Title – Host (2020)
Director – Rob Savage (Dawn of the Deaf)
Cast – Haley Bishop, Jemma Moore, Emma Louise Webb, Caroline Ward
Plot – During a Covid-19 lock-down a group of six friends connect on Zoom to hold a séance but things quickly take a turn for the worse when they realise they may’ve conjured up a spirit with devious intentions.
“She’s done it a bunch of times”
Review by Eddie on 03/02/2021
Before 2020 came around the idea of a 56 minute horror film taking place entirely on online meeting platform Zoom would’ve felt like a gimmick gone too far but with 2020 being the year that it was, Shudder backed and released Host against all the odds becomes one of the Covid-19 riddled years most memorable little horror offerings.
Feeling as though its been cut from the same cloth as the material used for films such as The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, Rob Savage’s creatively designed feature may not offer anything particularly new in a narrative sense or scare sense but with all of us growing more accustomed to meetings and get togethers virtually, as well as being locked inside our own houses, Host manages to capture the time in which it has been born into and also creep us out with well plotted jump scares and moody set ups.
Following a group of 6 English friends who decide its a good of a time as any to hold a séance, this time with a twist being a virtual one, Host does a nice job of introducing us to our unsuspecting group of everyday working-class citizens pent up inside and looking for a release only to discover conjuring up spirits is not the greatest of pastimes, especially when you’re home isolated from the world around you.
Rollicking along at a break neck pace, Host rarely pauses for a breath as we quickly grow to understand that the spirit this group has welcomed into their Zoom meeting isn’t the type of one that will be bringing much of a good time to the friendship circle and that’s a wise move from Savage as we are never given time to pause to contemplate how intense things are getting or what type of decisions characters are making.
Host is a prime example of what can be done in the horror genre when you use nothing but some smartly designed narrative choices and carefully consider how you will shock the audience and the film is likely to provide viewers with more than a fair share of jump scares that culminates in some of the more memorable final minutes of horror from the 2020 calendar year.
Final Say –
Ingeniously incorporating Zoom into its narrative, there might not be anything outstanding about Host’s narrative or its concept but this brief foray into horror done by the way of 2020 is a memorable ride and one that never outstays its welcome.
3 1/2 off camera shots out of 5