In a digital world, why V/H/S?

BOO! A masked killer in V/H/S.
BOO! A masked killer in V/H/S.

V/H/S (18)

Directors: too many to shake a stick at.

Starring: Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughs and Adam Wingard.

Running time:1hr 56mins.

WELL this is an unholy mess of a film. It looks like a film school project (in the ‘F’ category) that was accidentally released to an unsuspecting public.

In film making terms, this comes under the genre of ‘found footage’ (as in the film is presented as it was originally ‘found’).

The first film to utilise this type of movie making was The Blair Witch Project.

But since then it has been misused by many a director to cover all manner of inadequacies in storyline, acting or camera work.

The best utilisation of this style in recent years was the excellent Spanish horror REC.

A multi-director endeavour, it works under the mask of a storyline which sees several young men hired to steal a video from a desolate house.

Why? We don’t know and none of the various directors seems to think that it’s worth bothering about.

It’s a plot device to let us watch various shaky cams of people dying in ever-more weird circumstances.

There’s the girl who’s picked up in a bar and turns out to be...

Or the two couples who go camping in the woods where a killer famously killed, you guessed it, four young people and...

I wouldn’t want to spoil the predictable endings of these disparate little tales.

There are ten listed directors attached to this film and not one of them seems to have heard the quip: What’s a camel? It’s a horse built by committee.

And they’re not even proper directors, not in any sense I understand it.

They have regular day jobs behind the camera (and as far away from a director’s chair as you can get).

One of them is even the founder of a punk band, for crying out loud.

There are no stars attached to this, either the ‘directors’ couldn’t afford any names or the names simply looked at a script.

It’s a pity that V/H/S is so bad because they did do one thing right.

There are a few moments of special effects which are spot on and don’t seem rammed down your throat.

This was a surprise: I would have thought from this gang of newbies they would have pushed the effects to centre stage to hopefully drag attention away from anyone wishing to look for a storyline.

But no, mostly the effects are simply there incidentally.

Not that’s enough to save this film.

Mind you, it’s been receiving rave reviews stateside — but I’d assume most of the reviews are coming from young kids who are scared of their own shadows.

See it if you want:: I really don’t care.

Rating: 2/5.