is a anthology horror film with the central conceit being that all of the stories are "found footage" films, meaning first-person camcorder footage.
The trailer made me interested in watching this.
Also, looking at the people involved made me sort of excited to see it. Ti West, the guys behind The Signal
Sadly, it doesn't really work. I was almost ready to pan it, but the last segment was pretty fun and exhilarating. The other shorts vary quite a lot
First warning sign, the movie does not even believe it's own central idea. The idea is that these guys find a pile of VHS tapes with horrible stories on them. However, almost every story involves video shot on digital (with digital glitches to boot). Why would anybody transfer digital film to VHS?
Alright, none of this is really meant to be taken seriously. Every segment is all about audience reaction and jump scares. However, and I hope anybody who ever plans to make a horror movie reads and understands this, do not populate your film with douchebags. Spending time with douchebags in real life is awful, and they are not better in film. Sure they get murdered with alacrity in horror films, but that doesn't give me back the time I had to spend with them. Maybe write a film with actual characters I care about. That way when they die it's like a mean-spirited sucker punch to the gut. That works. It's the reason Stephen King stood supreme in the horror genre for two decades.
It's not a completely awful film. It is kind of fun. The last segment, directed by something called Radio Silence
, has a ball with the SFX, which are featured prominently in the trailer. I'm actually most disappointed with the Ti West segment, because he's a director I like. Absolutely nothing happens, except for a brief interlude with a well-worn urban legend
. I watched his commentary, and the movie he thinks he made is just not there on screen.
Well, not really as bad as I make it out to be, especially for an anthology film. How can you boo a movie that features a segment titled "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger"?