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Host (2020) Review

Someone new has joined the meeting.

Release Date: July 30th, 2020
Length: 57 minutes
Genre: Horror, Mystery
MPAA: Not Rated
Streaming? Yes – Shudder exclusive

2020 has been a bizarre year in many cases, its been difficult to write reviews as there is not many new films coming out due to delays and other things. I also have felt a bit overwhelmed this year, but I think I’m ready to come back and write some more reviews. I feel like this film a good place to start.

I find every year that horror filmmakers find a new and innovative way to tell a horror story and get under our skin at the same time. Host to me feels like the perfect encapsulation of 2020 and the events that have gone on during this year.

Host is a Mystery and thriller film that is streaming exclusively on shudder. Shudder for those who do not know is a very cheap horror streaming service (About 4.99$ a month) that streams horror movies from various sub-genres of horror. If you’re a horror fan, I honestly cannot recommend this service enough, if you’d like to try it out you can get a week for free if you sign up at www.shudder.com . The premise of Host is Six friends hire a medium to hold a seance via Zoom during lockdown.

Host is directed by Rob Savage. I am not too familiar with his work at all but i thought this was a highly effective horror movie. Given its 57 minute run time (the length of a zoom call), it wastes absolutely no time in getting you acquainted with the characters and the setting. Set up similarly to films like the Unfriended franchise (2014 and 2018) and Searching (2018), this film all takes place within a Zoom call, so you have all 7 people and their points of view whether the camera is facing themselves or at their surroundings, you’re always in the action and theres little room to look away. It is relentless in its execution and does not dabble in too many of the specifics.

I won’t go into specifics about the actors, as I know myself that I haven’t come across them before, but if they want to continue making short horror movies that are paced like this, all the power to them. I thought each actor was effect and I felt like they were genuinely scared and it didn’t feel hokey. I find sometimes that the acting can come off as too “acted” if that makes sense, where this film I actually felt it was sort of real, and that I was watching almost like a “found footage” style film that some investigator or whatever found on someones laptop, and the audience is given a front row seat to this Zoom meeting. There were even times that I felt like I was another member of this Zoom call and I was scared.

I feel like this film really sums up 2020. The horror, the isolation, the zoom calls to your friends, the want to try something new. This film just works, thats all I can really say, and I think its absolutely worth watching.

I give host a 4.5/5.

Give it a watch if you’re in the mood for something new horror wise, as this is a film that I felt is a highly effective horror movie.

Until Next Time,
Andrew

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