Directed by: Ti West, Adam Wingard, Joe Swanberg, David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence
115 minutes

New England Premiere

V/H/S has managed to stuff enough snuff and scares onto one tape to take you back to that wonderful time in horror when you never really knew what you were getting yourself into before pushing “play.”

Director Adam Wingard (A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE) provides the binding for this smart, scary horror anthology. His segment follows a group of camera-toting hooligans hired by a mysterious third party to break into a house and steal a very specific VHS cassette. What follows is an analog assault of the senses, as each tape that is played and ejected is more unsettling than the last.

David Bruckner (THE SIGNAL) sends us out for the night with three college bros who hope not only to score chicks, but to capture the coital conquests on hidden camera. They manage to pull some prime talent back to their motel room, but they may have bitten off more than they can chew. Ti West (THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL) takes us on a second honeymoon, but the couple’s romantic desert road trip takes a horrifically wrong turn. Glenn McQuaid (I SELL THE DEAD) drives us to a lake in the woods with a group of college kids who seem to have forgotten that the serene setting was recently the scene of grisly murders. Ghost stories from Joe Swanberg (HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS, IFFBoston 2007) and the video collective Radio Silence continue raising the bloody bar, making PARANORMAL ACTIVITY look like an episode of Casper the Friendly Ghost.

V/H/S is a Frankenstein’s monster of a film, equal parts intelligence and extreme gore, stitched together by some of the finest frighteners in the business.

—Mark Anastasio