We are in times where technology advances faster than time. While our middle-aged families are interested in technology, we, unfortunately, have an obligation. Every day there is a new invention, a new version of the existing one. If you are in a sector where you need to be familiar with technology, you need to follow them constantly in order not to be unemployed in the future. If you fall behind, there is a chance your business will be disrupted. Of course, Cinema is one of the only sectors that benefit from technology. As technology advances, the possibilities for what can be done increase. As the opportunity increases, the scenarios expand, and the narrative styles change. The horror movie Jeruzalem I watched a month ago was the ultimate technology for me. The directors, who shot the entire film through the eyes of camera glasses, added a little bit of Google Glass technology and created grandeur action. Even though the movie’s script was mediocre, its use of technology and editing was outstanding. Some new-generation directors today are making great use of this technology. Some names that use this technology well are gathered in the V/H/S series.

V/H/S is a feature-length horror film series consisting of several short films. But V/H/S is a cliché-breaking work. Namely: Although it consists of many short films, these short films are included in a movie. Same idea as Inception. We encounter many short films in every film, but these short films consist of images that are sometimes related to the subject but mostly irrelevant in a single film. In the first movie, a man and a woman sneak into the house in order to find a specific VHS tape. The house they enter is stinking, eerily, and messy. There is a television with no signal in the living room and a dead man on the sofa opposite. And house bizarrely full of VHS tapes. They need to watch all the tapes inside to find what they seek. Despite such a frightening environment, guests insist on finding what they are looking for.

But the whole house has oodles of tapes, which is weird as hell. Lots of tapes. So they have to try the tapes one by one to find what they are looking for. Each cassette means a new short film. There are macabre and twisted stories on these tapes, whose origin is unknown. I especially praise the screenwriters here because the V/H/S series is a creative series that breaks the stereotype, as I said before. There are innovative versions of stereotyped stories in it. The directors decided to use the clichéd vampire, zombie, and alien tales, but this time they’re looking under the glass. They produced fascinating and unguessable stories from cliche stereotypes.

The second movie of the series is about tapes like the first movie. This time, it is told about 2 people who enter a house that looks like the same house for a different purpose. But in the second movie, they changed the narrative a little outside the tapes. We understand that the tapes bewitch and affect people as they are watched. We get the impression that the tapes are cursed. The stories are, of course, still gruesome and spooky. This time they have included some dystopian ideas. I will cover the stories below.

The name of the third movie in the series is Viral. This time, they expanded the area and went to the city. An ice cream truck terrorizes the roads in the middle of the city. Ice Cream Truck also makes pirated broadcast. In its broadcasts, short films are shown that we are familiar with from VHS tapes. We witness the Ice Cream Truck being chased by the police and, on the other hand, the short films people watch on their mobile phones. This time, the story is a bit tied to social media and seems critical primarily based.

Every movie has a different director. Most of these directors are new-generation names who want to take place in horror cinema. Names such as Ti West, Adam Wingard, and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin take part in this series. Likewise, the same names appear in The ABC’s of Death, but ABC’s concept differs significantly from V/H/S. It’s the atmosphere that makes V/H/S interesting. An unknown house, unidentified tapes, a vast mystery, and answers we never get. We are only spectators of this strange world.

As for the tapes, there are some macabre yet fascinating stories within tapes. In the first movie, we witness 6 tapes. Some are films of cliché stories from a whole new angle. The directorial cast includes directors of films such as Devil’s Due and Southbound, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, Adam Wingard, and Chad Villella. Young people go home to have sex with the girls they meet at night and have adventures with the taste of “Species.” An exciting and glitchy version of young people who went into the forest and died one by one. Reformist and grandeur technological perspective on the haunted house. A girl haunted by ghosts with a surprise finale. A honeymoon vacation will shock you and spoil your taste and the house’s real story.

Directors make great use of technology in their short films. In fact, technology is the stories themselves. Except for one story in the first movie of the series, all of them make the best use of technology. In particular, Haunted House offers groundbreaking scenes with a motion camera, a short film that pushes the limits. The first movie in the series consists of partially disturbing, low-quality images. Especially the honeymoon and young people who die in the forest are quite disturbing. Honeymoon is a pure horror and suspense story that does not use technology, unlike all movies. Like other short films, honeymoon ends with a surprise finale.

The second film of the series consists of shorts in which the stories become a little more whimsical and exaggerated. The directors, consisting of Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, The Raid series director Gareth Evans, Gregg Hale, one of the two directors of The Blair Witch Project, Eduardo Sanchez, Timo Tjahjanto, and Adam Wingard, who also appeared in the first movie, have done a great job. There is a short in it which is by far the most wonderful and has the most creative idea you will see recently. We are witnessing the world through eyes of a zombie in the story of a cyclist traveling with GoPro on his head. Being bitten by a zombie, he turns into a zombie and terrorizes around. Thanks to the GoPro in his head, we can see where the zombie went, what it did, and who it attacked. I want to give it justice, it’s the most brilliant short film I’ve seen in recent years.

The Japanese school, Safe Haven, is the second movie’s most disturbing and psychedelic work. The short, which I see as a marvel of design, is frightening even because it takes place in Japan. Another story uses alien cliche but offers a different perspective. The most technological short of the second film is the first short film, where an entire camera is an eye. We watch the movie through a camera placed in the sight of someone who has had eye surgery. It tells the story of a man who begins to see strange things.

The last movie, “Viral” is where things get even more obnoxious. A work where technology and art direction are at the top. As a matter of fact, the series has a very different atmosphere than the other 2 films. In the director’s chair are Spring’s director Justin Benson, Gregg Bishop, Tedd Lincoln, Marcel Sarmiento, and Nacho Vigalondo. A magician drove mad by the power of his cloak. Terrifying parallel universe story. Skateboarding teens bump into extraterrestrials.

Dante the Great, the wizard story, is a work in which the limits of technology were pushed again in an exquisite way. It is a masterpiece example of the handheld camera technique. Especially the story of the jeopardous cloak is one of the best in the series in terms of scenario. Another interesting short is the parallel universe story. Whatever I say, I can’t get into the topic as it will be a spoiler, but a real parallel universe could only be so creepy and perverted.

The V/H/S series is definitely one of the best series of recent times. Especially for horror movie lovers. A different work, choking on one’s throat and surprising those interested in its technique. I recommend The ABC’s of Death for a different version of the same. I also offer Southbound as a placeholder. V/H/S is a project where possibilities and limits are pushed to the limit. Except for the honeymoon in the first movie, all of them use technology a lot and create scenarios based on the blessings of technology. They use stereotypical stories but take them to a different point. Zombies, vampires, aliens, parallel universes, or wizards. All those stereotypical subjects are shot from a bewildering and ingenuity perspective. For example, Zombie with GoPro. Everyone on the directing staff is a horror filmmaker. Names such as Ti West and Adam Wingard are the highlights of this team. I don’t even want to mention Eduardo Sanchez; he is one of the two inventors of found footage films. If you like suspense, instigating works, and especially horror cinema, V/H/S is a work that is becoming a cult, just for you.

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Valerii Ege Deshevykh
Ukrainian Creative Director | Motion Picture Writer | Horror Freak

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