Hello, Spongey here.
Happy Halloween! …Yeah, told you that hint was subject to change. In the end, Ouija didn’t give me a lot to talk about. It was boring and not scary, the end. Heard the sequel was somehow good though, although still not as scary as Madea Halloween
So we’re moving on to the official Halloween Review for 2016, and it’s tied to stuff I’ve done before. Back in 2014, I reviewed the first 2 VHS films. They were anthology films about these tapes that people found.
They were pretty good, being creative, fun and decently scary, especially the 2nd one. Since the first 2 were well liked enough, it made sense to do another one. I figured it would still be good, but by sequel rules, wouldn’t be as good as the 2nd one.
In 2014 we got the 3rd entry which was…not liked, at all. Yep, it’s one of those franchises. A 4th film hasn’t’ even been announced since then, meaning this film was enough to sink a promising franchise. Ah well.
2 years later, it’s time for me to find out if it’s that bad. Again, watched it to do this review and well, either way this will be an odd to talk about. And a hard one but I’ll try. No need to go into the creative team, all the shorts are by guys I’ve never heard of.
With that said, is the latest entry in this franchise a hidden gem, or as dead as VHS itself? Time to find out.
This, is VHS Viral
The movie opens with a guy and his camera…pointed at his girlfriend’s ass. Best foot forward, am I right?t
This starts out a typical found footage movie, with the guy and his girl bickering a lot. Whatever, as long as we get to the tapes soon. Also, there’s music playing in some of these bits and in some cases, it’s not explained where it’s coming from.
Like an old VHS, it stutters and messes up, but honestly in execution it just looks like bad editing, but we’ll go into that more later. Later, Kev is watching the news and sees that a high speed chase is going on.
It excites him so much that he has to tape it. Because…uh….reasons. Oh and at one point he accidentally sees his Grandma naked.
The chase runs by his house and he misses it and for some reason he’s pissed. I’m not sure why a car chase gets him so bothered but there you go. Iris wanders outside, vanishes, Kev looks and hos phone and..
Segment #1 begins…..What.
I am not kidding. We randomly just ….cut to the segment. There’s no transition, to tape, no nothing. There’s breaking from the formula from the series and there’s…this. There’s no explained reason why we are watching these segments!
Are they in his phone? I don’t know, it’s never explained. Whatever, as long as the segments are good. This one is odd, as it’s more like a Documenary with a bunch of people talking about a magician called Dante the great.
Yeah, so far they seem to forget how a found footage movie works. But let’s see how this plays out. His assistant Scarlett is being interviewed, as Dante has just been arrested for reasons. Honestly the format will make this hard to recap, so I may jump around a bit on this one.
He was a down on his luck wannabe magician until he found a cloak with supposed magic powers. He gets pretty well known and popular thanks to it.
“I’m kind of fucking pissed, but I’m kind of like, this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen”
I have that reaction a lot online.
Dante conveniently filmed everything so that his life could become part of a found footage movie. We see that something is up with him, especially since he does stuff like turn a rabbit inside out.
Gross, but cool.
When Scarlet auditions Dante says it’s like they were meant to work together. That doesn’t sound suspicious at all. We see that they become close together, mostly since her current boyfriend is kind of an abuse asshole.
All this stuff is pretty interesting but man does it go on for a while. This segment feels like the longest, and honestly,with the format, it doesn’t even feel like it belongs in this movie. Yet as you’ll see, it’s the best part of the movie.
It doesn’t take long to figure out that Dante was up to no good and we see footage of him killing Clay with magic.
“What a dick”
I’m kind of on his side, honestly.
That event catches attention of the authorities, which brings us to him being arrested. Because they didn’t get rid of the cloak, which is said to be the cause of all this, he manages to get away with magic.
Back at the interrogation, Scarlett randomly vanishes once she talks about that and ends up with Dante. And then the makers forget this is a found footage movie and the climax is shot and edited like a normal that happens to have shakey cam.
Seriously, we don’t see anyone shooting or editing this, and there’s typical modern blockbuster music playing, from nowhere. The climax itself is pretty cool but the “illusion” of found footage is just broken here.
A big fight breaks out with all this crazy magic stuff. It’s fun even if it feels like I put on a different movie. The fight ends when Dante is sucked into his bag with a horrific noise. A bit anti climatic, but okay.
Nobody knows where he is now, and Scarlett burns the cloak to be rid of his evil forever. But of course it comes back to her later to give us our surprise end. End of segment.
That was…mixed. On one hand, it does not belong in a VHS movie at all, but on it’s own it was pretty good with neat ideas, being enjoyable. Not scary at all though. Not a bad first segment, but unfitting.
We go back to the high speed chase but nothing interesting or notable happens. Some biker dudes get pissed off for no reason and a guy loses his foot or some shit. And not, the transition to Segment isn’t any smoother than before.
Let’s just how Segment 2 is. This one is Spanish with some reason, but at least there’s subtitles. We see a guy working on a machine which looks him look into other dimensions. And right away, it actually works.
Okay, first magic, now blatant Sci Fi. This one has more horror in it but come on. Conveniently, the other world is a replica of his world, complete with another him who made a machine like this.
They figure out they are one and same when they both reveal that their wife is named Marta. If there was an H in there, I could make an obvious reference joke.
They decide to swap universes for a bit. Because trusting someone you just met is an amazing idea. Sure he seems like you,but he might secretly evil or something. Spoilers, he is. The guy heads into the other dimension and things mostly seem fine.
Except for the sound of people having sex, which is never explained. I thought it was the TV but we don’t see anything of the sort on it. It’s implied it is but we when see the TV, it’s just one image of nothing interesting.
Honestly, this segment will be hard to recap because not much happens that seems interesting at first. The most interesting part is at the end. So forgive me If I’m not too funny here.
Wife-2 takes Guy-1 outside to meet some random dudes, while Guy-2 creeps on Wife-1. No idea if the guys were for something…icky or not. It’s implied but not really explained. The guys leave but Guy1- bumps into them when he heads outside for an unrelated reason.
The guys get angry because movie, and finally something interesting happens. We find out the males in this universe have monster penises.
Yeah, I’m not kidding. They drop their pants and boom, monster heads where their dicks should be. Well…i didn’t see that coming.
This means Guy-2 has it to, as we see him uh, showing it to Wife-1, so to speak. Guy-1 runs inside and bumps into his wife, who indeed has a monster vagina. This is the weirdest porn ever…actually, not really.
Guy-1 manages to book it and make it back to his own world, but bumps into Guy-2 in a kind of hilarious shot of him holding a camera, while covered in blood and sporting a face that’s funny.
Guy-2 kills Guy-1 but when he goes back in the machine, he has to fear the wrath of his wife’s monster vagina. How has my life gotten to the point where that isn’t a strange sentence to me?
Wife-1 pops up and we see Guy-1 is aliev, but she stabs him….because I don’t care anymore. End Segment.
That was…another mixed one. It felt more in tune with the VHS series, but was mostly boring until the crazy ending. It’s okay but nothing special. We’re not doing so well so far and going back to the chase shit doesn’t fix that.
After a quick bit of it, we randomly cut to this family having a Barbecue. Guess this our next segment. These people we don’t know argue about meaningless shit then a dog is stabbed, a guy kills everyone and…then the camera holder guy drives by.
Wait, that was still part of the wraparound? WHAT DID THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?! They never come back to this, it makes no sense, and yes, it’s a huge Big Lipped Alligator Moment.
This movie is just….weird.
Thankfully, we get into our next segment, about some asshole skateboarder guys who are annoying. Oh, this is going to be fun. They have hired a camera guy from Craigslist, which as you can imagine turns out very well. At least this has a reason to be found footage.
They also have Go-Pro type things on their helmets so we can shoddily put more POVS in the scenes. Most of the start of this segment is spent on these douches being annoying to each other, which isn’t too pleasant.
At least it’ll be more fun when they get killed by monsters or something.
Eventually they decide to go to Tijuana because…why not. They somehow have the means to do it on a dime as we cut to when they arrive. This is just leads to more dumb banter as they get to lost.
It’s almost like randomly going to Tijuana without a plan was a bad idea!
“Do you want to be a immortal, or a giant vagina monster?”
…Weird question. Also, trust me, the last segment gave me enough monster vagina action to last a lifetime.
A random weird lady appears and she attacks one of the guys. More weird monster people attack them but they manage to hold a few off using their boards. Yes, the monsters are harmed by assholes with skateboards.
These guys are such a huge threat, I’m so scared.
With that, they start fighting off the monster zombie people mostly easily.
“They killed Gas Money Kid and Camera Guy”
Wow, these characters so bland even the other characters refer to them by witty nicknames.
And that’s a majority of the segment, these guys fighting monster incredibly easily, with it going on way too long, with only a fake out breaking up the pace. And none of it is scary because as I said, they are defeated way too easily.
The guys manage to escape, and we cut to POV of Camera Guy’s Camera. One of the monster guys…eats it, I think. And…the end. Yeah, that was the segment. Skateboarder assholes to to Tijuana, fight monsters…the end.
No suspense, no tension, and the most unlikable character survive, defying all good Horror Conventions. Yeah, that one sucked. It’s back to the chase crap. Then out of nowhere, we cut to the inside of a cab as a guy is filming a girl stripping.
Because….whatever. Then she turns the tides on him and forces him to stripe. I really don’t give a single shit. And like the Baroque thing, this is part of the framing device, and has nothing to do with anything, as it’s never addressed again.
Wanna hear more bad news? That segment we just saw? That was the last segment. Yeah, only 3 segments and all have problems. There’s over 10 minutes left of this thing, and it’s all the framing crap.
Back with the main guy, it’s now very early morning and he seems to have finally caught up with the truck being chased that kinda has his girl. He goes inside and finds a bunch of TV’s, one of which has Iris on it.
She tells him to “start the uploads” which entails flipping this switch that is there.
“These videos, they fuck people up”
Yeah, that was one barely explained element. He sometimes saw people looking at videos on their phone and they had bloody faces. Again, never explored at all. She yells at him to do it, so he does.
We see videos uploading, and Iris repeatably hits herself saying “We’re gonna go Viral”. Hey, the subtitle finally makes sense except it doesn’t. Main guy leaves and we see Iris right outside, dead.
He looks at her phone, epic music plays….and Roll credits.
KRUSTY: What the hell was that?
Yeah, that’s my reaction. What the hell did any of that mean? There’s being mysterious, then there’s throwing random shit at the wall. I guess there’s some meaning behind it, but that wraparound in general kind of sucked.
A odd ending to an odd film. We’re done.
What the hell happened? I know the 3rd film wouldn’t be as good, but there’s not as good, then there’s throwing out everything that made the other films good. I’m okay experimenting, but only when it makes sense.
Let’s start with the framing device, because that was the worst part. None of it made any sense, it wasn’t scary, and there was no transition to the segments. It’s implied they were tapes as usual, based on the ending, but in context it’s just odd.
Too much time is spent on it, and there’s two random segments which have nothing to do anything. If they were full stories, that would be fine but nope, it’s just random crap. The whole framing story is shot and edited like bad footage, which is the point but it just feels like bad film making rather than real found footage.
Speaking of, this fails at found footage. Because no one finds any footage, and the ending only barely counts. The segments are better but only by a bit. They don’t have that high concept creepy-ness that the other films had.
The first kind of does, but it doesn’t fit the tone at all. The closest we get to fitting VHS was the 2nd story, which was mostly boring. That fits the first one but even the cool part only lasted like a minute.
The 3rd segment just kind of sucked, as it was mostly annoying and the worst characters lived. Even at it’s best, this film doesn’t really fit as a VHS film. On it’s own, it’s just kind of Meh. Some neat ideas, but mostly an incoherent mess.
Most of the ideas don’t across among all the random-ness and the best parts aren’t really that great. The only thing keeping my from really disliking the film is that the first 2 segments were at least watchable, just not fitting or great.
I expected a step down my from previous films…but wow, this was a mess. I’m sure some can get into it, but I can’t. Even on it’s own, it’s just not a very effective found footage Horror film. It’s barely found footage, and not that scary or interesting.
A disappointment, sadly. Made for a fun review though.
Halloween Halloween! As for the next Scene by Scene review…well, I’m not sure it’s next, but sometime in November, we’ll hopefully look at a 2016 film that comes out on DVD Tomorrow. Which one?