Retro Movement: Will Horror Films Bring the VCR Back from the Dead?

  • Horror fans are resurrecting the VHS format to enjoy films of the 1980s, “the kind in which brains were made of Jell-O and the cast was paid in wine coolers,” suggests The New York Times.
  • “It’s hard to get into the aesthetic of shakycam, pretty people, safe scares — like something jumping out at you — and the digital photography and CG blood,” says Evan Husney, director of Drafthouse Films.
  • These fans prefer dusting off their VCRs to viewing via tablets or DVD. As a result, several distributors are re-releasing select 80s titles on VHS.
  • “You just don’t get the same feeling in a pristine print of a DVD,” explains blogger Dan Kinem. “With VHS it’s like I’m experiencing an old grind-house movie theater. I would never watch them on a computer.”
  • Additionally, VHS nights are emerging at theaters such as Cinefamily in Los Angeles; the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas; and at the Spectacle Theater and Nighthawk Cinema in Brooklyn, New York.