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'V/H/S'

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Reviewed by Richard Whittaker, Fri., March 16, 2012

V/H/S

Midnighters
D: David Bruckner, Ti West, Joe Swanberg, Glenn McQuaid, Adam Wingard, Radio Silence; with Joe Swanberg, Calvin Reeder, Kate Lyn Sheil

A day at a swimming hole. A road trip. Spring break. A Skype chat. A Halloween party. All places you would expect someone with a video camera, and that's part of why this found-footage, horror-anthology shocker gets so under your skin. The directors are the bloody best of the mumblegore movement, so all are used to merging plausible characters with scares. The POV format never feels false: Instead, it's like front seat at the analogue gallows. Even the enigmatic wraparound story – a home-invading crew of thugs hunting down a mysterious video recording – provides no respite. So if you're looking for the Crypt-Keeper to laugh all the terror away, forget it. Each segment shocks in different ways, from the supernatural to the simply malevolent, and the popcorn-tossing jumps are just as effective as the creeping sense of dread. Break off the "do not record" tabs: This V/H/S is a keeper.


Friday, March 6, 12mid, Alamo Ritz

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