I know it’s not traditional to review the first of a series after you’ve already reviewed the sequel…but that’s what I’m doing with V/H/S. About a month ago, I reviewed V/H/S/2, which you can read here; I really enjoyed it, partly because you don’t have to have seen the first one to know what’s going on. Likewise, the first V/H/S is very entertaining and well done, however I have to confess that I do like the second one better. But that should not dissuade you from checking this one out. V/H/S is a ground-breaking horror film and it deserves a spot in every genre fan’s library!
If you are not familiar with V/H/S, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Magnet Releasing:
V/H/S is a point of view, found-footage horror film from the perspective of America’s top genre filmmakers. In V/H/S, a group of misfits are hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house in the countryside and acquire a rare tape. Upon searching the house, the guys are confronted with a dead body, a hub of old televisions and an endless supply of cryptic footage, each video stranger and more inexplicably terrifying than the last…
Just like it’s sequel, V/H/S is a non-traditional horror flick. It is a compilation of short films, all shot from a first-person perspective, that all blend in with the main storyline. The short films are not related, except that they are all smaller pieces to the bigger plot. But again, this diversity is part of what makes the film so much fun.
Unlike the second one, this film actually uses the main plot-line in a more terrifying fashion. I will not go into great detail, but I will say that the main storyline is just as horrific as the individual shorts. It even made me jump at one point, which is a true testament to the quality of any horror film.
Probably my favorite short in V/H/S is the first one, titled “Amateur Night”. In this film, three guys rent a hotel room with the hopes of bringing girls back for sex. Their main focus is for the nerdier of their group, Clint, to score. They outfit him with glasses that have a spy-cam attached so he can record his exploit. Unfortunately, the girl he picks out is not quite what she seems, and the events that follow are like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
But although I really liked V/H/S, I think I enjoyed the sequel more. It feels like the production crew took things up several notches in the second one, including more intensity and even bigger scares. However, I highly recommend this first film as a compliment to seeing the second one. Both are definite Must Owns for your collection, and I suggest you check them both out soon. They are available now in a variety of formats.