What is first notable about this addition to the franchise is how it truly attempts to replicate the flaws of the video during occasional transitions, flickering to innocent moments of fun during what I assume to be the introductory segment of it.
It could be easy to misunderstand how multifaceted the first chapter is, with the infamy of the five protagonists being something discernible from the amount of ‘extreme’ videos they’ve already made.
As is sometimes the case with situations like these, killers can utilize and exploit folklore to their own advantage and dispose of a group one would first consider as depraved with snuff-like ferocity.
One male wearing make-up prior to visiting the ‘haunted’ location speaks for the underlying message of how the murderers operate here and I found such self-awareness to be impressive.
It’s pretty dumb to undermine this franchise prematurely based upon one half baked sequel – it’s unlikely they’d succumb to following the route that so many other profiteering enterprises go down and I still have faith in the series.
In any case, post-murder video editing, costumes/reconnaissance conducted by the mercenaries likely worked to immunize them from any suspicion whatsoever. V/H/S/99 started, on base appearances, half-cooked; and I imagine this is exactly why – the ‘entities’ presented in the opening chapter could still pass of as human – costumes and appearances all considered.
I feel like VHS is intentionally lowering their own standards here. The kids TV segment is definitely making some sociological point about injurious audiences and the ramifications of exploiting your kids for monetary profit. How you want the torture scene in this segment of the movie to swiftly transition speaks for how trash a lot of other horrors are too, really.
The fact that it’s exclusive to Shudder speaks to the lowered amount of custom/investment in the industry these days; and I feel guilty for my downloading past..
The voyeuristic Medusa chapter of V/H/S/99 articulates how the medium itself has become a horrific element in our every day existence; with the permanency of embarrassing/shameful media being catastrophically impactful upon people’s self-confidence; and those with which they most often associate.
Later on this becomes all too clear; however, and the poignancy of the segment becomes thrust upon you instead of something to be reflected upon.
It could be a testament to how much further (if that was even possible) humanity has drifted from sincere interaction; cloaked by a digital smoke screen even before pandemic. Which makes one realize online collectives became something legally mandatory during those three years – and the impact of it is still something hard to comprehend.
Considering it’s based Ala ’99 fills one with a longing for a past never experienced; bound as we all are to the technology that rests beside us on every waking morning.
It seems like a big ‘fuck you’ to everyone that gave ’94 negative reviews, to me. This is why we can’t have nice things; I suppose. But thinking more into it, this is likely the very reason the next release is anticipated so much sooner than those that came prior. In all honesty, this seems like a franchise diversion that determined adolescents as its target audience.
Given that these films are essentially a compilation of short presentations (put together by so many different parties;) it feels like VHS is intentionally promoting inventive cinema of a lesser standard than fans are accustomed to; for better or worse; for the betterment of the genre.
For Emma; I’m staying spooky but certainly not safe!