Wednesday, 16 January 2013

film review: V/H/S

Conceived and co-produced by’s Brad Miska, V/H/S unites horror movie formats past (the anthology) and ever-present (found-footage), yet fails to fulfil its grisly potential. While the wraparound tales are rarely a highlight of such horror anthologies, Adam Wingard’s puerile and boring effort is particularly tiresome, while Ti West – director of the superb The Innkeepers and The House of the Devil, and therefore perhaps the contributor with the most genre pedigree – disappoints with a pedestrian stalk-and-slice trifle.

Throughout, the found footage conceit is overplayed, fostering a moribund monotony on what might have otherwise been a diverse omnibus, but it’s not all such a slog. Just about making it worthwhile are Joe Swanberg’s enjoyably daft offering, which delivers V/H/S’s most effective stingers despite its canny absurdity; and an intense finale from the Radio Silence collective, which side-lines story for an all-out assault on the nerves. But these late entries can’t salvage an otherwise stale collection that quickly outstays its welcome.

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