V/H/S 99 appears in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. When 94 went with that aspect ratio, I whined since it violate the 1.33:1 dominance of 1994.
However, by 1999, 1.78:1 camcorders became more common. As such, I can accept these dimensions more readily here.
Whatever the ratio, both discs came with exceedingly similar picture and audio. As such, enjoy these cut and pasted comments from my 94 review – hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t rewrite it!
Because the film wanted to look like 90s-era videotape, the end result seemed predictably ugly. Sharpness consistently felt blah at best. The image always felt soft and mushy.
Jagged edges and moiré effects turned up through much of the movie. VHS-style distortion, interference and artifacts became a persistent factor.
Colors looked bland and on the brown side. Few – if any – instances of brighter hues manifested in this dull presentation.
Blacks came across as flat and inky, while shadows appeared dense and murky. From start to finish, V/H/S/99 brought an ugly image.
So why did I go with a “C”? Because V/H/S/99 should look awful, given the premise.
The movie felt too unattractive for me to give it a higher rating. Nonetheless, due to the concept, I also felt a lower grade seemed unfair, so “C” it was!
At least the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack fared better, even though it clearly violated the aforementioned premise. In a realistic world, the audio would both seem distant/rough and be stereo at best, with monaural more likely.
If we ignore the unreality of these choices, the soundscape seemed pretty good. The mix didn’t go crazy, so it stayed mostly with general atmosphere. A few spooky or violent moments featured the side and rear channels more actively, but the majority of the track remained environmental in nature.
Audio quality was fine. Despite the “on the fly” nature, speech seemed acceptably concise and natural, and effects demonstrated nice clarity and range.
The score was subdued but seemed well-rendered. This wasn’t an impressive track, but it worked in a positive manner.
When we shift to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from directors Maggie Levin, Flying Lotus, Tyler MacIntyre, Johannes Roberts, Vanessa Winter and Joseph Winter. Hosted by Bloody Disgusting’s Trevor Shand and Leo D’Antonio, all but Roberts sit together for a running, screen-specific track. Shan and D'Antonio do a separate running, screen-specific segment with Roberts that gets edited into the rest.
During this track, we learn about stories/characters, cast and performances, shooting during the COVID pandemic, sets and locations, music, influences, various effects and connected domains.
The presence of so many participants made me fear the commentary would become a mess. However, the Boo Crew folks keep matters under control.
This allows the discussion to cover a lot of domains in an efficient manner. Brisk and lively, this turns into an effective commentary.
A New York Comic-Con panel spans 51 minutes, 21 seconds. It features MacIntyre, Vanessa Winter, Joseph Winter and producer Josh Goldblum. They cover the project's development, recruiting directors, specifics of the various segments, period details and franchise reflections.
When they involve unreleased projects, Q&A panels tend to become fairly general, and that holds true here. These exist mainly to promote the film, so while we get occasional insights, the discussion doesn't tend to reveal a lot of substance.
Deleted Scenes pop up, with two from “Ozzy’s Dungeon” (1:24 total), one from “Shredding” (0:20), and one from “The Gawkers” (0:42). All feel extraneous and not interesting.
Related to “Shredding”, we get a music video from “BitchCat”. It credibly replicates the vibe of a mid-90s female rock band and becomes a fun addition. It loses the VHS vibe, though, and comes with a much cleaner image than seen in the actual film.
Three elements accompany “The Gawkers”, where Bloopers fill one minute, 11 seconds. It delivers the standard goofs and not much more.
Camera Tests go for two minutes, 13 seconds and include commentary from MacIntyre as we see attempts to find the right videotape equipment for the shoot. Though brief, this delivers an interesting look at these choices.
Lastly, The Making of Medusa runs one minute, nine second and shows various steps used to turn actor Emily Sweet into a mythological monster. Some narration would’ve been nice, but this still gives us a decent view.
Under “To Hell and Back”, we open with seven minutes, 35 seconds of Raw Footage. It lets us see some “fly on the wall” views of the shoot and becomes an adequate exploration.
Location Scouting lasts two minutes, 11 seconds and presents a view of attempts to find places to film the segment. It offers another moderately engaging segment.
Finally, Storyboards and Blocking Rehearsals goes for four minutes, 53 seconds and gives us added behind the scenes material. Expect a good clip.
A Gag Reel occupies two minutes, 15 seconds and provides typical fare – some of which we already saw with the “Gawkers” outtakes. Nothing interesting emerges.
A second disc gives us a DVD copy of 99. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
An inconsistent horror anthology, V/H/S/99 occasionally sparks to life. However, this occurs infrequently, so the end product fails to satisfy most of the time. The Blu-ray comes with appropriate visuals, generally good audio and a mix of bonus materials. Maybe the next V/H/S will work better.