Horror anthologies always sound like a great idea during ideological conception, but unfortunately either end up being super hits or miserable misses. On the positive end you have a variety of well thought out short stories in films like Trick ‘R Treat and Creepshow, while others like The Theatre Bizarre and Deadtime Stories jam-pack one or two truly entertaining entries in between a load of garbage that bogs the overall film down. Chillerama is a great example of such wasted potential, delivering three killer short horror films by some of my favorite current directors, but disheartens with a short so unfathomably unwatchable, you have no choice but to give the entire film a failing grade just on principle.
Then along came V/H/S, a unique little horror collaboration piece that brought together budding genre directors like Ti West, Joe Swanberg, and Adam Wingard – only to challenge them with a fun restraint. Hinted at in the title, each director had to find a way to record his segment with any kind of non-traditional cinematic taping device, such as a handheld camcorder. One uses a video chat laptop function, one uses an old-school handheld recorder, another some kind of phone camera – all brilliant ways to put a twist on a tired “found footage” sub-genre. The film was a hit to both Remy and I, and has since spawned a sequel titled S-VHS which just premiered at Sundance to positive reviews so far.
With all this hoopla about a successful horror anthology franchise being established, there’s no doubt a V/H/S 3 awaits us somewhere down the road. I mean the formula is simple – just get a few decent directors, have them shoot a short horror film, and slap it together with a few more. It’s the efforts of many creating one solid product, taking minimal time for a maximum output. But who could contribute to helming a third?
Well, Remdog and I sure as hell don’t know any details, but two horror nerds can dream, no? Join us as we discuss the eight directors we’d want to see take part in the V/H/S universe, each bringing some sort of unique style or quirk. Are you listening Bloody Disgusting?!Next
Remy: Josh Trank
I wanted to open up with a young, brand new director for my list, because I believe what he accomplished in 2012 was unheard of. Make an original superhero franchise, make it darker than most superhero films, and fill it with awesome Akira nods – Trank accomplished all of those.
That formula sounds doomed to fail for a first time director, but let’s not forget, as is a trend with this list, you will see that there is some nepotism. Here, it is because Josh Trank’s dad is John Landis, the man who made what I consider to be the best werewolf movie ever filmed, An American Werewolf in London. Also, Chronicle has a great deal of “found footage” scenes, which would work incredibly well with the V/H/S series. So how about we give this dude a shot at one of the vignettes for the inevitable VHS 3? He’s shown he can give us tension, he’s shown he can give us awesome, and his Dad is a master in the field, so hell, maybe let them write and direct a segment together? Hold on, I just jizzed in my pants. That would almost be TOO awesome.
Nato: Steven C. Miller
I’m assuming not enough of you saw 2012′s Silent Night, the Christmas themed “remake” horror slay-fest – but I’m also assuming even less of you saw Automaton Transfusion and The Aggression Scale. Why is that a problem? Because then you don’t understand the awesomeness writer/director Steven C. Miller is capable of.
Yes, Automaton Transfusion and Scream Of The Banshee aren’t exactly classics, but his most recent films have cemented Miller as a no-holds-barred horror mainstay. The Aggression Scale was included on numerous Top 10 lists of horror writers I admire, and while I haven’t seen Under The Bed, Silent Night showed me Miller has a true knack for not only creating fun horror, but delivering monumental kill scenes on a very unique level. Reflecting on his ultra-violent Santa killing spree which includes a woodchipper kill I’ve mentioned time and time again, I’d be absolutely ecstatic if Miller was given the chance to develop a short contribution for a franchise which prides itself on an abundance of creativity. Miller has shown he’s stuffed full of ideas, and a short story delivery may be the best way to utilize his immense talents.Previous Next
Remy: Panos Cosmatos
Anyone who reads my site at all, or follows me even slightly knows how I hold Panos Cosmatos in such high regard. He wrote and directed one of my favorite films of 2012, the highly underrated mindf*ck, Beyond the Black Rainbow. While this movie was not for everyone, those of us who took to it immediately knew we had something special.
Beyond the Black Rainbow was an intensely surreal story that played heavily off of visuals, and on top of that, was inspired by movies SEEN on VHS (Blue Lightning), so what better fit for an anthology movie that has its films all shot on VHS-like devices? Although all the stories in V/H/S were awesome, there was no single director who took a real chance. Everything, though original, fed off some kind of horror trope, but I feel if Panos was given a skit for VHS 3, the man would give us something unlike anything we had ever seen. How can you NOT be curious to see what he would do?
Nato: Lucky McKee
An extremely underrated and passed over director – Lucky McKee has created some of the most entertaining horror movies in the last decade. From The Woman, to May, to Red, Lucky has absolutely established himself as a prolific writer/director not afraid to try something off-putting or rather insane. I’m looking directly at The Woman in this scenario, apparently throwing one Sundance viewer into such a riotous rage he had to be removed from the theater during the Q&A and shown out the door. I guess some people just can’t handle a film about a feral woman being domesticated and tortured by a crazy Southern family, am I right?
But hell, what more could you ask in a V/H/S director? Obscenities, controversy, perplexity, zeal – I can’t think of a more perfect pairing than Lucky and his crazy sense of envelope-pushing storytelling and a horror anthology franchise which is meant to give us something unique and different. Well, considering McKee can easily hold my attention for a feature length film, I’d pay top dollar for his short story shot in an old-school manner.Previous Next
Remy: Juame Balaguerò
Alright, while I may have worn my growing dislike for the waning quality of the [REC] series on my sleeve for a few past articles, that is mainly because of how far off the rails the series went with [REC] 3: Genesis, and it needs to be noted that Jaume handed the reigns of that movie over to Paco Plaza, which is exactly why I think it failed. Need further proof of what the man can do? See the movie Sleep Tight, and see it right now. That film floored me for just how unsettling the idea was (a landlord who takes a real shining to a female tenant he has, and has a tendency to visit her and drug her at night and come into her apartment and…well, I won’t ruin it) but the quality of that story and how original it was, matched up with the real horrors of the first [REC] movie, make me think Juame could make an entry for VHS 3 that would put all others to shame. Plus, let’s not forget that the original [REC] might be some of the best found footage ever, so how about we put him back into a format he truly shines at?
Nato: Joe Cornish
Yes, I am a die-hard fan of Attack the Block, so obviously Joe Cornish popped right into my mind as a prime participant for a VHS 3. Problem is, Cornish is now a big time writer, collaborating with Edgar Wright at times for blockbuster productions like The Adventures of Tintin and the upcoming Ant-Man adventure, so I realize there aren’t many projects on his directorial radar. Writing fluid and engrossing stories takes an awful long time, even when working with an extremely intelligent partner, but that’s why VHS 3 would be a perfect fit for directing!
Sure, Attack The Block is a seriously effects driven sci-fi/horror mash-up, which would provide a challenge for Cornish being stripped of such potential for VHS cameras – but one I have full faith he can tackle with ease. All the alien carnage is a blast to watch, he creates watchable characters who steal every scene, the plot line stays exciting from start to finish – Cornish really knows how to entertain an audience. So what do you say Joe, jump back in the directorial ring just for a quick anthology story? You can write it quick, shoot it even faster, and show off your skills next to a few other entries from equally big name horror directors? I’d buy that for a dollar!Previous Next
Remy: Jennifer Lynch
While most of the directors we are trying to go with for this list are mostly new to the horror scene, I know Jennifer Lynch, daughter of surreal genius, David Lynch, has been in the game for a little while, but admit it, you have not seen Surveillance or Chained. And my response to you would be a resounding WHY!!?? It could be said that Chained was my favorite horror film of the year in a lot of ways. Vincent D’ Onofrio gave the performance of his career, which is saying something because the man never fails. On top of that, a woman’s eye always adds something amazing when you work it into the mix. What would Jennifer Lynch do if she was given a VHS recorder and told she could do whatever she wanted for VHS 3? I promise you would get a sick, twisted tale, with quite a few twists and turns, that would definitely ramp up the tension and the overall insanity of the whole V/H/S series. Plus, her dad is David Lynch. I mean, how badass is that?
Nato: James Wan
I know I’m promoting the shit out of this guy any time I get the chance, but there’s a pretty damn good reason. Take a look at any of his directorial efforts except Dead Silence – and yeah, I’m including Death Sentence, so what – and I challenge you to argue this dude isn’t one of the greatest horror directors of our time. Saw is a mind-bending piece of twisted “torture porn” fun, Insidious is one of the most successful ghost stories in the last decade, and hype for The Conjuring/Insidious Chapter 2 has this guy’s stock skyrocketing. I’m a horror addict and Wan’s films give me the highest of highs, and I could only imagine the creative genius he could bring tinkering with older recording methods. Wan is the kind of visual wizard I’d throw any challenge at and wait anxiously for a result.
Although, Wan isn’t the only reason for such masterful horror, so I’d almost demand writing partner/friend Leigh Whannell be forced to join James in crafting a VHS 3 short story. Collaborating on Saw and Insidious, there’s no doubt Whannell deserves some credit, even if he’s nothing but a lucky charm. I highly doubt that though, and I feel like challenging Wan and Whannell would turn the two into childlike imagineers attacking the task with passion out the wazoo. Can someone please make this happen?
Which directors would you love to see direct a segment in VHS 3 if it happens?!
*A special thanks to Remy for stepping in to guest write! Feel free to follow either of us on Twitter for even more insanity and updates:
Matt Donato Follow @DoNatoBomb
Remy Carreiro Follow @RemyCarreiro
Like what you read? Check out last week’s article where we count down the Top 10 Moments of 2012 Horror!Previous