We love useless fun facts. So let’s explore this one.
For many horror fans, the first introduction to horror cinema came courtesy of the video shops that sadly closed down long ago. The VHS era is downright synonymous with the horror genre, the lurid box art that we still hold so near and dear responsible for making so many us fall in love with monsters and gory mayhem. I have many fond memories of perusing the horror section of my local Blockbuster (it’s now a Moe’s Southwest Grill); to this day, I can still remember how awed I was by the sun-faded boxes, particularly those that happened to have Freddy on them.
Long after video stores gave up the ghost, the last VCR manufacturer officially ceased production last summer, bringing about the complete and total end of the VHS format. But it was way back in 2006 that the format breathed its final breaths – despite boutique companies releasing films like House of the Devil and our own V/H/S on VHS over the years, it hasn’t been heard from since.
Sure, VHS may never die due to fans like yourselves keeping it alive (and even still, from time to time, taking it upon ourselves to put newer films onto VHS), but the film widely considered to be the last to get an official VHS release was David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence, which came out on March 14, 2006. Wikipedia calls that year “something of a watershed for home media technology,” and they say that because 2006 was the year the HD-DVD and Blu-ray formats were born. DVD was dominant at the time, ensuring that VHS wasn’t going to be around long.
2006 marked the end of the VHS era with the release of A History of Violence, the last VHS release for a major Hollywood film.
Of course, A History of Violence isn’t quite a horror movie. So what then was the last major Hollywood HORROR FILM released on VHS? That’s a question I set out to answer today.
And I’m pretty sure I found the answer.
As it turns out, Wikipedia has an entire page dedicated to 2006 in home video, and it lists off every home video release from that year. The horror film found closest to the top of that list is SAW II, released on VHS and DVD on February 14, 2006. Between that date and the release of A History of Violence just one month later, no other horror movies were put out on the VHS format.
Conclusion? The final horror film widely released on VHS was Saw II!
Other horror movies that saw release on VHS in the final year of the format’s life include The Cave, Wes Craven’s Red Eye, the remake of The Fog, and video game adaptation Doom.
We miss you, VHS. Oh and LONG LIVE VHS!