I recently invited a friend over and we watched her favourite film, The Blair Witch Project, on VHS because I happened to have it and whatever your opinion on the quality of the film, it’s a fun one to watch! We had a chat about how much better it is to watch it on tape because it’s how it was intended to be seen, and I have a few other opinions that lead me to think EVERYONE should watch their favourite movie that was released on VHS on VHS, and it’s not just because it work in a video rental store.
First off is the most obvious one that we’ve already brushed on, which is that films made prior to around 2002 were created with the expectation that they would be watched on VHS, even if it was realised in the cinema first. I’m not a film maker, I don’t know that in 2004 when DVD’s became the norm filmmakers mentality switched to create films focused on DVD, but as with why I listen to vinyl so often, I like to consume media in the way those creating it would have expected me to consume it.
It’s also more of an experience. It sounds a bit lame, I know, but getting the VHS and opening it and sliding it into the player and 9 times out of 10 have to wait for it to rewind because the last person didn’t both to do it (the worst sin in the VHS world if you ask me). For me, this little process ups the experience of being excited to watch the movie in the same way as when I was a kid and it’s much more involved than just finding the picture on Netflix or letting a DVD be eaten by the X Box.
You’ll also likely notice new things about it the first time you watch it on VHS. I don’t know why but it just happens. Anyone who’s read my blog before probably knows that I love Drop Dead Fred, I’d probably already watched it a few dozen (yes, really) times on Netflix before I got it on VHS but there were still subtle things I hadn’t noticed before and also some minor differences that I hadn’t been expecting!
I don’t want this to be a massively long post, I think if you enjoy movies in a similar way to me I’ve said enough to convince you to pick up your favourite on tape! When was the last time you watched a VHS tape?