Host Review: Zoom Horror That’s Fresh and Frightening

Time strikes in a different way throughout lockdown. However for as soon as that’s really labored to the benefit of director Rob Savage who has managed to create an extremely well timed, sincerely scary and splendidly shot horror film in 12 weeks. That’s 12 weeks from conception to its look on streaming service Shudder.

The result’s Host, a horror set over a Zoom name that couldn’t be extra related and extra zeitgeisty, which is able to probably safe a spot in horror historical past as a film which captured a second which, hopefully, will appear to be a weird blip. Although Host actually leans into horror film tropes that existed earlier than it – you may see shades of Blair Witch, Paranormal Exercise and Unfriended right here – Host is put along with such ingenuity, significantly given the entire lockdown state of affairs, that it’s tough to not be considerably in awe of what Savage and his extraordinary forged and crew have achieved. 

Bear in mind July 2019 when plenty of folks had by no means even heard of Zoom? We not in that world anymore. Now the video conferencing software program is ubiquitous, it’s how many people run conferences, speak to our family and friends, interact in quizzes, and replicate the pub expertise as finest we are able to. So why not use it to carry a seance? A lot of good causes, it seems…

Haley (Haley Bishop) has organized for her and 5 mates to get collectively by way of Zoom the place they are going to be joined by Seylan (Seylan Baxter), a medium who’s a pal of Haley’s and has agreed to assist them talk with the spirit world. Haley has finished it earlier than and implores her pals to be respectful. Jemma (Jemma Moore) is extremely sceptical of the entire thing. Caroline (Caroline Ward) and Emma (Emma Louise Webb) are extra credulous but additionally extra nervous. Radina (Radina Drandova) who moved in together with her accomplice for lockdown has larger issues to fret about and Teddy (Edward Linard) actually simply desires to get pissed together with his mates. 

Like The Blair Witch Undertaking greater than 20 years earlier than it, Host opts to make use of the actors actual names, and works finest due to the extremely naturalistic performances from all of the forged. The dialogue is humorous and genuine, exposition-light, and a totally convincing image of what an actual Zoom name between these folks would appear to be, together with acknowledgement of recent hairdos, slagging off of Teddy’s girlfriend when he can’t hear, and an extremely endearing cameo from Caroline’s dad displaying off his tan. Even because the movie progresses although and the motion turns into heightened, the women keep an absolute sense of actuality – the worry is plausible and due to this fact simply shared by the viewers. 

Host does depend on numerous soar scares however they’re delivered to such nice impact you may forgive it. And the chills in Host are far more refined than creepy issues showing within the background of Zoom home windows – there’s stunt and FX work right here that’s severely spectacular. 

Host makes use of Zoom – particularly Zoom – to nice impact too – utilizing its performance with a horror twist. A customized background Caroline makes which seems to point out her strolling into her personal room behind her is intelligent, then scary, then terribly poignant, whereas a reveal involving the chat perform is impressed. It’s really genuinely disorientating when the movie begins with the acquainted Zoom dwelling display – for a second you suppose you’ve by accident forged your laptop computer onto the telly – and even the tip credit maintain us inside the ‘Zoom’ universe.

Host is an excellently made movie in its personal proper however at a runtime of lower than an hour it nearly appears like one thing new totally, a part of an rising completely different option to eat media maybe. It was by no means supposed for the massive display and wouldn’t work in addition to such. It’s most likely simply as pleasurable on a small laptop computer as a giant TV. In contrast to some ‘web’ horror movies which discover it laborious to maintain up with altering tech and grow to be awkwardly outdated earlier than they’re even launched – 2010s Chatroom being the obvious instance – Host feels gloriously recent. There’s a gag in it about having to cowl up a cough with a fart versus the reverse, and a beautiful second with a easy elbow contact, which wouldn’t have made a lick of sense a 12 months in the past.

Savage is the director behind wonderful brief Daybreak Of The Deaf which was nominated for a grand jury prize at Sundance, a multi-storied and interesting new tackle the zombie style, utilizing deaf actors and utilising modern sound design, which additionally function Caroline, Haley and Radina and was co-written by Jed Shepard and co-produced by Douglas Cox who he reunited with for Host. They’re a staff clearly targeted on scares which might be doing attention-grabbing issues inside the style. When lockdown is over and filmmaking can return to regular we wouldn’t be stunned if Savage turns into the following massive factor – we solely hope he carries on the innovation even when it’s not born of necessity.

Host is accessible to stream on Shudder now.

The submit Host Overview: Zoom Horror That’s Contemporary and Horrifying appeared first on Den of Geek.


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