"S-VHS" is better than its predecessor



This film is unlike anything you’ll see, really.  It plays with the “found footage” genre that we’ve grown to either love or hate over the years because of films like “Cloverfield” and “Paranormal Activity” in a way that has never been done before.  Films such as these have started to lose their creativity with camera tricks and whatnot because we can only see so many shaky camcorders before we have to ask “Okay, seriously?”  “V/H/S” brought us an almost new perspective of film with its creativity, but “S-VHS” opened up doors that I didn’t even know existed.

If you’ve seen “V/H/S” you will know what to expect with its sequel: a series of films that have very little to do with each other glued together with a minor story arch.  The main story arch of “S-VHS” is about a private investigator, Kyle (L.C. Holt, You’re Next) and his partne, Ayesha (Kelsy Abbott, Community) as they investigate a missing college student.  Inside the house of said student, they find a stack of televisions and a large collection of VHS tapes, which Ayesha watches while Kyle investigates the house.  The bulk of the film revolves around the tapes Ayesha watches, which are, for lack of a better word, disturbing.  There are five short films that all revolve some element of the supernatural and are all shot in a first person point of view.  They include stories such as a man who receives an electronic eye and shortly begins to see ghosts, a mountain biker that is attacked by zombies, and a very strange chinese cult.

As I said before, what makes this film special is its creativity.  The stories is this film are so bizarre that each of them takes you by surprise.  The experimentation with the first person camera view is another element that makes this film stand out above the rest of its kind, employing ideas such as an eyeball camera, and strapping a camera to a dog.  This, however, is not without its flaws.  If you get motion sickness easily, then this movie isn’t for you.  The downfall of the first person view is that the non-stop motion is enough to get even my iron stomach a little queezy.  If, however, you are able to watch it in a well-lit room on a screen that isn’t overwhelming, you should be fine.

All-in-all, this film is great for what it is: an independant first-person horror film.  It’s lack of decent acting and character motivation, however, are enough to drop it down two stars.  If you are able to get over people doing things for little to no logical reason, then you might find yourself enjoying it.  If you happen to find this film or its predecessor at redbox or in the five-dollar movie bin at Wal-Mart, I say it’s worth a look.

“S-VHS” is not rated, but has content that would likely merit it an R rating including but not limited to: Graphic violence (mass suicide, zombie violence, bloody images, etc.), graphic nudity (a frontal shot of a man, a topless woman), and language (several uses of the “F-word” and scattered profanities throughout).

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