Saturday, September 8, 2012


(This girl ain't evil, just misunderstood).

It was a good time at the Musa homestead the other night despite the general awfulness of V/H/S. We, at least, had a solid crew watching to commiserate with when things got really dreadful (I'm looking at you, McQuaid!). I don't have a lot to say about the movie other than that I must echo the sentiments of John and Brandon and admit my profound disappointment. There are some decent segments (was generally on board with the succubus one, the last one, and, of course, Ti West's), but I'd say largely things are pretty cheap, uninteresting, and surprisingly tame in the scare department. I told Chris beforehand that I didn't think the film would be scary because I didn't really think it was possible to build tension or set the mood with found footage (a la PARANORMAL ACTIVITY). Sadly I was proven 100% true. And that's the main problem with V/H/S. Like with PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, we are forced to watch largely irredeemable characters we hate while we wait for something awful to happen to them. If what happens to them isn't scary or entertaining then the film is a complete failure. It has to live and die by its scares. It certainly offers nothing else to latch onto. There's no craft, it looks fairly ugly, the characters are terrible, the dialogue is trite, and tits and gore are used as fall-back positions when the filmmakers run out of ideas. There's an interesting interview with Ti West below where he basically expounds upon all the reasons I find found footage so banal and ironically why I thought it made V/H/S so horribly tawdry. I find West to be a cool guy, and the interview with him actually makes me appreciate his short even more. His at least has some sense of craft, and grounds itself in reality. Still, it would have been so much better without the shaky cam.

I'll do like John and briefly comment on each of the segments. Like he and Brandon both said, this thing is a mixed bag.

Tape 56/wraparound - Utterly pointless. It might not have helped that we were talking throughout most of these scenes, but honestly, from what I could tell, we didn't miss much. This arc is totally underdeveloped, idiotic, and lifeless.

Amateur Night - Ironically, this is NOT the title of Glenn McQuaid's film, but of one of the better shorts of the bunch. It's certainly the creepiest, but like John, I too wished it were scarier. I also agree with what Brandon says here: "It actually seemed to have a purpose, the dudes from THE HANGOVER meeting an appropriate end via their unchecked misogyny." Damn straight.

Second Honeymoon - I'll be a proud Ti West apologist with Brandon here. I mostly liked his short and remain a big fan of his. It absolutely could have been scarier, but it has his signature all over it and I appreciate this. He genuinely cares about trying to build suspense and spending time with characters before the blood stars flowing. I like what John said: "it felt like Rod Serling trying to turn an episode of the Twilight Zone into a snuff film. Wait. I guess that doesn't sound all that bad after all." haha. Indeed.

Tuesday the 17th - Best of the bunch, hands down. Ah, Glenn McQuaid, you incompetent bastard. This one got the most derision on the night and deservedly so. It's terribly constructed on every conceivable level. The only good that came out of it was that it spawned the phrase "nice going, McQuaid," which hopefully will last for years to come.

The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger - As Alex mentioned, this one was a little better in retrospect than it was in actually sitting through. I had to have John explain part of the twist to me, which made it a little more interesting. I still think that it's largely laughable (it did get the biggest unintentional guffaw of the night), but can appreciate what John liked about it.

10/31/98 - I'm very much in agreement on this one with Brandon and John (and hell, everyone else that watched). Probably the best of the bunch, though it still could have been scarier. Very impressive visual effects and a solid sense of fun. Definitely a weak ending though. Almost ruined it for me.

Credits - Had a cool song that was better than a majority of the film.

When the movie was over - As Jesse said, this was surely the best part.

Overall, despite its suckiness, it was fun to see V/H/S with such great company. And I think we all learned some valuable lessons from it. Like: if you are a raging douche-bag you will die a horrible death, or you will make a horror short called "Tuesday the 17th." But I think the most valuable lesson we all learned is that we should have just listened to Tara and Becca from the beginning. :)

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