Monday, September 10, 2012
V/H/S (2012): The Anthology Lives!
Greetings, darlings! I have been immensely excited for this film since I first heard about it several months ago. I discovered it by looking up director Ti West’s (House of the Devil, The Innkeepers) filmography, eager to see what he was going to come up with next. At the time his next project was an anthology-style film called V/H/S, which sounded awesome, and had a bad-ass trailer. In fact, I believe I mentioned it at the end of my review of The Innkeepers. It became my most anticipated film of the year.
You may know that the film was released On Demand this past week, and although I really wanted to see it on the silver screen when it came to St. Louis in October, I could not pass up the opportunity.
The frame story is about a group of assholes that make money off of videos in the “up-skirt” fashion. One of them (we’ll call him Mustache) says that a guy tipped him off about a video that will cash in for a ridiculous amount of money; all they have to do is steal it from a guy’s house.
When the group arrives at the house and break in they find the owner of the house, an elderly man, dead in his armchair in front of several sets of staticky televisions. Whoever tipped off Mustache told him that they are looking for one specific tape; this man happens to have stacks of them, all unlabeled. The only way they can find “the one” is to watch them.
Each tape was done by a separate director; a list that consists of David Bruckner, Glen McQuaid (I Sell the Dead, Stake Land), Joe Swanberg, Adam Wingard, a group of directors called Radio Silence, and of course, Ti West.
I was SO excited for this movie that I was actually terrified that it was going to disappoint me horribly. Lucky, it was AWESOME!
Seriously, I’m not exaggerating. There are things that could lead you to believe that it is unoriginal. For example, it is a found footage piece and it is the anthology-style, there are dozens of each. However, this film is different from any other film you have experienced. The frame story and each individual “tape” are each completely original and refreshing. Oh, did I mention that this film is fucking scary? Hands down, the most terrifying film I’ve seen all year. I might also add that it is not for the faint of heart; it has gore that “goes there”.
It is stylish, it is clever, and it deserves applause from the horror community. These directors give us hope for the future of the genre, which we need with so many stupid films making money in the mainstream box office (The Apparition and The Possession are two good examples).
Speaking of horror anthologies, I caught wind of another one coming up next month. Called The ABCs of Death, it is a collection of 26 short films, each by a different director, and each film corresponds with a letter in the alphabet.
Obviously each word will be somehow related to horror, what the word may be was left up to the directors, themselves. Ti West is also on board with this one, as well as Adam Wingard, Ben Weatley (director of Kill List), and a directorial debut by beloved genre actress Angela Bettis (favorite of director Lucky McKee).
There is a short trailer/promo thing for it on IMDB, so check that out if you are interested.
It is scheduled to release on September 15th in Canada, October 4th in Russia, and November 2nd in the US (limited).