Sometimes you hear reviews about films that you know you shouldn’t believe, but shirking common sense, you choose to anyway. I usually take all the little blurbs you read from other reviewers with a grain of salt, especially when they use phrases like “Scariest film of the year” because that tends to mean the film is most definitely not the scariest film that year by far. Well, despite all of my knowledge and history with watching horror films I got caught up in the hype, and was genuinely excited about watching “V/H/S.”
“V/H/S” follows a group of hoodlums who run around commiting acts of vandalism and violence for their enjoyment. They are hired by some mysterious person to break into a home and steal a VHS tape. Once inside they find hundreds of tapes, and as they begin watching them the realization dawns that something is terribly off inside the house.
Interesting premise right? Maybe, but the execution within was shoddy at best. The story was less than coherent, and devolved into an un-linked series of horror stories which didn’t give you enough time to actually become invested in any of them.
Warning: Potential spoilers below.
There are 6 different narratives told throughout the story including the one I mentioned above. These stories cast a wide net, some dealing with monsters, and some dealing with switch-blade wielding masked women, but never truly congeal to make you understand why someone would collect these tapes.
The only story that was really interesting dealt with a woman, who via video-chat, shows her boyfriend that she is experiencing what appears to be a haunting. However as the story goes on you realize that it isn’t ghosts at all, but something much more sinister perpetrated by her loving boyfriend.
After watching the film I couldn’t help but see the overtones of misogyny in several of the different narratives. Women tend to be the catalyst for much of the death and destruction in these films, and whether or not it was done intentionally, it was obvious that the films held a negative view of the female gender. I think you can mirror this idea with what I found as the most horrifying segment of the whole film: The hoodlums from the main story assault a woman in a parking garage, exposing her breasts for the camera, all the while laughing. This, along with the other instances of negativity coming from and directed toward women, made me feel uneasy.
If you want to watch a film that has a quality narrative, interesting characters, and interesting plot, then please steer clear of “V/H/S.”