Host Review: Innovative filmmaking hits a new high in Shudder's Zoom call-based horror thriller!

Siddarth Srinivas -

Host Review: Innovative filmmaking hits a new high in Shudder's Zoom call-based horror thriller!

Synopsis:

HOST is the story of six friends who hire a medium to hold a séance over Zoom during the lockdown, but they get far more than they bargain for as things quickly go wrong. When an evil spirit starts invading their homes, they begin to realize they might not survive the night. The film stars Haley Bishop (Deep State), Radina Drandova (Dawn of the Deaf), Edward Linard (The Rebels), Jemma Moore (Doom: Annihilation), Caroline Ward (Stalling It) and Emma Louise Webb (The Crown), who also operated their own cameras, helped pull off their own practical effects and lit their own scenes. Due to social distancing precautions, director Rob Savage never set foot in the same room as his actors at any point during production and instead directed them remotely.

Format: Original Film
Platform: Shudder (USA)
Movie Rated: 18+
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Language: English
Digital Premiere Date: 30 July 2020

"Host" is a Shudder original, which has been entirely shot and made during the Coronavirus pandemic. The film has a runtime of 58 minutes and is directed by Rob Savage.
 

What’s the story about?
During the lockdown, six friends get together on a Zoom call for their weekly catch up. Instead of playing a game that they always do, they decide to arrange a Medium to perform a séance. One of the friends in Jemma tries to play around by cooking up a story, but all is not smooth thereon as they invite a scary spirit which turns everything upside down.

Analysis

Definitely, Host is one of the most inventive and cost-effective films to hit the marquee in recent years. To completely shoot a film on a Zoom call is a damn cool idea and credit to director Rob Savage and his team for pulling off this found-footage horror film to great effect. The film does indeed set itself up superbly at the start, giving us some really chilly and tense moments. The way the séance is performed and the entry of the spirit are the best portions of the hour-long film, creating a solid amount of thrill within the limited space. However, the final run of the film takes the usual route and may feel a little clichéd for some, but that still does not take away the fact that Host is a film worth watching.

Performances
All the six main characters in the film have solid roles to play, with not one being better than the other. All the characters have a different shade to themselves, and that’s what makes the film unique, as we get to explore how multiple characters deal with the same situation.

Music and other departments
Host is a film that required minimal post-production work, but the way it has been shot definitely deserves a pat on the back. A special mention to how the lighting was carried out in the latter half of the film.

Highlights
The superb idea of having a horror film shot on a Zoom call.

Drawbacks
The final ten minutes, where things take the regular route.

Did I enjoy it?
Yes. A splendid way of making a worthy watch at almost zero budget

Do I recommend it?
Do not miss this one if you are a fan of horror films. At just an hour’s length, it will not take too much of your time too!

 



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