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.
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.
Here are the announced dates for when the film will be reaching theaters, information gained from BloodyDisgusting.
Berkeley, CA: Shattuck Cinemas 10
San Diego, CA: Ken Cinema
San Francisco, CA: Lumiere Theatre 3
West Los Angeles, CA: Nuart Theatre
Denver, CO: Mayan Theatre
Washington, DC: E Street Cinema
Chicago, IL: Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema
Indianapolis, IN: Keystone Art Cinema 7
Cambridge, MA: Kendall Square Cinema 9
Minneapolis, MN: Lagoon Cinema
University City, MO: Tivoli Theatre
New York, NY: Sunshine Cinema 5
Portland, OR: Hollywood Theatre
Philadelphia, PA: Ritz at the Bourse
Seattle, WA: Varsity Theatre
Atlanta, GA: Midtown Art Cinemas 8
Brookline, MA: Coolidge Corner Theatre
Omaha, NE: Dundee (Art)
Pleasantville, NY: Jacob Burns Film Center
Rochester, NY: Little Theatre
Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa, Bijou Theater
Charlotte, NC: Movies @ CrownPoint 12
Maitland, FL: Enzian Theatre
Toms River, NJ: Traco Theatre
Tulsa, OK: Circle Cinema
Columbus, OH: Gateway Film Center 8
Here's a brief synopsis of the film as well.
A quick rundown: first is David Bruckner, director of “The Signal,” and a film about three douchey guys who use the aforementioned glasses-cam to scope out women. They pick up two girls at a bar and head back to the motel, but it is clear that one of them (the one who keeps staring directly at the camera in a REALLY CREEPY WAY) is a bit off. It is sexy, scary and solid.
Next, Ti West (“The Innkeepers”) takes us on a young couple’s trip to the Grand Canyon and a motel with the world’s worst security system. This one features one of the most innovative takes on the pan-across-the-room-and-reveal-something-u
This is followed by Glenn McQuaid’s (director of “I Sell The Dead”) very stylized teen trip to the woods and a creature that comes to life through the very glitchy medium of video itself.
Joe Swanberg’s (the Grand Mufti of Mumblecore) entry is a scary-as-hell collection of Skype conversation between a frightened college student hearing bumps in the night and her medical school boyfriend. There are some outstanding moments of tension that exploit the video chat format in really unique ways.
The movie concludes with an entry from the new film collective named Radio Silence which takes V/H/S to levels of pure WTF in a haunted house tweak on Ti West’s “House of the Devil.” The framing device from Adam Wingard (director of the yet-to-be-released masterpiece “You’re Next”) lacks some of the jump scare oomph, but is something of the silent hero establishing the dastardly aesthetic of the overall piece