• Martyn Wakefield

V/H/S/99 (REVIEW)

Dir. Maggie Levin, Johannes Roberts, Flying Lotus, Tyler MacIntyre, Joseph Winter,

Vanessa Winter

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

V/H/S/99 is the fifth entry in the anthology series and the second that has surprisingly been targeted at the 90s when VHS footage was so prominent. Where 94 gave us an excellent short surrounded by a few more forgettable pieces, 99 seems to have taken lessons from all four entries in the franchise and has really mastered the art of anthology in a way that makes this, collectively, the best V/H/S/ film to date.


Comprising of 5 shorts scaling from undead girl band, to pervert teens and trips to Hell, there is not a master film here to take the credit and each one never quotes reaches the top 5 of all time but they are all at least enjoyable.


"Shredding", from Maggie Levin who's given her directorial hat to other genre films but most importantly was assistant director for one of this year's biggest horror films, THE BLACK PHONE, and sees a group of MTV teens sneak into the site where a girl band went missing in 1995, to their surprise they get to meet the band and it leaves with one of the most haunting scenes in horror history, blurred between the lines of 90s VHS static.


Following up is a BURIED scenario in "Suicide Bid", which sees a group of friends decide to bury one of them in a haunted dare, things get taken a little too far and there's a ghastly surprise. For me, it was terrifying until that surprise and would have been a scary tale without the supernatural but gives a cheap thrill nonetheless.


"Ozzy's Dungeon" may get the most media attention for it's themes of children and kids shows but plays it's twist well, even if predictable bit the story to get there is menacingly nuanced and there's some dark turns. With "The Gawkers" continuing with the brush with the 90s by riffing of a scene from the year's biggest film, AMERICAN PIE, with mixed effect. The build up is great and reminiscent of the kind of stuff that was on TV at the time but the use of some poor CGI turns it more GOOSEBUMPS than THE FACULTY.


Finally, DEADSTREAM directors Joseph and Vanessa Winter literally take us TO HELL AND BACK with carefully choreographed voyage from cult to otherworld and some stunning visuals but the ending is a real sucker punch that will leave you wanting more. V/H/S/99 feels more snappy thanks to some well written segments and never becomes boring which is a huge credit for a film that has so much crammed in, that it never overflows.


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