V/H/S/99 is the fifth entry in the V/H/S series, this is a series that I often look forward to especially with it’s incredibly strong return from last year. There’s 5 segments here and I’ll talk a bit about each of them, it’s worth noting that this time around there isn’t an overarching frame narrative in between the shorts. Instead it’s some bits with toy soldiers that in a later short are used, the toy soldier bits are just sort of whatever. They are fun for the most part but really aren’t anything to write home about.
Shredding directed by Maggie Levin is the first short and a pretty decent way to start off the movie, it’s a simple premise of a punk rock group who pull pranks break into a venue and are attacked by zombies. The gore is really great, the atmosphere is quite effective and the pacing is very well done, the segment doesn’t overstay it’s welcome and knows what it is trying to accomplish.
Suicide Bid is directed by Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down and its sequel, The Strangers Prey At Night, Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City). The premise is once again pretty simple a college freshman named Lily wants to be part of a Beta Sigma Eta so she has to be part of a ritual where she’s buried underground in a coffin for a night. The first half of the segment is really strong, there’s a great sense of claustrophobia when we see the scenes of Lily trapped in the coffin and it’s quite effective. It’s what happens afterwards that’s on the weak side, the revenge against the Sigma Eta sisters is way too rushed I get that it’s a segment but everything goes by so quickly giving little time for the viewer to breathe. However I don’t think it’s a bad short, the pacing is just a bit too fast.
Ozzy’s Dungeon directed by Flying Lotus is the standout segment of the film, it’s an insanely weird segment that really goes all out and isn’t afraid to hold back. The premise centers around a children’s game show called Ozzy’s Dungeon where kids compete against each other in physical challenges whoever wins gets a wish granted, the segment starts out straightforward enough the second half reaches a revenge aspect to it that’s quite gory and reaches a disturbing atmosphere that is truly effective. The acting is pretty fun and the found footage element is truly the most effective here, combine that with the dark humor and you have yourself a really satisfying short.
The Gawkers directed by Tyler Maclntyre (Tragedy Girls) is the weakest segment of the movie, it’s a bunch of teenagers who try to get this girl’s attention and the girl isn’t who they thought she was. It’s a lot like Amateur Night which was a segment in the first V/H/S. Only that it’s much slower paced and just not nearly entertaining or well written, the humor isn’t funny and the characters are completely flat.
To Hell And Back directed by Vanessa & Joseph Winter (Deadstream) is the final segment and a pretty solid way to close the movie, the premise is two best friends are hired to film witches performing a ritual. The ritual goes haywire and the two friends are sent to hell now they have to find their way out. There’s some really great gore here and the pacing is quite well done with a great atmosphere and creature designs, it’s an entertaining short that like many of the others doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.
Overall V/H/S/99 is a solid addition to the series, outside of a few hiccup moments the film brings what’s come to be expected from the series. Another sequel V/H/S has been announced to release next year!
V/H/S/99 is available on Shudder.