* (out of four)
I would rather let Justin Bieber punch me in the face for a week than spend another two hours watching "V/H/S."
Not only does this horror anthology feature the by-now done-to-death found footage concept, it does so with constantly shaking and twitching video content. A series of short films in which people encounter serial killers and evil spirits may inspire nausea. I just felt motion sick.
The mini-movies tackle settings such as unknowingly picking up a demon at a bar, a couple whose hotel room is infiltrated during a road trip, a misguided excursion into the woods and a party at which no one normal appears to have shown up. The directors, including Ti West ("The Innkeepers") and Chicagoan Joe Swanberg ("Nights and Weekends"), may call these genre exercises; I call them horror with zero original ideas. They only show an appreciation for stupid characters and gratuitous nudity, as the male characters' inclination to sexually assault or trick women into exposing themselves on camera feels anything but innocent.
Some people complained earlier this year that "Project X" featured obnoxious people. Those high school jokers are far more appealing than anyone here, with motivations and circumstances that are only mildly addressed. "V/H/S" has a few moments of tension but no real scares. I could not wait for it to end.
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