Every year brings yet another indie horror film that earns big buzz on the festival circuit, and then blows up into a box office phenomenon. Saw, Paranormal Activity– the list goes on.
A contender to be the big horror success story of 2012 is V/H/S, a short film anthology consisting of five chapters of what some people say is one of the scariest films in years (never heard that before). But then again, judging from the trailer, there is a legitimate chance that V/H/S could make good on its claim.
The film seems to fit in the vein of the wonderful Spanish found-footage film, [REC], while still offering the choice buffet of different types of horror, as seen in some great cult-classics like Twilight Zone: The Movie or Creepshow. Just writing that combination gets me a little excited.
Here’s an official synopsis for V/H/S:
V/H/S is a POV, found footage horror film from the perspective of America’s top genre filmmakers. In ‘V/H/S’, a group of misfits are hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house in the countryside and acquire a rare tape. Upon searching the house, the guys are confronted with a dead body, a hub of old televisions and an endless supply of cryptic footage, each video stranger and more inexplicable than the last…
(Click for Larger Version)
The group of writer/directors that made the anthology – Ti West (House of the Devil), Joe Swanberg (Autoerotic), Radio Silence (a club of filmmakers), David Bruckner (The Signal), Adam Wingard (You’re Next), and Glenn McQuaid (Stakeland) – have all had some pretty good success on the indie circuit (save Radio Silence, who are making their feature-film debut). More importantly, the indie directors have all shown real creativity in their filmmaking – often with few resources and small budgets.
To see them getting together and applying their collective talents to a project like this, should immediately excite any horror fan; even those who typically hate found-footage projects. By keeping things cut into short segments, it also avoids the danger of cheesy “filler” moments that get squeezed into found-footage horror flicks, in order to kill time between…well, kills. In fact, thinking about it, anthology format might be the best thing to happen to found-footage since the sub-genre got started.
Response from the festival circuit has been strong; V/H/S was a standout at both Sundance and SXSW, with everyone from high-brow critics to Internet genre geeks at least complimenting the movie for some impressive merits (even if there are a few shortcomings, as well). Luckily, fans won’t have to wait forever to see it, if they’re interested:
V/H/S will screen at a home theater near you when it premieres On Demand starting August 31st; it will be in theaters weeks later, on October 5, 2012.