V/H/S/99 – TIFF22


V/H/S/99 – TIFF22

Witness a hellish vision of 1999, as social isolation, analog technology and disturbing home videos fuse into a nightmare of found footage savagery.

Table of Contents

The turn of the millennium is the theme in the latest chapter of the anthology series . In Shredding, a group of misfits aspire to reach the same greatness as their favourite band, Bitch Cat, who were trampled to death by fans. In Suicide Bid, a young woman is dared to spend the night in a coffin. In Ozzy's Dungeon, a family takes revenge on a gameshow host. In Gawkers, two brothers get more than they bargained for when they spy on their neighbour. Finally, To Hell and Back takes us on an apocalyptic journey into the underworld.

V/H/S/99 is the fifth film in the V/H/S/ anthology film series and the second to follow the theme of a single year, following last year's V/H/S/94. V/H/S/99 consists of five segments from up-and-coming horror filmmakers. The segments include Maggie Levin directing the punk-rock-themed Shredding, Johannes Roberts (Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City) directing the hazing horror of Suicide Bid, Flying Locus (Kuso) directing the gameshow revenge Ozzy's Dungeon, Tyler MacIntyre (Tragedy Girls) directing the voyeurism horror of The Gawkers, and finally Joseph and Vanessa Winter (Deadstream) presenting the Hellish finale To Hell and Back.

It was thought that the V/H/S/ found-footage anthology series ran its course with the conclusion of the original trilogy consisting of 2012's V/H/S, 2013's V/H/S/2, and 2014's V/H/S/ Viral. The franchise was relaunched last year by the horror streaming service Shudder, with each chapter now focused on a single year.

In theory, V/H/S/99 is a film that would play up with much of the Y2K hysteria in 1999. However, that is only truly the case with the final segment, To Hell and Back, which is undoubtedly the film's best segment. Joseph and Vanessa Winter take what they do in creating a funhouse of scares in Deadstream and blow it up to apocalyptic proportions.

Sadly, the other segments of V/H/S/99 don't match the levels of insanity found in To Hell and Back. A distant second would probably have to be Ozzy's Dungeon, if only because it is the most messed up segment with some incredibly gory moments. Then there's the opening segment Shredded, which is memorable for its punk rock aesthetic and gory zombie attacks. That leaves Suicide Bid and The Gawkers as the segments of V/H/S/99 that didn't leave much of an impression on me.

Ultimately, V/H/S/99 suffers from the problem faced by nearly all anthology films, including the series' previous entries. Even though some excellent segments are worth checking out, the film also features some clunkers. However, V/H/S/99 is still worth checking out for those wanting some Halloween horror viewing.

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Trailer for V/H/S/99 – TIFF22

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.