VIDEO KILLER ** UK 2016 Dir: Richard Mansfield. 75 mins
A young woman receives a mysterious VHS cassette in the post containing apparently authentic footage of a masked weirdo’s psychopathic antics. She records her experiences and commentary on this footage, while outside others – at a further stage in the harassment process – do the same as their lives become more threatened.
Annoying one-note characters mar this conceptually intriguing story of a sentient, violent videotape, with shades of the SAW series and IT FOLLOWS, among others. It’s meandering for a short movie and proves once and for all that there’s nothing scary about a furry hooded parka. The best thing about VIDEO KILLER is the video itself, which opens with a nostalgia-inducing 80’s style crudely drawn public information animation with authentically nightmarish footage of kites flying near power cables. It’s perfectly in keeping with the era that gave us “Charley Says” and many other advisory shorts designed to terrify us out of ever leaving the house.
Review by Steven West