The found footage style most famously pioneered by The Blair Witch Project has made a pretty nice comeback this year, and it’s easy to see why.
It’s cheap to make a found footage movie, and now the style is being applied to other genres besides horror, although it has proven to be very effective in scare films.
Funny enough, one horror director who wasn’t originally all that enthusiastic about the found footage style, Ti West (The Innkeepers), is providing a story in the found footage anthology V / H / S. Being that I look back on the home video boom fondly, I love that title, and like Creepshow, this is a five story anthology, but they're all connected via found footage.
As The Hollywood Reporter tells us, Ti West, who directed the Innkeepers, Adam Wingard, (director of A Horrible Way to Die), David Bruckner (The Signal), Joe Swanberg (Silver Bullets), and Glenn McQuaid (I Sell the Dead), are all contributing segments. The Reporter also tells us the film went over well at Sundance from genre geeks and mainstream peeps alike.
In recently talking to Ti West for a story I did about horror films, he mentioned he did have some problems with the found footage genre, and I got the impression some terror mavens feel it takes away from the craft of making a film. A good horror film requires a lot of skill, (some feel more filmmaking technique than any other genre), but in horror, a lot of times working low budget can work to your advantage, as it adds more realism to the scares.
Horror compilations, like the aforementioned Creepshow, have been done before, there was a Tales From the Crypt movie way back in the early seventies, but this may be the first time a feature length horror compilation is being done with a separate director for each segment. The animated adaptation of Heavy Metal magazine had a separate filmmaker for the seven segments, but that was in the fantasy / sci-fi genre.
And funny enough, Pulp Fiction was originally going to be an anthology film with each segment by a different director. It was going to be Quentin Tarantino, his then writing partner Roger Avary, and Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City), who were each going to write and direct their own segment. Instead, they were all interconnected, with Avary writing the segment of the film with the gold watch and the gimp in the basement, but again, it was originally going to be three separate stories written and directed by three different people.