My meh feelings on the found-footage gimmick are being overshadowed currently by my love of anthology horror when it comes to the upcoming V/H/S. In both literature, television, and film, horror has always lent itself well to a short format, possibly because at its core a horror story is just a campfire ghost story. And a good ghost story is just like a good joke. Sometimes it is nice to get in and get out, focus entirely on the concept without needing to go into subplots or character development. Not all concepts warrant such expansion. Anthology films are even more fun (though not always as cohesive) when different directors helm the different segments. V/H/S isn’t as ambitious as 2012’s other horror anthology, The ABC’s of Death, which has 26 directors doing 26 segments (the two films actually share a couple filmmakers), but honestly 26 segments seems like overkill. I’m more intrigued by V/H/S, which I’ve been hearing some great things about (at least about a few of the segments).
The film is directed by David Bruckner (The Signal), Glenn McQuaid (I Sell the Dead), Radio Silence (a collective of on-line filmmakers), Joe Swanberg (Hannah Takes the Stairs), Ti West (The Innkeepers), and Adam Wingard (You’re Next), and it uses the framework of some petty criminals who are hired to retrieve a rare piece of found-footage from a secluded house. In the house they discover a lifeless body surrounded by a hub of TV’s and stacks upon stacks of VHS tapes. As they search for the right one, we are treated a new horror shorts. It is an interesting ensemble of directors. The Innkeepers turned me around on Ti West a little bit, and I sense great things for the direction that Adam Wingard’s career is going with You’re Next.