VHS (2012 franchise)

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V/H/S (2012), V/H/S/2 (2013), V/H/S Viral (2014), Southbound (2015), and a spin-off movie, SiREN (2016)

Summary

The V/H/S films generally set up framing devices involving hapless and unlikable characters who enter dubious situations and stumble upon hoards of found footage tapes capturing supernatural content, and stick around to view the tapes before meeting fates worse than death; the found-footage anthology segments are the tapes they watch. "This collection is killer. Who's tracking you? Mayhem Goes Viral."

Southbound tells five interlocking tales of terror that follow the fates of a group of weary travelers who confront their worst nightmares - and darkest secrets - over one long night on a desolate stretch of desert highway. "No matter which road you choose, it's all going south."

SiREN is a spin-off of the "Amateur Night" segment from the first V/H/S film, in which a bachelor party becomes a savage fight for survival when the groomsmen unwittingly unleash a fabled predator upon the festivities. "No man can resist her. All men should."

Details

  • Release Date: 2012-2016
  • Country/Language: US, English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror (urban horror), Fantasy, Thriller, Anthology, found footage
  • Starring: (various)
  • Director: (various), including the "Radio Silence" collective, David Bruckner, et.al.
  • Writer: (various), including the "Radio Silence" collective, David Bruckner, et.al.
  • Producer/Production Co: 8383 Productions, Bloody Disgusting, Collective Studios; Willowbrook Regent Films (Southbound); Big Picture Casting, Blue Falcon Productions, Chiller Films (SiREN)
  • View Trailer: (link), (link), (link), (link), (SiREN)
  • TVTropes: (link), (link), (link), (link)
  • IMDB Page: (link), (link), (link), (link), (SiREN)

Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: R (Violence, Profanity, Adult Content, Nudity, Sexual Situations)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • SS___ (Two Tentacles: Debateably Lovecraftian)

Not particularly "Lovecraftian", and the stories are a mixed bag of crime/murder stories, ghost hauntings, alien abductions, zombie apocalypses, science fiction stories, urban Gothic horror tales, and more, though the franchise as a whole freely mixes the supernatural, science fiction, sinister cults, and urban legends in a vaguely Lovecraftian "Weird fiction" soup, the videotapes can be seen as a modern equivalent to Lovecraft's favorite "apocalyptic log" and "evil tome" plot devices, and a couple of the segments do involve freakish monsters and cosmic horror.

Some suggested segments with vaguely "Lovecraftian" tones include: "Amateur Night", "Tuesday the 17th", "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger", "10/31/98", "Safe Haven", "Slumber Party Alien Abduction", "Parallel Monsters", "The Way Out", "Jailbreak", "The Way In"....

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • Review of V/H/S by Richard Scheib at the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review (Three Stars) (link)
  • Review of V/H/S/2 by Richard Scheib at the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review (Two Stars) (link)
  • Review of V/H/S/Viral by Richard Scheib at the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review (Three & a Half Stars) (link) - "There is nothing that you can fault in any of the segments. Any of these would have to stand among the very best episodes of any of the current crop of multi-director anthologies. And without a doubt this makes Viral into the best of the V/H/S series so far."
  • Review of Southbound by Richard Scheib at the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review (Three Stars) (link) - " ...the entire film fairly much, gives the impression of taking place in some twilight zone..."

Synopsis

  • V/H/S (2012):
    • "Tape 56" (wraparound) - A group of hoodlums are hired by an unknown third party to burgle a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape. Upon arriving, they discover the dead body of the owner and stacks of videotapes. As they search for the right one, they are treated to a seemingly endless number of horrifying videos, each stranger than the last.
    • "Amateur Night" - Three college guys plan on videotaping their sexual encounters and get more than they bargained for when they pick up a strange woman from the bar.
    • "Second Honeymoon" - A couple on a road trip are stalked by a mysterious stranger.
    • "Tuesday the 17th" - A group of twenty-somethings party in the woods and are stalked by an entity that can only be viewed via video recorder.
    • "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger" - A girl talking with her boyfriend via webcam believes that she is being plagued by paranormal phenomenon.
    • "10/31/98" - A foursome heads to a Halloween party only to find out that the house hosting it is abandoned.
  • V/H/S/2 (2013):
    • "Tape 49" (wraparound) - A pair of private investigators break into a house to find a missing college student whose mother hasn't heard from him in a few days, and discover a bunch of tapes, one among which reveals what happened to him.
    • "Phase I Clinical Trials" - A man undergoes an experimental procedure in which he has an eye with a camera put into it which records everything. It's not before long until he starts seeing dead people.
    • "A Ride in the Park" - A bicyclist is attacked by a zombie and becomes one.
    • "Safe Haven" - A news channel crew tries to investigate an Indonesian cult.
    • "Slumber Party Alien Abduction" - A slumber party is interrupted by a terrifying alien abduction.
  • V/H/S Viral (2014):
    • "Vicious Circles" (wraparound) - When a runaway ice cream truck speeds into Kevin's neighborhood with police in hot pursuit, he sees his shot at fame in the form of a viral video of the chase. But violence and injury slowly begin to overcome others filming the incident and Iris seemingly disappears into the pursued vehicle, leaving a hapless Kevin to follow her signal on his phone in hopes of finding her before it's too late.
    • "Dante The Great" - An amateur magician living in a trailer park discovers a cloak with real magical powers that come at a bloody cost.
    • "Parallel Monsters" - Working in his basement, an inventor named Alfonso meets his twin from a parallel universe, but slowly discovers that the newly-discovered world has developed along a frighteningly different path than his own.
    • "Bonestorm" - A band of skateboarding hooligans take a break from filming their dangerous stunts for a day trip to Tijuana, where they run afoul of a mysterious cult.
  • Southbound (2015):
    • "The Way Out" - Two men are driving down the highway, covered in blood, and pursued by bizarre winged creatures. They stop at a gas station to clean up, which is when things get really bizarre.
    • "Siren" - Three members of a rock band are travelling down the highway when one of the tyres on their van bursts. They are soon picked up by an eccentric couple and taken to their home until they can get their van repaired - but strange things start happening soon after they arrive.
    • "The Accident" - A man is distracted by his phone while driving, resulting in him hitting someone and causing horrific injuries. He tries desperately to save her life while guided by a 911 dispatcher, a certified EMT, and a surgeon over his phone.
    • "Jailbreak" - An armed man holds up a run-down bar, demanding to know the location of his missing sister.
    • "The Way In" - A family are having a last weekend together before their daughter leaves for college. Shortly after booking into their vacation home, however, they are menaced by a trio of masked men.
  • Siren (2016): A spin-off of the "Amateur Night" segment, in which a bachelor party becomes a savage fight for survival when the groomsmen unwittingly unleash a fabled predator upon the festivities.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements


Keeper Notes