for good horror this year, but the trailers have left me pretty cold. There's a couple of indie's that I've heard good things about, namely the Innkeepers (which incidentally was the same guy who directed the segment in v/h/s about the guy and the girl on a honeymoon in Arizona), but I'm not holding my breath.

    Honestly, the scariest shit I've seen all year was rewatching The Ring 2 a couple of weeks ago. Now there's a bitch who knows how to carry a film.
    And so long as you haven’t experienced this: to die and so to grow,
    you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wind-Up Rex View Post
    I'd say this is a pretty accurate assessment. The first segment (not the frame story, but the first actual vhs tape) was probably the strongest, followed by the final one. I think for the rest the set-ups held potential they simply didn't deliver on. The film suffered the most from pretty severe overhyping in my opinion.
    That seems to be a consensus, that the first one was strong. Part of me wishes they had ended with it (to finish well), except by that point viewers might have been too jaded/bored to care, so I suppose it's best it was first.



    Sinister seems to be our One Last Hope for good horror this year, but the trailers have left me pretty cold.
    I'm not sure either way -- I found the trailers kind of unsettling, but I've been let down by movies before with half-decent trailers (e.g., "The Last Exorcism"), so you just don't know. It's had decent reviews out of the box, but I guess we'll see more reviews in the next few days.

    last year I think one of the better horror flicks I saw was Insidious. It wasn't the most perfect movie, but it had some genuine freakout moments, an interesting ending, decent enough actors (including Rose Byrne), and it was a case where characters actually did some intelligent things for once (like, "OMG we're in a haunted house -- let's move out!" duh, about time!)

    There's a couple of indie's that I've heard good things about, namely the Innkeepers (which incidentally was the same guy who directed the segment in v/h/s about the guy and the girl on a honeymoon in Arizona), but I'm not holding my breath.
    Ebert dissed V/H/S but actually mentioned the Innkeepers as being a stronger, more interesting showing from the director. So... not sure yet on that one.

    The guy/girl on honeymoon sequence was kind of interesting but rather straight-forward -- it has a twistedly cute fortune reading foreshadowing the plot, but otherwise mostly whatever tension it had was from not knowing what was going to happen.


    Honestly, the scariest shit I've seen all year was rewatching The Ring 2 a couple of weeks ago. Now there's a bitch who knows how to carry a film.
    Do you mean the American remake(s)? I really didn't like Ring 2 very much, it just seemed to explain too much to its detriment and also suffered "sequel-itis," but I am a big fan of much of the first one. The whole movie had a really creepy ambiance and imagery, and it wasn't clear where it was going for the longest time. Some great cameos too (like Brian Cox). The funnest part has been seeing Daveigh Chase (who plays the girl) in a bunch of other "normal" films... for example, she played Samantha Darko in "Donnie Darko" when she was younger, as well as Lilo in "Lilo & Stitch."
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    @Wind-Up Rex: Actually watching The Innkeepers right now... it's on NetFlix.

    VHS almost seems like the guy's college project, vs this movie which seems to be a step up. Not sure whether it will pan out, but the actors seem at ease and natural enough. Decent camera angles and composition, etc., as well.

    The funny thing is seeing Kelly McGillis. She was the "hot property" back in the 80's, with Top Gun and Witness (she's made out with Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford). She was 54 when this film was made, though, and actually looks it. I wouldn't have recognized her otherwise.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    @Wind-Up Rex: Actually watching The Innkeepers right now... it's on NetFlix.

    VHS almost seems like the guy's college project, vs this movie which seems to be a step up. Not sure whether it will pan out, but the actors seem at ease and natural enough. Decent camera angles and composition, etc., as well. The music scorer is also professional, he doesn't overdo things so far -- the music definitely supports the story rather than over-telegraphing.

    The funny thing is seeing Kelly McGillis. She was the "hot property" back in the 80's, with Top Gun and Witness (she's made out with Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford). She was 54 when this film was made, though, and actually looks it. I wouldn't have recognized her otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Within View Post
    I'm really excited about The ABCs of Death.
    Just read about it on IMDB. Hadn't heard of it before. Looks interesting. But the reviews say the quality varies wildly from segment to segment. (That's always the problem with these anthology pieces, I guess.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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