The pReview Re-viewing of..
(no, not my thoughts on the forgotten format)
CLICK THE TITLE TO VIEW THE REDBAND TRAILER IN A SEPARATE WINDOW
(it is highly recommended to view the trailer and THEN read!)
(warning: Contains graphic violence, severe language, and at least one exposed spine.)
by Jeff Finck
Release Date: October 5, 2012
The premise: Some unknown entity (Possibly H.P. Lovecraft) hires a group of lowly criminal types to break into a house and snatch some VHS tape and make a break for it. After a little B&E, the misfits search the house, only to discover the greatest collection of Video Home System tapes ever accumulated by a single dead body.. And, they must have to watch them all Robot Chicken style. Luckily, the "owner" set up a bunch of old TV sets for their convenience, and they don't have to bag all of the tapes up, sling them over their shoulder like reverse Santa Clauses and just leave the weird VHS shrine in their fading memories. Instead, the fellas pop some popcorn, dust off the old VCRs, and kick back for a lazy night of fast forwarding and hoping for the best.. And NOT terror-filled horror tapes full of traumatizing terror and horror. Alas, to my chagrin, they actually ARE filled with violence and creepy fuckery. Who am I kidding? I was really hoping for some good, old fashioned, creepy fuckery.
The trailer starts off like many home videos.. And almost every found-footage movie ever: Three precocious dopes out in search of the American dream.. Or some sort of Blair witch.. Or some giant Cloverfield monster.. Or Norse trolls.. Or moon spiders.. Or super crushy-car powers.. Or the greatest party movie known to man.. Whatever the case may be, this movie starts off very simlarly. Three dopes claiming to be hired to steal a single VHS tape from some random dude's house. Upon arriving, they find that the random dude apparently never jumped on board with the whole DVD/BluRay format battle and probably got stuck in the past, never watching a movie released for home viewing after A History of Violence. He'll never know the rush of watching Usher light fires in our panties in the movie In the Mix, or the struggle of one, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, in Get Rich or Die Tryin'.. He'll NEVER know the hardships of women in Wyoming trying to keep their cowboy husbands from cheating on them in Heath Ledger's Casanova.
So, like I said.. Instead of hauling ass with ALL of the tapes to view them at their own leisure in the broadest of daylights, the trio decide to plunk down and glue their eyes to the sets and attempt to figure out which tape belongs to One-Eyed Willie. As they start watching the tapes, they realize that they may have stumbled upon all of the footage that didn't quite make it into the Faces of Death (probably the absolute first "found-footage" film) series, probably due to its high rate of unbelievability and also the fact that these tapes aren’t full of terrible. They also realize that they are slowly becoming.. Uh-Oh.. TRAPPED IN AN ANTHOLOGY HORROR MOVIE!!!
From here on out, I'm going to attempt to explain why the tapes these guys are watching are NOT horror movies. They are, in fact, just misunderstood home movies of various people and creatures that have been maliciously stolen for one man's cruel amusement. The man in question (the lifeless body in the house, Mr. Dead McMurderpants), apparently got what was coming to him for all the horrible thievery of people’s personal, intimate moments-- All of those tapes, dozens and dozens of memories, stolen by a perverted voyeur with a sick obsession of living his life vicariously through those of us with the ability to work video recorders. Thumbless bastard.
First up: You can't ignore the fact that Skyping is a perfectly normal activity. Nowadays for a young man, it is sometimes the ONLY way to see some full on boobies in action, attached to a real girl, for the first time. One such video shows the exploits of a brash young man on such a quest:
Not every chat leads to nudity and masturbation, however.. Okay, pretty much EVERY chat leads to nudity and masturbation.. But this time is different! This time, the lovely lady he's trying to mack on claims that her house is haunted. This guy ain't havin' it and claims he's seen it all. There's got to be a rational explanation for everything and now he wants to see.. HOLY FUCKING SHIT!
I'm sure there is an exceptionally sane explanation: The girl's kid sister was just hiding behind her the whole time and the two of them were in cahoots to freak the guy out. Yeah.. Let’s say that it turns out that this isn't the guy's home video at all, but the girl's and this was all an elaborate scheme to terrify some unsuspecting adolescent. See? Perfectly explained..
Now, let’s move onto this lovely masked lady in the bathroom, seemingly spattered with blood. Clearly she looks like maybe she was probably just in the kitchen, whipping up some waffles when some syrup splashed in her face, then she went in search of some towels. See? Very innocent:
This is totally normal. I mean, no big deal, right? Who doesn't mull around in the kitchen, cooking in their Buffalo Bill mask?!
So, you see, this is just going to be a very innocent home video about the joys of cooking in perfectly normal face-gear. There's absolutely nothing in the way of foul play going on in any fashion whatsoev--
Maybe that.. was.. a bad example.. Or.. Or! I’m sure she was just going to go and wake her friend so she could enjoy the waffles that I said she made earlier, when I said she made them. Let’s move on, though. Check out this little lady!
She's just hanging out in the forest, being overly cautious. I will give you that she may be just a bit of a Debbie Downer, warning us that we're all gonna fucking die up there.. Wherever "there" is. But, come on, she's just being a realist, right? We're all going to die eventually.. I'm sure even some of us will fucking die up *there*!
Well, maybe that's not normal fare for a home video, but death is a natural part of life, and capturing it on video is a perfectly normal.. Uhmm.. Riiiight.. Let us continue. Okay, cool, how about this? Halloween. Perfect. Every Halloween, people go in search of the perfect haunted house. The next video shows us a a couple of people in search of that house. Check this out:
And then you have the whole "house comes to life and handprints materialize on walls and blow doors off their hinges" thing..
They even go the extra mile and do the whole "trap you in your car inside of a garage and try to murder you in cold..
..blood" thing.. Uhmm.. Okay.. Waitaminnut. I'm starting to see a pattern here. My denial is strong, so I think that I'm going to give this one more video before I make up my mind. Last chance, fingers crossed that I'm not wrong about trying to rationalize these home videos, here.
Check this out: A lovely young woman in what looks like a bedroom of some sort. She's pretty, fresh out of the shower, draped in a towel, and professing her love to the camera guy. This has got to be some sort of honeymoon/lover's tryst vid that will be watched over and over again as time goes by-- A keepsake of their first night of real passion with one another, if you will.
And.. Fuck me.. Before I even had another thought, this happens:
Oh, wait! I have this one all wrong. Finally! I see what's going on! It's just some kinky role playing thing! For their first night of bliss, they're just spicing things up from the jump! He pretends to be a cameraman recording a beautiful night of love making, and she pretends to be a psychotic, otherworldly, nightmare harpy of horrifying terror, and that's simply what gets their genitals going.
Finally, a romantic anthology movie disguised as a disturbing found footage anthology horror flick. It’s the perfect genre for all of those couples out there who hate all of those mushy, gooey things that make normal couples get off. The fact that all of these writers and directors managed to sit down and collaborate is amazing. On paper, this seems so "already done", yet when you see it in action, it is clear that this film is something quite unique and clever! It's like some old school Grindhouse meets Creepshow meets.. Just, fucking spectacular. I almost forgot, with all of this horror talk, I almost let you get away without seeing some true gore: