V/H/S

 
Spooky anthology horror film has lots of gore, sex, drugs.
  • Review Date: October 1, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 116 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Bad things happen to both good and bad people; it's just random horror. Nobody becomes a better person, and no lessons are learned.

Positive role models

Some characters seem to be good at the beginning of their stories, but usually they're punished and/or killed along with the bad people. Characters aren't on screen enough to exhibit any behavior that teens might want to emulate.

Violence

A girl turns into a monster and attacks a roomful of young men. Though much of the biting and slashing takes place off screen, some of it is visible, and the bloody aftermath is shown in full view. A character is stabbed in the throat with a knife (complete with gurgling blood). An arm is broken, with bone protruding. A girl digs around in her forearm with a sharp instrument while trying to remove a foreign object. And lots more stabbing, slicing, dead bodies, severed body parts, blood, and gore. Also vandalism.

Sex

Several young men bring two drunken women back to their hotel room with the express purpose of having sex. One woman passes out in the midst of foreplay, and one of the men starts to have sex with the other; it's interrupted when she turns into a murderous beast. The vampire girl is shown almost fully naked. Viewers also see clips from a homemade sex tape that's been recorded over, with nudity. (The woman doesn't know she's being filmed.) A team of pranksters pulls a girl's top off and films it for posting on the Internet. One breast is shown several times. A married couple tries to seduce each other in a hotel room. Also other examples of topless females, naked male behinds, and strong innuendo.

Language

Extremely strong language throughout includes "f--k," "motherf---er," "s--t," "t-ts," "hell," "goddamn," "Jesus" (as an exclamation), "ass," and more.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In one of the segments a group of young men and women gets seriously drunk and also snorts some cocaine. In another segment, young people smoke pot. It appears that these characters are mostly in their early twenties, not teens.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that V/H/S is a horror anthology film that's dedicated to the concept of shooting quickly and simply on home video, so almost all of the segments are shown from the point of view of a character with a camera of some sort. There's lots of graphic horror violence, with plenty of slashing, slicing, gore, and dead bodies, as well as spooky stuff. There's also some nudity (breasts, bottoms), sex, and heavy innuendo. Characters also drink heavily, snort cocaine, and smoke pot, and language is very strong, with many uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. There will be no keeping teen horror fans away, but it's recommended for 17 and up.

What's the story?

A group of Internet pranksters is given the task of breaking into an old house and stealing a certain VHS videotape. The robbers pop random tapes into a player and watch five different \"stories\": A group of partiers attempts to pick up a couple of girls in a bar, only to discover that one of them isn't quite human. A couple on their second honeymoon is visited by a mysterious figure. A group of friends ventures into the woods, where a bizarre killer is known to have struck. A doctor speaks to his new girlfriend over Skype, trying to help her out with her ghost sightings and paranormal happenings. And three friends attend a Halloween party at the wrong house, stumbling into a kind of deadly cult ritual.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Horror anthologies have a long history, stretching back to Waxworks (1923) and reaching a high water mark with Dead of Night (1945). V/H/S seems mainly dedicated to fans who watched these films and many others on muddy old video tapes, or perhaps made their own. The quality in V/H/S is unfailingly low -- intentionally -- with sloppy hand-held camerawork and fuzzy framing. It might even be better to see it at home, rather than on a big screen.

But the spirit is willing, and all six segments come up with some genuinely spooky ideas. And, unlike many horror anthologies, the quality is consistent. No one segment is noticeably better or worse than the others, though the terrific director Ti West (The Innkeepers) seems more focused on characters in his segment, "Second Honeymoon." And the visual effects in the last segment, "10/31/98," are very impressive, especially in contrast to the grungy video imagery. Overall, V/H/S is a unique and effective movie for fans.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about V/H/S' extreme violence. Is a horror movie scarier with lots of blood? What's the impact of showing so much gore?

  • How much of the sex in this movie is violent in nature? Is there any case where sex or sexual situations occur between a loving couple? What does the movie have to say about this subject?

  • In the first segment, why do the characters get so completely drunk before attempting intimacy? What message does that send?

  • Is the movie scarier because it's shown from the point of view of video cameras? How is this different from an ordinary horror movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 5, 2012
DVD release date:December 4, 2012
Cast:Hannah Fierman, Joe Swanberg, Sophia Takal
Directors:David Bruckner, Ti West
Studio:Magnet Releasing
Genre:Horror
Run time:116 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:bloody violence, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, pervasive language and some drug use

This review of V/H/S was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written bybobster173 October 14, 2012
age 18+
 

Decent, but Extremely Off Limits for Kids

The movie itself is not that great, and its completely innapropriate for kids.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 7 and 15 year old Written byParentReviewz January 2, 2013
age 18+
 

V/H/S IS GRAPHIC, GORY AND VERY SCARY - Read Before Renting!

VHS is a horror anthology consisting of 5 Short Horror Stories and One Main Plot That The Tapes Revolve Around. Here is a summary of those, TAPE 56 (MAIN PLOT) - A Gang of Criminals That Force Women To Flash On Camera And Vandalize Houses And Other Property, Are Hired To Break Into a House and Steal a VHS Tape, But When They Get There They Don't Know Which One and Decide to Watch Some Of Them. (This "Story" Is Shown Before, In between, and After Every Tape.) AMATEUR NIGHT - Three Friends Hide a Video Camera In One of Their Glasses and Rent a Motel Room Intending on Bringing Women Back To Have Sex. They Bring Home a Strange Girl Who Says No More Than "I Like You" This One Has The Most Sexual Content (References and Nudity) And Is The Goriest. VERY GRAPHIC AND BRUTAL. SECOND HONEYMOON - A Couple On Their Honeymoon Go Out in the West and The Girl Receives a Fortune as a Strange Women Begins Stalking Them. The Only Violence is a Bloody and Graphic Throat Slitting With Dark Red Blood Squirting Everywhere With The Victim Thrashing Around. HOWEVER, THIS ONE IS VERY CREEPY AND ONE OF THE SCARIEST. TUESDAY THE 17TH - Four Twenty Year Olds Go On A Camping Trip In the Woods Where They Find Out Is The Site That a Serial Killer Murdered Three Twenty Year Olds The Previous Year. VERY GORY AND GRAPHIC BUT DONE IN A CAMPY WAY. THE KILLER IS VERY SCARY LOOKING AS HE IS NEVER SHOWN (HE IS SHOWN AS A SILHOUETTE OBSCURED BY TRACKING ERRORS.) THE SICK THING THAT HAPPENED TO EMILY WHEN SHE WAS YOUNGER - A Boyfriend and Girlfriend are Chatting on Skype due to the woman thinking her apartment is haunted. THE ENDING SCENE IS GRAPHIC HOWEVER SHOWN BRIEFLY. ****SPOILER ALERT*** The Sick thing that happened to emily is that her boyfriend and a group of aliens use her body as an incubator for alien/human hybrids and that they make it look like she hurts herself. 10/31/98 - A Group of Friends Go To a House Which They Believe is the site of the Halloween Party They Were Invited To. THE LEAST INTENSE AND IS SIMILAR TO A HAUNTED HOUSE, JUST A BUNCH OF NON GRAPHIC JUMP SCARES. Overall, This Movie is VERY Scary and is NOT FOR KIDS UNDER 21
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 October 6, 2012
age 15+
 

Will do to found footage what Jaws did to water.

Wow.This is some hardcore stuff.I have not seen something as visceral and nightmarish as this in a long while.This year,we have hit the jackpot for horror movies.The Cabin In The Woods gave a wake-up call to all the other deconstruction horror movies that usually fail.Sinister was extremely scary and utilized it's found footage horror very well.And this-this,was just excellent.Paramormal Activity 4 will seem like nothing after this.V/H/S is one bloody,brutal,terrifying,nauseating,gruesome,unflinching and unrelenting ride from start to end.The movie is filmed in such realistic style that it's actually terrifying.Drew McWeeny at Hitfix has said "One of the scariest movies in recent memory." For god's sake,please do not take your child to see this.It should have been rated NC17.This is very brutal and adult content we're watching here.All of the violence is presented on screen.Well,it's a gory year for horror movies anyway.Went to the TIFF Midnight Madness Festival (live near there so it's convenient) and was glad to take a break from gore.The ABCs Of Death was the best one of all,very,very brutal movie,also directed by Adam Wingard.You're next,a Midnight Madness crowd success was also directed by Adam Wingard.Definitely a MM veteran.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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