It’s not October yet, but scary-movie season starts right now.
For the last several years, the name-of-the-game in horror has arguably been the “found-footage” film. What took root in the incredibly successful (and then, incredibly unique) The Blair Witch Project (1999), can now be seen routinely in movies like Paranormal Activity (2007), REC (2007), Cloverfield (2008), etc. And even when it’s not the structure of the film itself, the notion of “found-footage” has infiltrated more traditional horror movies like Gore Verbinski’s remake of The Ring (2002) – the original VHS tape from Hell – and the upcoming haunted-house flick Sinister (2012), which takes it back to some old home movies caught on actual film.
And whether you like them or not, the subgenre is a dominating force: around long enough to be parodied – a salute to the Duplass Brothers’ awkward Baghead (2008) – and to just plain…well, suck (see the million sequels to Paranormal Activity, for at least a few examples).
So here’s one to change the game up a little bit: V/H/S is circulating a new red band clip this week. The film, about a group sent to an abandoned house to locate – you guessed it – a VHS tape, sends up the traditional format with a little catch: the kids find several tapes inside the house, and the audience gets to sit through them all, with a different horrific event caught on each one.
Directed by several genre directors, including the likes of Ti West (House of the Devil), Joe Swanberg (Silver Bullets) and Glenn McQuaid (I Sell the Dead), the movie offers a different P.O.V. from each P.O.V. videotape. Highly conceptual, and an interesting concept at that, the movie already has buzz from Rolling Stone and Gawker as one of the best horror flicks of the year.
If this sounds like your kind of thing, or you’d like a reason to debunk the Rolling Stone critics, you can see V/H/S now On Demand, or catch it in theaters on October 5th. Either way, here’s hoping for lots of above-average and unique horror movies this Halloween season.