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Film: V/H/S
V/H/S is a 2012 Found Footage anthology film directed by Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, and Radio Silence.

A group of hoodlums are hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape. Upon arriving, they discover the dead body of the owner and stacks of videotapes. As they search for the right one, they are treated to a seemingly endless number of horrifying videos, each stranger than the last.

  • Tape 56: The frame story.
  • Amateur Night: Three college guys plan on videotaping their sexual encounters and get more than they bargained for when they pick up a strange woman from the bar.
  • Second Honeymoon: A couple on a road trip are stalked by a mysterious stranger.
  • Tuesday the 17th: A group of twenty-somethings party in the woods and are stalked by an entity that can only be viewed via videorecorder.
  • The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger: A girl talking with her boyfriend via webcam believes that she is being plagued by paranormal phenomenon.
  • 10/31/98: A foursome heads to a Halloween party only to find out that the house hosting it is abandoned.

A sequel titled V/H/S/2 was made in 2013, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. It features shorts from Gareth Evans & Timo Tjahjanto, Eduardo Sanchez & Gregg Hale, Jason Eisener, Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett. Watch the teaser trailer here.

This movie provides examples of the following:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Lily from "Amateur Night" is quite cute, when she transforms, not so much.
  • Alien Abduction: Strongly implied to be the cause of the events in "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger".
  • Alien Geometries: The house in "10/31/98" has this.
  • All There in the Manual: The audio commentary for "Tuesday the 17th" reveals a bit more about the nature of the Glitch, such as the fact that people killed by it become Glitch monsters themselves.
  • Apocalyptic Log
  • Arc Words: "I like you."
  • Asshole Victim: Many of the characters fit this, but the ones in "Tape 56" take the cake. They're a bunch of thugs who spend their time vandalizing houses and forcibly pulling up girl's tops.
  • Back from the Dead: The dead man found by the group in "Tape 56", though we don't learn how.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Wendy in "Tuesday the 17th". Also James from "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger". But the crowning example would be Stephanie from "Second Honeymoon"
  • Body Horror: In ''Amateur Night" Lily starts out with scales on her feet, which no one comments on, and as things get worse she gets a strange maw-like crease down her face. At the end she goes outright One-Winged Angel. This is also the subject of "The Sick Thing That Happened To Emily When She Was Younger"; at first Emily gets a small bump on her arm, which she suspects is from bruising. Later she digs inside her arm with a scalpel and a kitchen skewer after suspecting something in there. But the crowning moment has to be the reveal that she's pregnant with an alien spawn... and it's heavily implied this isn't the first time.
  • Book Ends: "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger" opens with a webcam chat between the title character and James, in which Emily complains about her arm and undresses for the camera. At the end, James switches to a different chat and has almost exactly the same conversation with a different girl, revealing that Emily isn't the only one who has experienced this. Also an example of Here We Go Again.
  • Camera Abuse: Every story ends with the camera operator murdered, and in a few the camera definitely gets destroyed (leading one to wonder how the old man got the tapes). In "Tuesday the 17th" a splash of blood ends up on the camera and remains there for the rest of the segment.
    • The last shot of "Amateur Night" suggests that the cameraman's camera glasses fall off and hit the ground after Lily swoops down and carries him off.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: There's certainly implications of this trope at work in most of the stories, most noticably in "10/31/98" and "Tape 56".
  • Crapsack World: If indeed all the tapes, including the ones from the sequel(s?) take place in the same world then everybody is screwed. You have a early stage Zombie Apocalypse outbreak, malevolent aliens, ghosts, monster/ghost/demons that look like digital glitches, succubus, an insane cult that brought a rampaging demon into the world and what looks like a 2nd type of Zombie Apocalypse, a evil corporation (or at least a neglectful one), and psycho lesbians.
  • Creepy Child: The aliens in "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger" look like this.
  • Creepy Cute: Lily from "Amateur Night".
  • Death by Sex: "Amateur Night", for obvious reasons. It crosses over with Karmic Death.
  • Demonic Possession: In "10/31/98" and possibly in "Tape 56".
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Happens quite a bit, even with the short running time with each story.
  • Dull Surprise: James in "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger". Justified due to the fact that he's in league with the aliens.
  • Eldritch Location: The house in "10/31/98" definitely qualifies.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: James from "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger" who prevents the children from killing Emily. Possibly subverted in that he may have been doing it for the sake of avoiding unnecessary police attention. But he does show a degree of care for her.
    • A minor one on "Amateur Night". Shane wasn't outright evil, but his intentions for the night certainly were less than honourable, since the plan was to film the sexual intercourse without the girl's knowledge. But once Lisa falls unconscious in drunken stupor, he stops his attempts with her.
  • Electromagnetic Ghosts: The killer in "Tuesday the 17th" is invisible and can only show up on tape as interference.
  • Fan Disservice: Bare breasts, buttocks, and male and female genitalia. All featured during disturbing pseudo-rape sequences or murders. In particular, there's Lily in "Amateur Night", whom we get to see, fully nude, going down on a guy...after having turned into a monster. She's actually quite hurt that he's terrified rather than aroused. One of the last shots in "Second Honeymoon" is Stephanie, in her bra, making out with her Psycho Lesbian lover... while there is blood all over the latter's hands. Sam's blood.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Last we see of Clint from "Amateur Night", poor guys being carried off somewhere by Lily, screaming the entire time.
  • Final Girl: Wendy in "Tuesday the 17th", but it's subverted; she is the one responsible for all the deaths, as she lured her friends up to the mountains to use as bait to catch the killer.
  • Foreshadowing: In "Second Honeymoon", Stephanie and Sam use an electronic fortune-telling machine, and by the end of the segment, both of their fortunes come true in a twisted way: Sam gets a fortune about someone close to him not being trustworthy, and ends up betrayed and murdered by his wife. Stephanie gets one about having a happy reunion with someone, and she and her girlfriend leave together as Karma Houdinis
    • The main characters in "10/31/98" have to stop at a railroad crossing on the way to the party. On the return trip, the possessed woman they tried to rescue makes the car stall in the middle of the same railroad crossing, causing them to be hit by the oncoming train.
      • They also tease one another about people reaching out of the walls when they start to explore the house, and the guy dressed as a teddy bear nanny-cam finds the same torn-up teddy bear in two different rooms.
    • The dead pig found by the characters in "Tuesday the 17th" has its intestine draped over the ground, just like what happens to Wendy at the end.
  • Found Footage Films
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Mostly averted, but in "Tuesday the 17th" there are two guys and two girls.
  • Horny Devils: Lily, the girl from "Amateur Night", is a succubus-type creature.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Every supernatural foe encountered fits this trope, but Lily and the Glitch stand out in terms of weirdness.
  • Interface Screw: Strongest in "Tuesday the 17th" as the killer's presence always makes the picture begin to break up, but ultimately used in all of them since non-professional footage almost always includes lag, freezing and pixelization. Noticeable as well in "The Sick Thing that Happened to Emily When She Was Younger" as they're using video chat, which is notorious for "cubing out". So naturally, it happens to Emily's image a couple of times.
  • Jerkass: Everyone in the movie except for Emily in "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger", and the guys in "10/31/98", who are merely Genre Blind.
  • Jitter Cam: Throughout.
  • Karma Houdini: Stephanie and her lover, who kill Sam and escape.
  • Karmic Death: Wendy from "Tuesday the 17th" gets gutted by the killer after manipulating her friends into coming up to the mountain as bait to try and capture him. "Amateur Night" ends with two of the guys killed by Lily and one being carried away by her; it's vague what happens to him afterward, but you know it isn't going to be pleasant.
  • Meaningful Name: Lily from "Amateur Night" has a name that sounds similar to (and is sometimes used as a diminutive form of) Lilith, which happens to be the name of a mythological succubus.
  • Mugging the Monster: Well, more like raping the monster, as Patrick in "Amateur Night" is bitten when he tries to initiate a threesome with Lily and Shane. This is pretty much when everybody begins to understand that Lily isn't just drunk or high, and is what sparks her complete transformation into...whatever she is.
  • Mundanger: "Second Honeymoon" is the only segment, counting the sequel, where there is most probably nothing supernatural going on. The villains are a Psycho Lesbian couple with nothing really abnormal about them aside from being Ax-Crazy.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "10/31/98" the four main characters interrupt an exorcism and "save" the possessed girl, allowing her to go free and kill them all.
  • The Nineties: in "10/31/98", two of the four friends go out to the Halloween party dressed as contemporary news items, the Unabomber and the Nanny Cam.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: in "10/31/98", those guys really shouldn't have gone back to rescue that girl.
  • No Name Given: The killer in "Tuesday the 17th", referred to in the credits simply as, "The Glitch".
    • Similarly, the aliens in "The Sick Thing That Happened To Emily When She Was Younger".
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Invoked here and there, but really, much of what happens has no explanation, or very sparse. Even in "Tape 56" the thugs aren't sure what they're looking for, or whose house this is. It's implied they don't even know who hired them. And we have no idea how or why the dead old man comes Back from the Dead.
  • Obliviously Evil: Possibly Lily from "Amateur Night" and the aliens from "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger".
  • Oh Crap: Wendy in "Tuesday The 17th" when she realizes the Glitch has used Offscreen Teleportation to escape her carefully constructed trap.
  • Overly Long Title: "The Sick Thing That Happened To Emily When She Was Younger".
  • Psycho Lesbian: The "twist" of "Second Honeymoon" is that the stalker and the wife are in fact lovers who plotted to murder the latter's husband.
  • Reality Is Out to Lunch: For a brief but intense sequence, the house from "10/31/98" becomes the site of a rapid-fire example.
  • Red Right Hand: Lily's creased forehead and deformed feet hint at her true form.
  • She Who Fights Monsters: Wendy from "Tuesday the 17th", who uses her friends as bait in order to kill the monster in the woods.
  • Snuff Film: All of them EXCEPT "The Sick Thing that Happened to Emily When She Was Younger", in which nobody dies.
  • Stylistic Suck: It varies, but is most prominent during the wrap-around segment.
  • Tracking Device: The lump on Emily's arm in the fourth storyline turns out to be one of these.
  • The Virus: The audio commentary for "Tuesday the 17th" suggests that those killed by the Glitch Monster become Glitch monsters themselves.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Lisa's fate in "Amateur Night". It is likely that she survived since it seems that Lily is a succubus-like creature who only shows interest in men, but we have no visual confirmation. After all, she was lying unconscious just a couple of feet away from the creature, so who knows?

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