In V/H/S/99, a thirsty teenager’s home video leads to a series of horrifying revelations. Featuring five new stories from filmmakers Maggie Levin, Johannes Roberts, Flying Lotus, Tyler MacIntyre and Joseph & Vanessa Winter, V/H/S/99 harkens back to the final punk rock analog days of VHS, while taking one giant leap forward into the hellish new millennium.
For in-depth thoughts on V/H/S/99, please see my colleague Lee Vaughn’s review from its original streaming premiere here.
V/H/S/99 comes to Blu-Ray with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in its original aspect ratio, and like its predecessor this is not a film intended to stand out on the Blu-Ray format. Due to the creative aesthetic of the film, the crisp high definition footage that was originally shot has been processed to look like the terrible quality VHS of the past. The picture features the tracking lines and thick grain of VHS with a blob of undefined murkiness during the darker moments. Fine detail is likewise nearly nonexistent with very little in the way of depth to the image. The cinematography of the film is very intentional, and, while it may not be the most beautiful presentation, this disc captures it as well as you could hope. The colors in the film are intentionally subdued, but some hues shine through with nice saturation more than others. Overall, this transfer represents what the film is supposed to look like well.
V/H/S/99 comes to Blu-Ray with a perfectly solid DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track. The movie does not go as overboard on trying to create a vintage experience on the audio side, but there are still intentional limitations put in place to replicate the lackluster recording equipment. Despite a semblance of adherence to authenticity, the environmental sounds still provide a surprisingly immersive atmosphere for the story. Dialogue and sound effects are well balanced with the music where nothing gets lost in the track. Surround channels get some welcome activity during the more kinetic scenes and with the natural ambiance of interpersonal moments. The low end of the track is especially active during more spirited moments of attacks and confrontations. This track is quite precise and effective, and will be appreciated by fans who pick up this disc. There are English SDH subtitles provided.
RLJE Entertainment has provided V/H/S/99 with an optional sleek new SteelBook that is truly lovely in person. The front artwork is the colorful poster artwork which looks a bit like a skull with a city skyline for a mouth, and the rear features a person in distress. The interior sports a still from the film featuring an older individual wearing “2000” novelty sunglasses. Photos of the SteelBook can be found at the end of this review.
- Audio Commentary: Bloody Disgusting’s “Boo Crew” hosts a commentary track with several of the filmmakers and producers from the various segments. There are some interesting insights into how each segment came about including finding unique locations to shoot, some of the themes tackled, the special effects, the performers in the film, the creative production design and more.
- Exclusive Panel From Reedpop’s New York Comic Con: An extensive 51-minute panel featuring several of the creative figures discussing the new film in depth with discussions of the time period, the directors that boarded this installment and more.
- Ozzy’s Dungeon
- Deleted Scenes: Two unused scenes totaling a minute and a half featuring Ozzy in hell are provided.
- Deleted Scene: A 20-second unused scene featuring a juvenile prank is provided.
- Bitchcat Music Video: A two-and-a-half music video from the film is provided.
- The Gawkers
- Deleted Scene: A nearly minute-long stop-motion scene with the army men is provided.
- Bloopers: A minute-long collection of flubbed takes is provided.
- Camera Tests: A two-minute look at some of the tests from the cinematographer with narration from the director.
- The Making of Medusa: A minute-long look at the monstrous transformation at the center of this narrative.
- To Hell and Back
- Raw Footage: A nearly eight-minute long look at the shooting of some of the footage.
- Location Scouting: A two-minute look at the team testing out locations.
- Storyboards and Blocking Rehearsals: A five-minute look at preparations for the film.
- Gag Reel: A two-minute look at some goofing around on set.
V/H/S/99 finds the long-running horror anthology improving on its predecessor in nearly every way. No single story feels like a dud, even if certain segments hold more of a place in our heart than others. This is a win for this series, as this format allows for a greater range in quality than your typical horror film. Even the wrap-around story brought about some joy, especially since it fed into the narrative in a more satisfying manner. Efforts like this make us want to return to this world again. RLJE Films has released a Blu-Ray featuring an A/V presentation that is good as the material will allow and some great special features and packaging. Fans of the series should be more than pleased. Recommended
V/H/S/99 is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray SteelBook, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: RLJE Films has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.