VHS Franchise


Today, I had the opportunity to watch all three V/H/S Movies.. it’s good, it’s bad. it’s grainy and needing the tracking adjusted..

Younger viewers may not even remember what a VHS is.. Well, in the world of home video, it stands for “Video Home System” and it’s the format that beat out Betamax to be the standard for viewing movies at home, in the 80’s (much like the DVDHD vs BlueRay battle of the early 2000’s). Basically, it was a magnetic tape which held a video and audio image. It had some quirks, like Tracking Adjustments, which helped sync up the video frame rate to the playback. A misalignment in the Tracking could result in a static line, rolling picture or mis-synced audio. So, when you’re watching these movies, you will see tracking adjustments taking place.. static, rolling and a loud FFFFFF noise. There, that’s enough explanation of the old tech.

VHS 1 and 2 seem to follow a similar pattern. Someone needs to find a video tape for some reason, they find the home of the person who has it.. but there are a lot of tapes to look through. Every chapter of each movie (including part 3) is a series of short films, these are the tapes that the investigators are looking through. As the film progresses, the viewer experiences headaches, bloody noses, then finally, death.

VHS 3 (Viral) breaks from this pattern, a little, and brings us a bit more into modern times. GoPro cameras, News Media following a police chase, etc. But keeps to the tradition of the series of short films.

All three movies are not for the faint of heart (or weak of stomach), as they are all pretty gorey.. like J-Horror gorey. A bit over the top, and more realistic than your standard Hollywood slasher. But, for those who can sit through these types of images… The short stories aren’t bad, at times, quite inventive. My favorite is from the original: the chapter titled “Amateur Night”, sees a group of college douche-bags finding girls at a club, getting them drunk to take back to their hotel room – unfortunately for them, “Lily” is not your typical college girl.

I can not, in good conscience, recommend these movies for everyone. If you’re a true horror fan, go for it. If you covered your eyes during the scary parts of “Twilight”, you’ll be scarred for life after viewing V/H/S.

Author: Jethal