Monday, 13 August 2012

Grabbed by the Ghoulies

Tales from the Hood is a horror anthology which, although lacking in decent scares, has a nice line in social commentary and gangsta posturing. The frame story sees three thugs turn up at a funeral parlour to collect some 'product' but the owner, played with plenty of crazy by Clarence Williams, decides to entertain his guests with some grisly stories first. Although the segments are fairly typical fare they're given an added socio-political flavour with the inclusion of police brutality, child abuse, and racist politicians peppering the tropes. It won't raise a single goosepimple and the sfx are a pretty ropey but there's enough chuckles along the way to keep you moderately entertained. Good fun for fans of black culture but not for horror aficionados.

V/H/S on the other hand has a plethora of creepy moments and some deliciously grisly murders all filmed lovingly in that found footage style that I'm so fond of (but most seem to hate). The framing narrative sees a bunch of reprobates break into some old codger's house looking for a specific video cassette but when they're faced with dozens of candidates they decide to watch a few to help narrow it down. Amongst their better finds are a clubbing succubus, an unusual woodland slasher and a Skype haunting which are given fresh twists and turns that kept me glued to the screen. As always with these portmanteaus there some variance in the quality of acting and some of the 'artefacts' of the footage got a bit dull but they're all nicely scripted, cleverly shot (exploiting the found footage motif with more imagination than most) and there's enough blood and viscera to satisfy the gorehounds.

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