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Movie review: Some stories scarier than others in anthology 'V/H/S'

Published October 30, 2012 9:02 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The horror anthology "V/H/S" serves up six short scary tales, heavy on the gore and often light on creativity.

The setup story (directed by Adam Wingard) involves a group of thieves who invade an old house trying to find a particular VHS tape. They find a stack of tapes, and each of the five found-footage stories shown is more ghoulish than the rest.

Some — such as Ti West's "Second Honeymoon," a video-chat oddity by "mumblecore" king Joe Swanberg, and Wingard's framing story — are confused in concept and lacking a payoff. The strangest of the bunch is David Bruckner's "Amateur Night," in which frat boys try to pick up women in a bar and get a freakish surprise.

The best of the lot are director Glenn McQuaid's "Tuesday the 17th," a spooky encapsulation of the slasher-by-the-lake genre, and the haunted-house tale "10/31/98" (by the collaborative filmmaking group Radio Silence), both of which deliver on the low-tech premise of the collection. Alas, there's not enough good stuff in this collection to wade through the gore of the lesser material.

movies@sltrib.com; nowsaltlake.com/movies —

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'V/H/S'

Opens Friday, Oct. 26, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; rated R for bloody violence, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, pervasive language and some drug use; 116 minutes. For more movie reviews, visit nowsaltlake.com/movies.