‘V/H/S/99’ Review: Found-Footage Horror at Its Finest
Late '90s madness!
Anyone who says that found footage is dead is wrong. This subgenre still has breath and remains one of the scariest of the horror subgenres. Why? Because found footage often feels more realistic than anything else. We’re plunged into a first-person POV throughout scenes and are watching madness unfold that isn’t perfectly edited. Perfect example: the V/H/S franchise and its most recent entry, V/H/S/99.
This franchise has certainly reached cult status, and after the success of V/H/S/94, we’ve been given another entry in V/H/S/99 (2022). Let me tell you, the trailer does capture the essence of this entry. It’s bananas and has a lot of bloody/gore moments, though if you’re looking for an overall connection between its anthology segments, you won’t find that here.
“Witness a hellish vision of 1999, as social isolation, analog technology and disturbing home videos fuse into a nightmare of found footage savagery.”– Shudder
Each segment is like an appetizer, and they are all tasty in their own ways. It’s late ’90s overload, and it works. Since the segments happen in ’99, with the last one happening on the eve of Y2K, there’s a certain energy throughout this anthology goodness. And the characters range from absolute garbage to endearing—meaning when bad shit starts happening, you’re either hoping they get out or get what’s coming to them.
There aren’t a lot of well-known actors featured in this film. In a way, that helps, because there’s less distraction with “oh it’s (insert really famous name)” and the focus ends up being in the segments themselves. But if you’re into knowing, Sonya Eddy (Seinfeld, General Hospital, etc.) and Steven Ogg (The Walking Dead, Grand Theft Auto V, etc.) both star in “Ozzy’s Dungeon”—a segment that’s so unpredictable in all the best ways.
As someone who happens to love found footage, I found so much to love about this movie. It’s surprisingly hilarious in some moments, the scares are just right, there’s a sense of dread throughout each segment, and the last segment is a perfect finisher. It would’ve been interesting if they all tied together in the end, but thankfully the lack of that aspect doesn’t hinder the film, whereas with the other films in the franchise, it absolutely would’ve done just that.
Overall, this will serve as a splendid watch this Halloween season and onwards. And I highly recommend it for horror fans who love found footage and who really loved V/H/S/94 (2021). Subscribe to Shudder to watch!
My current ranking of the segments:
- “To Hell And Back” written and directed by Vanessa & Joseph Winter
- “Ozzy’s Dungeon” written by Zoe Cooper and Flying Lotus, directed by Flying Lotus
- “The Gawkers” written by Chris Lee Hill and Tyler McIntyre, directed by Tyler McIntyre
- “Suicide Bid” written and directed by Johannes Roberts
- “Shredding” written and directed by Maggie Levin
(featured image: Shudder)
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