Someone New Has Joined The Meeting!
Whilst the current pandemic has seriously disrupted the entertainment industry, us Horror fans have been graced with quite a few movies over the last 4 months, from The Invisible Man to the more recent Open 24 Hours.
But Rob Savage’s HOST, which dropped on Shudder last night (July 30th), is the first officially released film that was made during quarantine (I am purposely ignoring Full Moon’s Corona Zombies as that film mostly featured re-edited clips from other movies).
And to its merit, the film recognises our current situation enough for us to relate, but the pandemic doesn’t take centre stage and is merely used as a spring board.
The new British Horror revolves around six mates who ask a medium to oversee a séance over Zoom.They drink and laugh and all is merry. The actors all have a naturalistic approach to their characters, which immediately creates a perception of believability allowing the audience to connect easily and quickly before the film takes a sinister turn. With the fact that the film’s run time is only 56 minutes, Savage hasn’t got much time to develop the characters before the evil spirit takes over the meeting, but alongside Co-Writer’s Gemma Hurley and Jed Shepherd they do a great job at pulling us in before the shit hits the fan.
HOST is an effective little film which creates some rather successful tension building and dread. Granted, there are no scares here that we haven’t seen many times before, especially within this sub-genre, but there are a lot of set ups followed by super fun jump scares.
It’s pretty hard to believe that the idea was conceived only 12 weeks ago! What began as a prank video with his friends where Rob explained he’d been hearing noises up the attic and then went to investigate…
The prankster had ingeniously sneaked in a hidden transition, cutting his own footage with a jump scare from the phenomenal Spanish movie Rec (2007). Deservedly his video went viral, thus setting in motion what would be a 3 month project from conception to completion including distribution and release! That’s some feat that can only be applauded. Has Savage set a new standard for Indie Filmmaking?
And the cast are equally as impressive, having to do their own make up, lighting their own scenes, operating their own cameras and even creating their own practical effects and stunts (courtesy of Lucky 13 Action) - all whilst Rob directed them from the comfort of his own home.
To conclude, HOST is a super fun Horror and an entertaining spin on the supernatural sub-genre via a desktop movie. I even applaud its abrupt ending, the first time a found footage flick had a good reason for its final jump scare followed by credits… the Zoom meeting’s specific time slot came to an end! Brilliant.
This film won’t be for everyone, because that’s how life is, but if you purposely watch a film about a demonic presence possessing an online group chat, you should at least know what to expect.
A Review by Craig Fisher (@fisherfilms82)
HOST is available over on Shudder NOW.