Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 91 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: When a group of petty criminals is hired by a mysterious party to retrieve a rare piece of found footage from a rundown house in the middle of nowhere, they soon realize that the job isn’t going to be as easy as they thought. In the living room, a lifeless body holds court before a hub of old television sets, surrounded by stacks upon stacks of VHS tapes. As they search for the right one, they are treated to a seemingly endless number of horrifying videos, each stranger than the last. (Magnolia Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Oct 4, 2012
    Most segments have a fair share of cheap scares, but they also delve into the art of the build-up, as if delivering a series of grim jokes with bloody punchlines. Consider it a 21st-century take on "Tales from the Crypt."
  2. Reviewed by: Owen Williams
    Jan 15, 2013
    Like last year's "Chronicle," here's another reminder that in the right hands found footage still has plenty of capacity to surprise.
  3. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Oct 5, 2012
    Scrappy and unsettling, V/H/S puts the majority of today's mainstream "scary" movies to shame.
  4. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 23, 2012
    The problem with V/H/S, a compilation of sometimes scary horror shorts loosely bound by an overarching plot, is that, no matter how savage, evil or sadistic the killer, the victims almost always come off as bigger jerks.
  5. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Oct 5, 2012
    V/H/S comes across as a production that wants to be more than it is but, as they say, The Emperor has no clothes.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 4, 2012
    I'm not sure V/H/S is brilliant cinema or anything – indeed, I'm not sure it's appropriate to call it cinema at all – but it sure is an ingenious hybrid: part Godardian art film, part abstract video experiment, part sleazy shocker, and all self-castigating interrogation of what film-theory types call the "male gaze."
  7. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Oct 3, 2012
    V/H/S is an example of the genre at its least compelling.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Apr 8, 2014
    This found footage movie is amazingly awesome and spectacular! It is not perfect but its imperfections barely make this movie unwatchable. It has fun scares, creepiness, and gross-out disturbing imagery. It is only entertaining and a must watch for horror fans. Expand
  2. Mar 16, 2013
    This movie has all the right creep-factor going on, while avoiding slipping into torture porn territory. It's an anthology, with the stories all having significantly different tone. The acting might not be the best in the world, but none of it noticeably bad, and you never get pulled into disbelief due to someone not delivering their part well. By the nature of the stories being anthologies, each gets in, sets itself up, and delivers in a pleasantly timely fashion. Expand
  3. Oct 6, 2012
    The trailer makes it look more terrifying than it really is, but I love the concept, especially the way the stories are linked and the primitive nature of the "tapes." Unlike many horror flicks which spend the bulk of their running times in mundane establishing scenes, this one gets right down to business. There are some good laughs, and some truly gross and gory moments, along with some Paranormal Activity-esque jump-out-of-your-seat moments. The integration of sex is obviously nothing new to horror, but the recurrent sense of coercion makes the proceedings feel a bit more taboo & dangerous, which works with the rough and grimy feeling of the movie. I'd recommend it to mainstream horror fans looking for something a little different. Expand
  4. Oct 8, 2012
    This movie arrives during an unfortunate time where found Footage movies are coming out in waves. However, this is a notch above most of them. It's not perfect but it does add some new fresh twists and in today's world that's enough to warrant a recommendation and put it above most movies in this genre. This is an anthology, so for those who've seen Creepshow it's like that except these are found footage movies or for those who haven't seen that movie, it's basically a bunch of mini movies(5 to be exact) all put into one movie. The story is really simple, it's a group of guys who get hired by some unknown party to break into some old man's house and retrieve a video. However, it's not as easy as it seems since there are stacks of VHS tapes so they have to start watching them in order to find the right one but that's not their only problem as something else lurks in the house. Before I say anything, none of these movies are ever boring. With that being said, some videos work better and are genuinely a lot creepier than the others. The second film, while intriguing is not scary at all. I see what they writers were trying to do(a side note: each video had different writers and directors) but it never came off as creepy or suspenseful, luckily it's not long. The 3rd film is also not that scary, but it does have two generally creepy shots and I like how they actually made the camera a crucial part of the video. The 4th film is scarier than the 2nd and 3rd as it does provide a nice "Boo" moment or two but compared to the first and last film, it's not as effective. The first, and last films as well as the actual film(the guys breaking into the house to search for the tape) is where the actual scares of the movie lie. The first and last movies are so well done, beautifully told, and creepy that they make up for the lack of scare in the movies in between. The actual story itself is extremely creepy too, as once they break into the house you know they're not alone. A lot of scary stuff happens in the breaks between each short film. I also like how(with the exception of the 2nd film and the main story) that they manage to incorporate the camera in a way where it's a crucial part of the film(hence the third and fourth film) or avoids the common found footage movie flaw, why can't they just put the dam camera down? In first and last film, the person either has the camera in their glasses or in their costume so they manage to avoid that pitfall. I'm trying to avoid describing each film because it's more fun when you don't know much about a movie. I should also warn that this movie is certainly not for everyone. I've never seen this much nudity in a film before(both male and female, both frontal and back) and some of these films are sick and twisted. So those of you with an easy stomach, you've been warned. n a time where found footage movies are coming out on a monthly basis(or so it seems), it's nice to see a movie like V/H/S that completely surprises you by putting a little twist on a genre that's become monotonous. Sure some films are better and more frightening than others but this movie is never boring, at least to me it wasn't. This is also a notch above most horror movies today because it's you know, it's actually scary, something lacking in most horror movies today. It's also a **** slap to those watered down, lame PG-13 horror movies(with the exception of Insidious and The Woman in Black of course) that are constantly coming out every week(at least, that's what it feels like). Horror fans should be pleased by this movie, and it's a nice edition to the found footage genre. Expand
  5. Feb 10, 2013
    I didn't really expect much from a film named "V/H/S" but to be honest i was surprised with the delivery. although there were a few stinkers in this film most of them were enjoyable and frequently scary. Would it be the best film of 2012? NO! is it close? maybe. Expand
  6. Oct 17, 2013
    V/H/S takes a completely different spin on the horror genre with multiple episodic plots loosely connected through the findings of VHS tapes. Though extremely dated, even for its release date I may add, the concept is refreshing in comparison to other "found footage" pieces of the past few years. Though several of the episodic plots are legitimately scary, inventive, and suspenseful, others seem to be thrown together to make V/H/S a feature length film. Had the plots connected in a more rewarding way, the main story line been explained more fully, and the question of "why?" been addressed the film would succeed on all fronts.

    Story discrepancies aside, the acting is decent for low budget performers, special effects are simple yet stunning, and the use of perspective is appropriately and creatively used. For those interested in the horror genre this is an interesting watch. The payoff falls short, but the individual stories are worth a view.
  7. Mar 14, 2013
    Besides the first story the rest were pointless. V/H/S is not the worst horror movie of the year, but the gimmick in this movie doesn't make the movie better. Expand

See all 24 User Reviews