July 15 – The 2012 Toronto After Dark Film Festival’s Summer Screening Series at the Bloor Cinema (June 27 + July 11) has just wrapped and once again the horror cult experience didn’t disappoint. T-MAK World was there and we have reviews. Check out our reviews of The Pact and Detention. Toronto After Dark is our favourite genre festival in Toronto. You can read our recap from TAD 2011 here.
V/H/S (Canadian Premiere)
In 1999, a little known horror film had the film industry a buzz and movie goers believing this found-footage was truly authentic with its hand held images and isolationist dread. The Blair Witch Project created a new genre of found-footage horror and in 2012 V/H/S used this unsettling narrative helmed by 6 ground breaking horror-meisters to deliver a new amalgam of fear. Directors Joe Swanberg, Radio Silence, David Bruckner, Adam Wingard, Ti West and Glenn McQuaid have crafted through their indie roots a series of found-footage vignettes with unnerving clarity.
V/H/S kicks off with Wingard weaving a story of a group of lowlifes tasked with tracking down and stealing a rare piece of video footage, one that’s apparently locked inside an extremely creepy house on the outskirts of nowhere. In an attempt to track down the tape they come across an old dead man in a recliner which becomes a minor annoyance as they start viewing his graphic spoils. It becomes undeniably clear that the recently deceased had a penchant for all things snuff. Each tape our grifters watch pulls them (and us) into a new level of revulsion. And here in lies the unexpected tale of horrors. This anthology sends the viewer through a gauntlet of suspense, terror, shock, and downright brutality.
All in all, V/H/S works. Ti West’s contribution, “Second Honeymoon”, is a standout within the series of stories as the tension smolders to its disquieting finale. That being said this horror collective creates, sustains and ultimately deliver the panic and trepidation we’ve come to expect.
V/H/S bring a lurid version of fear that doesn’t require rewinding.
Review: 3.5 / 5
Review by John Dash