V/H/S is a horror anthology film from 2012. Under the sponsorship of Bloody Disgusting, a group of young directors got the change to create a horror movie like no other. V/H/S is based around a collection of old VHS tapes. The content of these tapes varies and each tell a different story directed by a different director or team of directors. The concept was so popular it has already spawned 2 sequels: V/H/S 2 in 2013 and V/H/S: Viral in 2014.
Tape 56/ Main FrameEdit
Directed by: Adam Wingard
The story starts by footage of a group of social misfits and their crimes: varying from mere vandalism to assaulting women in an attempt to expose their breasts or other body parts in order to sell them to amateur porn sites. It quickly cuts to footage from their recent job. Impressed by their earlier work, someone has hired them for a lot of money. But not for making a film, no... They are sent out to find this one particular VHS tape at a given address. Not below breaking-and-entering, they accept without a second thought. After entering the house, they quickly discover the first problem. The owner of the house has died. His corpse is found in his armchair, staring at blank television screens. With the man dead, they feel like they have nothing left to worry about and starts to go and search for the tape. But quickly they find themselves with a new problem. In the basement, they find a complete collection of VHS tapes. It is only now that they realize that they have no idea what content the requested VHS tape has. They could bring the whole collection with them but that would be more than 100 tapes. They decide that someone will watch the tapes, while the others look further. They figure that if someone is willing to hire some petty thieves to find a tape, it will be easily to identity it by it's footage. After all, it has to be worth the risk. He starts with a video already in the VCR. Little do they know that the tapes aren't the regular wedding videos you would expect...
Directed by: David Bruckner
Three friends in a motel room: Patrick, Shane and Clint are preparing themselves to hit the town. Clint has a hidden camera built in his glasses and the whole tape is made from his viewpoint. Their plan, inspired by Shane, is to bring women back to this room and have sex with them. The purpose of the glasses is to capture the footage and sell it to an amateur porn site. After making sure that the glasses aren't suspicious in any way, they leave. In an Irish pub, they meet up with several people but Clint attracts the attention of a shy girl, Lily who murmurs the words: I like you. She keeps repeating this several times. After a while, they manage to convince both Lily and a party girl named Lisa to come with them to their motel room. But the combination of drugs and alcohol takes their toll on Lisa who passes out nearly as soon as they arrive. This doesn't stop Shane however, but a laughing Patrick manages to discourage his friend from raping an unconscious girl. The awkward Lily only has eyes for Clint, but Shane still wants to make his porno and has decided that Lily will be his actress. Blinded by lust and his alcohol intoxication, Shane doesn't notice the unusual feature of Lily's legs. A short shot shows that she has scales growing on her legs and feet as Shane undresses her. Lily seems to be ready for action as she starts to undress Clint. Clint grows nervous and leaves for a moment as Patrick takes his place. It is then clear that Lily dislikes Patrick and hisses at him. Both Shane and Patrick are too lustful to care very much. Clint, taking refuge in the bathroom, wonders if he really wants this when Patrick rushes in, saying he was attacked by Lily. At first, Clint laughs but soon they realize that Lily is no ordinary girl. As they approach Shane they see her sprouting fangs and proceed to kill Shane. In shock and disturbed by what they have seen, they flee back to the bathroom.
After a few minutes they come with a plan and Patrick rips off the shower curtain in a desperate attempt to fight off Lily as Clint tries to wake up Lisa who is still unconscious. Patrick is easily subdued by Lily who makes short work of him, feeding on his blood and castrating him with her bare hands. In a blind panic, Clint flees from the room but falls down the stairs breaking his wrist. Bleeding on the floor, he is found by a more monstrous Lily who still says she likes him. She tries to fellatio him but when she notes that he is not aroused, she crawls away crying. Clint uses this opportunity to get up and flee. Screaming for help as he passes by motel rooms, nobody takes Clint seriously. Lily, now a monster with wings grabs him and lifts him up into in the air. The final images are of Clint screaming as he is flown into the night sky, followed by his glasses falling off and falling on the concrete, ending the footage.
Tape 56/ Main FrameEdit
The main story continues when the two men in the basement searching for more tapes as one is startled by a man-like figure. Having the feeling someone else is in the basement with them, he is concerned, and wishes to go. The second guy commands that his friend calms down and they carry the videos to their friend who starts a new tape.
Directed by Ti West
The video was made by a young couple, Sam and Stephanie on trip to a canyon. The trip is meant to be a second honeymoon. During their stay, they visit a Wild West theme park and look at some stores. As they continue their walk around the stores, they see a mechanical fortune-telling prospector. After little persuasion by Sam, Stephanie gives it a try and receives an interesting prediction: soon she will be reunited with a loved one. She and Sam laugh about it and return to their motel room. In their motel room, they are asked by a girl if Sam could give her a ride the next day. He eventually refused (This happens off camera). In the bathroom, as Stephanie is undressing, Sam tries to persuade her into stripping for the camera but she is clear: if he wants a striptease, he have to put away the camera. In the middle of the night, someone has broken into their room and looks around. The intruder carries a switchblade, and softly caresses the buttocks of Stephanie with it, all while filming the whole act. The intruder leaves undetected after taking a hundred dollars from Sam's wallet.
The missing of the hundred dollars leads to a small argument between Sam and Stephanie, as Sam is convinced that Stephanie has taken his money. The discussion is left unfinished and they try to enjoy the rest of their day visiting the canyon. Sam climbs at the cliff and Stephanie warns him to be careful. Sam laughs her concerns away and asks for the camera. He sees someone calling at this unusual place. He is slightly amused by this sight. Later that night, we see that the intruder has returned. But this time the intentions are far worse. The intruder–after keeping the camera steady on Sam–stabs him in the neck and lets him bleed out on his bed. Moments later, we see the intruder washing away the blood from the knife. The intruder is a woman and wears a cheap plastic mask. She is quickly joined by Stephanie who kisses her passionately. The murderer was Stephanie's loved one. The frame jumps and the final shot is of the woman driving with Stephanie next to her, asking if she has erased the tape.
Tape 56/ Main FrameEdit
The man viewing tapes, starts a new tape, but in the brief moment we see him interchanging tapes, it is revealed that the dead owner of the tapes is gone.
Tuesday the 17thEdit
Directed by Glenn McQuaid
A group of four 20 year old, Joey, Spider, Samantha and Wendy have planned a camping trip in the woods. Joey has decided to film the whole trip. But they quickly find something strange about Wendy. Besides the playful jokes as they hike through the forests, her 'jokes' are more cruel and sadistic in nature. At one time, she tells Joey they will die after he flirted with her. She also mentioned that things have happened in these forests. Wendy is not the only one acting strange, the camera is too. At moments, the image becomes distorted and at few occasions show things that aren't there. As they arrive at the lake, they change clothing and jump in the water. Once more, Wendy alluded to strange tragedies and their imminent demise. Spider and Samantha wander off but ended up killed by weird creature. It has the size of a man but for unknown reasons, the view of it is obscured by Tracking Errors. Joey is horrified by this as he discovers that Wendy wasn't joking. She explains that her friends were indeed killed by the creature last years and that she brought them here as a bait to lure him out. The reason for this was to get even with the killer as she was the lone survivor of that previous killing spree and deemed crazy by the police when she told them what the creature was capable of. But now she will have prove and the lifes of her new 'friends is an acceptable prize. Before he can do more then being disgusted by her, his throat is slit by the killer.
Wendy manages to run away with the camera but is taken out by a booby trap. The trap only hurts her slightly and she is able to get up. The killer gets close to her but she lures him into a trap and impales him on stakes. Believing she finally has won, she gloats about it. Happy that she has finished that what she has come to do, she leaves. This proves to be a bad idea as when she looks around the creature is gone! She don't get anytime for regret as the creature attacks her from a tree and beats her with the camera before killing her. The obscure creature continues with eviscerating her body in order to inhabit it.
Tape 56/ Main FrameEdit
The body of the man is back but when the two criminals come back to the living room with more tapes, their friend is gone. Believing he have wandered off, the leader of the group orders his companion to continue watching the tapes.
The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was YoungerEdit
Directed by: Joe Swanberg
The footage of this video was made entirely with a webcam. Emily is talking with her soon-to-doctor boyfriend James over video chat. She is worried about a strange bump in her arm and wants his professional advice. She tells him how it reminds her about something strange that happened in her childhood but she can't remember the details. James tells her that is probably nothing, trying to reassure her. Promptly, she mentions that there is something wrong with the house. Her belief is that the house is in fact haunted. James isn't impressed and tells her that is likely nothing. Although she agrees that he's likely right, she insists to talk with the landlord.
On an unfaithful night, she calls James as something is happening in her apartment. Using him as her eyes, she wanders through the apartment. With the webcam, James see glimpses of a strange creature but isn't sure. It becomes clear that the house might be indeed haunted as they start to see a little kid. Emily later asks her landlord about the previous owners of the apartment but none of them had children. The bump on her arm has been worsened. On Webcam, she shows James the bump. There is something in the bump, she says and she starts to cut it a scalpel. James tells her to stop it but she ignores it and tries a fork. He tells her that she has to stop cutting the bump at risk of infection and promises her that he will come over soon and examine the bump.
Later that night, she is visited once more by the little child but as she tries to make contact with it, something knocks her out. Moments later, the door opens and James come inside. He argues with some aliens while removing an alien fetus. He asks them how much longer they will use her as incubator for alien/human hybrid fetuses, explaining what happened to Emily in the past and his involvement in it. He worries about the infection caused by the tracker in her arm and believes it to harmful. The aliens have wiped clean her memory but James feels the need to cover tracks even more and proceed in breaking her arm.
In a later chat session it is revealed that she believes that her injuries were caused by a traffic accident, caused due to being in a fugue stage. Tearfully, she confess that she is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, which should explain the visions. Heartbroken, she asks him to find a more normal girl to be his girlfriend, to which he responses by telling her he will always love her. As he closes the chat, he opens a new conversation with another girl who seems to have a strange bump on her arm...
Tape 56/ Main FrameEdit
As leader returns to the room, he find himself alone. The chair is empty and nobody seems to be watching the video. He is completely alone. Spooked by the fact that his second friend has vanished, he starts looking for them. His search leads him upstairs where he does a horrible discovery, the decapitated remains of one of his friends. Almost immediately after finding the body, he is attacked by the old man who owns the house. But he has changed, turned into zombie! In terror, he runs downstairs. In his haste, he falls and is killed by the creature that lurked in the basement and his second-in-command saw a glimpse of earlier in the movie. As his death is taped, the VCR starts one final tape, all on it's own.
Directed by: Radio Silence
As suggested by the name of the tape, the footage was made on Halloween' eve, 1998. Four friends are preparing themselves for a Halloween party, all dressed up (Chad as the Una-bomber, Matt as a Pirate, Tyler as a teddy bear with a Nanny cam implant and Paul as a Marine). It is only when they are driving they realize that they aren't entirely sure of the address. They drive to the house they believed to be the right one and sneak inside. The house is empty but quite nice and for a moment they believe they just arrived early. When they look around in the room, they experience some strange things, like a doll that change position. Believing this has to be prank, they laugh at it, now ensured that this has to be the place. But they start to doubt this conclusion and are ready to leave the house. But not before visiting the attic. As they enter the attic they find themselves witness to a strange ritual. A woman is chained up in a spread eagle position, circled by men who chant: Cast you down. Assuming this too is a Halloween prank, just for fun, they join in. Once the men are aware of their presence, they react violently and it becomes clear the men aren't joking around, they are really doing an exorcism. One of the man assaults the woman physically as paranormal activity takes hold of the house. The boys tried to flee at first but change their minds. The boys act quickly and without a second thought they free the girl. The men tried to stop them but something unearthly kills them. Hands grow from the walls and the floors trying to stop them. Windows disappears as the house tries to stop the four boys of escaping. Eventually the manage to get out via the basement. Once outside, they flee to their car with the girl and drive off. Trying to comprehend what happened in the house, the car suddenly stops. It refuse to start again, and it is now that they discover that the girl is gone. She appears before their car and screams. She turns into a flock of birds, revealing to them how grave their mistake was to save her. The house wasn't haunted, she was! The sound of a train, brings them back to reality and they realize that the car broke down on the train tracks! Desperately trying to get out the car, they find themselves unable to do so. The camera goes black moments before the Freight train rams the car and kill the four.
The end credits consists out of more of the exploits of the criminals from tape 56.
- Tape 56
- Calvin Reeder as Gary
- Lane Hughes as Zak
- Kentucker Audley as Rox
- Adam Wingard as Brad
- Frank Stack as Old Man
- Sarah Byrne as Abbey
- Melissa Boatright as Tabitha
- Simon Barrett as Steve
- Andrew Droz Palermo as Fifth Thug
- Amateur Night
- Hannah Fierman as Lily
- Mike Donlan as Shane
- Joe Sykes as Patrick
- Drew Sawyer as Clint
- Jas Sams as Lisa
- Cuthbert Wallace as Toothbrush
- Second Honeymoon
- Joe Swanberg as Sam
- Sophia Takal as Stephanie
- Kate Lyn Sheil as Girl
- Tuesday the 17th
- Norma C. Quinones as Wendy
- Drew Moerlein as Joey Brenner
- Jeannine Yoder as Samantha
- Jason Yachanin as Spider
- Bryce Burke as The Glitch
- The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger
- Helen Rogers as Emily
- Daniel Kaufman as James
- Liz Harvey as The New Girl
- Corrie Fitzpatrick as Girl Alien
- Isaiah Hillman as Boy Alien
- Taliyah Hillman as Little Girl Alien
- Chad Villella as Chad
- Matt Bettinelli-Olpin as Matt
- Tyler Gillett as Tyler
- Paul Natonek as Paul
- Nicole Erb as The Girl
- John Walcutt as Cult Leader
- Eric Curtis as Roommate
List of DeathsEdit
List of deaths in the film V/H/S
|Segment||Name||Cause of Death||Killer||On Screen||Notes|
|Amateur Night||Shane||D.W.'s Flips||Lily||Yes|
|Amateur Night||Patrick||Bully for Binky||Lily||Yes|
|Second Honeymoon||Sam||Rattles Bad Mood||Stephanie's mistress||Yes|
|Tuesday the 17th||Samantha||Arthur's Big Hit||The Glitch||Yes|
|Tuesday the 17th||Spider||Kenny's Sad Mood||The Glitch||Yes|
|Tuesday the 17th||Joey||Stolen Bike||The Glitch||Yes|
|Tuesday the 17th||Wendy||Francine Goes To War||The Glitch||Yes|
|Tape 56||4 of the gang members||My Fair Tommy||Mysterious Man||No||At least one was beheaded|
|Tape 56||Gang leader||Steve Brian and Mary Overweight||Creature in the basement||No|
|10/31/1998||Cult Members||Arthur's The World Greatest Gleeper||Demonic forces||Briefly|
|10/31/1998||Chad, Matt, Paul and Tyler||Arthur's Almost Boring Day||Demonic Girl||Yes||The engine of the car broke on the rails and the doors were locked|
Trevor Groth, a programmer of Midnight movies at the Sundance Film Festival, said, "I give this all the credit in the world because conceptually it shouldn't have worked for me. ... Personally, I'm bored by found-footage horror films, which this is. And omnibus attempts rarely work. But this one does. It's terrifying, and very well executed." Horror-Movies.ca reported that two people fainted during the premiere at Sundance. At the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Magnolia Pictures purchased the North American rights to the film for slightly over $1 million. Limited theatrical release began October 5, 2012 in the United States and November 1, 2012 in Argentina. The film was released onto DVD, Blu-ray, and digital download on December 4, 2012. It was released on the titular format of VHS on February 5, 2013.
Reviews for the film have been mixed. The film currently holds a 55% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 93 reviews, with the consensus, "An uneven collection of found-footage horror films, V/H/S has some inventive scares but its execution is hit-and-miss. Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film holds an average score of 55%, based on reviews from 21 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
Most reviewers said that they felt the film was too long. Variety noted that "the segments vary in quality and the whole overstays its welcome at nearly two hours. Some trimming (perhaps relegating a weaker episode to a DVD extra) would increase theatrical chances." Empire gave the film four stars out of five, saying that "the biggest twist is its consistently high quality... anything goes, and all of it works".The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a mildly positive review, stating "Refreshingly, V/H/S promises no more than it delivers, always a plus with genre fare.Fangoria praised the film while remarking that "the mystery of why/how some of this stuff is even on VHS tapes to begin with" was a bit of a leap.
Sean O'Connell of The Washington Post gave the film a scathing review, saying that although "on paper, it’s a clever conceit" and "probably sounded great in the pitch meeting", it "loses all luster through some shoddy execution". He went on to criticise the "unwatchable shaky-cam technique" and "rough and amateurish" acting, though he did identify Swanberg's segment as the best. Likewise, Roger Ebert gave the film one star out of four and said that "None of the segments is particularly compelling. Strung together, it's way too much of a muchness."
A sequel, titled V/H/S 2, was rushed into production as early as October 2012 and debuted at Park City's Library Center Theatre on Saturday, January 19 as part of Sundance 2013, much like its predecessor. The sequel involves a largely different group of directors: Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun), Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption), Timo Tjahjanto (Macabre), Eduardo Sánchez and Gregg Hale (The Blair Witch Project), and franchise returnees Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard (respectively, writer and director of 2010's A Horrible Way to Die and the You're Next. It was not as financially successful as its predecessor, but received more critical praise.
A third entry in the series, titled V/H/S: Viral, has been announced and is currently slated for a Fall 2014 release. The film's wraparound story involves a group of fame-obsessed teens who unwittingly become stars of the next internet sensation. The group of directors involved in V/H/S: Viral include Aaron Scott Moorhead, Nacho Vigalondok, Marcel Sarmiento, Gregg Bishop, Justin Benson and Todd Lincoln.