Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Found-footage horror anthology has visceral shocks, cursing.

Movie NR 2022 109 minutes
V/H/S/99 Movie: Poster

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While less ambitious than its predecessor, this uneven but decent fifth entry in the found-footage V/H/S anthology series offers enough shocks and brutal creativity to make it worth a look. V/H/S/99 starts with its weakest entry, "Shredding"; it feels like the rock band is almost asking for trouble by playing pranks and disrespecting the memories of the people who died in the fire. What happens is a foregone conclusion, and there's not much surprise here. Directed by Johannes Roberts, the sorority tale ("Suicide Bid") effectively preys on two of many people's deepest fears -- not only being buried alive, but also drowning, as a torrential rainstorm descends upon poor trapped Lily (Alexia Ioannides), and it's a tense ride. The game show sequence ("Ozzy's Dungeon") is mostly just brutal revenge, and pretty disgusting besides.

The wraparound videos with the toy soldiers and narration by young Brady (Ethan Pogue) are delightfully hilarious, and the way the films transitions from that into the story of the voyeurs ("The Gawkers"), directed by Tyler MacIntyre, is very clever. This is the anthology's most powerful story, showing teens disrespecting their neighbor not only by spying on her but by objectifying her, too. The payoff is swift and satisfying. Directed by Joseph and Vanessa Winter, the final segment in the underworld ("To Hell and Back"), featuring bickering filmmakers and a helpful demon called Mabel (Melanie Stone), is the most impressive, creating a vivid, visceral, otherworldly feel with just a few resources. That's three out of five wins in this collection, which isn't bad -- but even the other two have memorable spooky/icky moments.

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