As I wrote years ago and still defend, V/H/S, released in 2012, brought a whole new perspective to horror cinema. Blending horror with technology, the film preserved this feature in the following two movies and created its own universe with unique themes. As I said in my V/H/S94 article, if social media had been as strong and active in 2012 as it is today, V/H/S would have been in a much different position in horror cinema. But it’s still little known, even to horror fans, as a hidden gem. Unfortunately, the 7 years that got in the way caused us to break up with this magnificent series. V/H/S/94, which was released last year, ended the long wait. Although it had a slightly different structure from the classic trilogy, it was a complete V/H/S movie thematically. Yet, V/H/S/99 is questionable.
Although Shudder, the rising name of the last years in horror, did a great job bringing back the V/H/S series, the structural changes were a bit annoying. The part of 94 that I was most critical of was that the internal and external stories were not connected. In V/H/S/99, this has been completely removed. It is still a film that preserves its thematic aspect, yet involvement with technology has now completely disappeared. What made this series beautiful was that the films on the tapes somehow connected to the outside world where these tapes were broadcasted. This situation was creating a mysterious atmosphere that we could not get an answer for. On top of that, with the movies using technology at the highest level, V/H/S was a deft job that set it apart from all other horror movies. With V/H/S/99, series has become nothing more than just shorts trying to be creative. Although they are still impressive and rollicking, we seem to have moved away from the position we left in Viral forever.
As always, I want to talk about short films by moving forward section by section.
Shredding, directey by Maggie Levin, is the funniest but weakest short of the movie, in which crazy young people who want to go to the tunnels where a band named Bitch Cat died are killed like crazy. Adolescents who are disobedient and unable to control their rebellious spirits learn one by one the exciting life they seek is not very safe. There really isn’t much to talk about in this episode. Although I like the plastic make-up of the Bitch Cat members but have to say that it is an unsavory film as a story.
Suicide Bid, directed by Johannes Roberts, is a well-done movie that shows that a girl whose only dream is to get into a sorority can risk anything, but sometimes we have to listen to our minds before our hearts. The girls, already members of the sorority, make Lily an offer that she can’t refuse. They say they will accept her if she spends a night in a coffin. But a night in the coffin turns into a regret that will never be forgotten. Lily becomes the false legend she was told and then takes revenge. Although we can predict what will happen after Lily enters the coffin, we eagerly await it because it is a V/H/S movie. And we receive the return.
Ozzy’s Dungeon, directed by Flying Lotus, and the last short film, To Hell and Back, are like a complete V/H/S theme synopsis. Donna, who participated in one of the famous children’s parkour shows of the 2000s, could not complete the track that had to be completed in 60 seconds, and on top of that, she broke her leg because of a rival child. Debra, the mother who cannot accept what has been done to her child, kidnaps the program host and forces him to compete in the same track she built at home with a low budget. Whoever finishes the course in 60 seconds gets a wish behind the door. But since no one has completed the course so far, even the host has not seen behind the door yet. Not wanting to die, the host tells Debra they can sneak into the studio and make a wish. There was a mania behind the door that reminded me of Safe Haven. As I mentioned in my V/H/S articles, one of the key details of the series is the interruptions that do not end the films. Just as we are about to see the end of the story, the scene is cut. Rat Man in ’94, and this movie at least show that the series still retains some of its features.
The Gawkers, directed by Tyler MacIntyre, is a short film that keeps the 1999’s spirit alive. The rebellious and beautiful days when the computer had just entered our lives, webcams were revolutionary, and everyone was walking around with cassette cameras in their hands. A group of teenagers is doing their adolescents justice by peeking at the neighbor’s daughter and shouting every time she bends over. Then they came up with a crazy idea, according to them, to somehow connect the webcam that came to the neighbor’s girl to their own computer. Teenagers who want to see some boobs by intruding on a sexy girl-next-door’s night session are dying to satisfy their puberty. But our sexy next-door girl, who turns out to be a Gorgon, of course, goes after the youngsters. Then our dear Daniella, who hunts them all, turns the young ones into stone one by one.
To Hell and Back, directed by Joseph Winter and Vanessa Winter, taps into the lot-endeavored movie quota found in every V/H/S movie. During an exorcism ritual, Nate and Troy find themselves in a red, eerily, and trepidation universe where demons are imprisoned, resembling hell, after the devil touches them during the ritual. Trying to get rid of them, thanks to Mabel, whom they met in this universe full of strange creatures in every corner, the duo has to struggle with a lot of engrossing things. The film’s design, which has put a lot of effort into plastic make-up, is truly magnificent.
To sum it up… V/H/S/99 has turned into a movie, so-called V/H/S but consisting only of horror shorts by shelving the classic themes of last year’s film. The fact that there is no inner and outer story anymore, that these stories are not combined, that none of the stories benefit from technology, and worse yet, that they do not reflect the period are the developments that upset me, who love the series very freaking much. The series, which had a richer structure under 8383 Productions and The Collective Studios, was simplified under Shudder. It wouldn’t be surprising if Shudder, known for its low-budget horrors, would shrink under it, but shrinking the vision may not be good for the series. However, I can say that I would not say no to a possible sequel that will continue to come every October. It’s never too late to get back to their roots.
Cast & Crew
director: Flying Lotus (segment “Ozzy’s Dungeon”) Maggie Levin (segment “Shredding”) Tyler MacIntyre (segment “The Gawkers”) Johannes Roberts (segment “Suicide Bid”) Joseph Winter (segment “To Hell and Back”) Vanessa Winter (segment “To Hell and Back”)
USA | 2022 | 109 MINUTES |