Set at the conclusion of the millennium, V/H/S/99 is the fifth instalment in the V/H/S series and tells five new found-footage stories. Following the same format as the other V/H/S instalments, each story begins very grounded in tone, eventually evolving into supernatural mayhem and carnage.
In 99, all five stories are insanely horrific, with solid premises fueled by creative twists and turns that that fans of the original franchise will love. In the first story, a group of teenagers break into a haunted house to play music but the ghosts of female rock group in the building wreak havoc upon them. Frankly, the episode is nothing but a mix of good music and death. The second tale focuses on a desperate girl trying to get into a sorority but, in order to do so, she must stay in a coffin for the night. The catch? A young girl died in there years ago. This short is uper claustrophobic, and disgustingly terrifying. The third—and my favourite episode—is an homage to Nickelodeon’s Legends of the Hidden Temple. Here, a girl’s family gets revenge on a game show host for torturing their children on the show, and demand the prize they were promised in the form of a mysterious “wish.” Fourth, 99 tells the story of a group of boys trying to record an attractive woman, only to see something they shouldn’t have seen. And, in a surprising buddy story, the last episode follows two friends who accidently travel to hell.
The best aspect of this instalment is that it has kept is the use of practical effects, with a limited use of CGI. In doing so, 99 really gives a sense of realism to their storytelling. Practical effects and makeup seem to add to the uneasiness to horror, capturing the disgusting realism of gore. It really pairs well with the grounded and ‘realistic’ scenes that they attempt to portray with the found-footage style of filming. In the end, V/H/S/99 proves to be a great addition to the series, as the franchise inches closer to modern day.
V/H/S/99 premiered at TIFF ’22. For more information, click here.